Discipleship: Renewing Your Mind
by Rick Warren
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23 (TEV)
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To change your life, you must change the way you think. Behind everything you do is a thought. Every behavior is motivated by a belief, and every action is prompted by an attitude.
God revealed this thousands of years before psychologists understood it: "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts" (Proverbs 4:23 TEV).
Imagine riding in a speedboat on a lake with an automatic pilot set to go east. If you decide to reverse course and head west, you have two possible ways to change the boat's direction.
One way is to grab the steering wheel and physically force it to head in the opposite direction from where the autopilot is programmed to go. By sheer willpower, you could overcome the autopilot, but you'd feel constant resistance. Your arms would eventually tire of the stress, you'd let go of the steering wheel, and the boat would instantly head back east, the way it was internally programmed.
This is what happens when you try to change you life with willpower; you say, "I'll force myself to eat less ... stop smoking ... quit being disorganized and late."
And, yes, willpower can produce short-term change, but it creates constant internal stress because you haven't dealt with the root cause. The change doesn't feel natural. Eventually you give up and go off the diet.
There is a better and easier way: Change your autopilot; in other words, the way you think. "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think" (Romans 12:2 NLT).
Change always starts first in the mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act, which means "there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes" (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).
To be like Christ you must develop the mind of Christ. The New Testament calls this mental shift "repentance," which in Greek literally means "to change your mind."
To repent means to change the way you think - about God, yourself, sin, other people, life, your future, and everything else, and you adopt Christ's outlook and perspective on life.
© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
Playing Make Believe
Read Joel 1:1 through 3:21
Published: Jun 26, 2017
Children love to play make believe. Countless summer hours are spent playing cops and robbers or superheroes and bad guys while running through the backyard. But when the fun is over, the children know it was all pretend. No one really got shot; people still can’t fly; and there are no starship battles in space.
People play make believe with God at times too. They make a big show of their spirituality on the outside, like putting on a costume, but deep inside their hearts they are far from God.
God pleaded with His people through the prophet Joel to stop pretending and turn their hearts back to Him.
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate (Joel 2:13).
The people were tearing their outer garments as a sign of repentance, but their hearts were not broken over their sin. They were only pretending. God calls us to truly turn our hearts to Him, not just make a show of it.
Prayer Suggestion: Lord, help my outward praise for You be a reflection of a heart filled with gratitude.
Quicklook: Joel 2:12–14