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.
Read 2 Chronicles 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1 through 5:1
Published: Aug 23, 2017
Scott Fulton was surprised to hear from his teacher about an old high school writing assignment—twenty years after he turned it in. Each year, teacher Bruce Farrer asked students to write a ten-page letter to their future selves. He pledged to mail them twenty years later. Even after retirement, Farrer kept his promise to Fulton and thousands of others, tracking them down and sending them the old papers.
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing (Ezra 1:1).
God had promised to bring His people back to their homeland after seventy years of captivity. Some people doubted the promise. Others forgot about it. But God remembered and worked in the heart of a Persian king to fulfill His plan. God’s Word never fails. You can trust the Lord to deliver on His promises in His perfect time.
Challenge for Today: Consider what you would tell your future self about waiting on God.
Quicklook: Ezra 1:1–5