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.
God's Therapeutic Word
Read Psalm 92:1 through 95:11
Published: May 24, 2017
Amare was in the third week of his fast-paced new job, and life was difficult. He was working, still in college, and newly married. All of these responsibilities piled up to make him feel anxious. He turned to his mother, the one who had always shared God’s Word with him. He sent her a text message, “Please send me some Bible verses today.”
Amare’s mother, knowing her son struggled with anxiety, didn’t ask any questions. She prayed for him right away. Throughout the day she texted him various Bible verses that reminded him who God is and how much He cares for His children. Amare was strengthened by those Scriptures and thankful for a godly mother.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy (Psalm 94:19).
God’s Word is therapeutic and healing. It speaks truth to hearts in ways human wisdom cannot. God’s Word is more relevant to human lives than anything else.
Challenge for Today: Resolve to read through the Bible and discover how it will change your life.
Quicklook: Psalm 94:14–22