A Simple Key to Renewing Your Mind

In my last post I talked about the effect that toxic core beliefs can have on your actions andClose-up of woman's hands while reading the Bible outside. thus your destiny. If you didn’t see it, you can click here. I mentioned a simple key I discovered a few years ago that has greatly helped me in renewing my thinking. This key is Scripture meditation.

Psalm 1:1-3, describes how powerful this key is, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

There are many other Scriptures that also speak of meditating upon God’s Word: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148; Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:8; Malachi 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:15 and others.

Meditating on Scripture can be done in several different ways. The model I use is a combination of two methods I learned. Find a quiet place and get comfortable. Using a notebook or journal, write one verse at the top. Read it out loud several times slowly, taking in each word and phrase. You can also pray it and sing it if you’d like. Ask questions. Write down all the thoughts that come to mind, and how it speaks to you. If it’s a long verse, break it into short phrases and do this for each phrase. You can do this in as little as fifteen minutes, or longer, whatever works for your schedule.

After you finish writing your thoughts, write a short thank you to God for how it spoke to you or for what He showed you. This can be one or two sentences. Then write, My son/daughter, and stop to listen. Begin writing whatever you hear God saying to you. It may seem like your own thoughts, but write them down. You can analyze and test them later. If you’re not sure whether you’re hearing Him or not, share your thoughts with a trusted, more mature friend or leader to get their input. God longs to speak to you even more than you want Him to; trust His Holy Spirit to lead and guide you.

If you battle distracting thoughts, keep bringing your mind back into focus. Reading out loud can help with this. If you think of things you need to do later, write them in the margin or on another sheet of paper, then go back to your meditation. If other topics or verses come up while you’re meditating, write them at the bottom of the page or on another sheet of paper and use them for another day. Having soft, instrumental music playing in the background can also help.

Try different things to find what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to do it; the important thing is not to give up. Some days you will be amazed at what God will show you. Other days, it may seem dull or dry; that’s okay, just keep at it. If you will do this consistently, your thinking will begin to line up with God’s Word which is His thoughts. You will also develop a greater hunger to know Him and His Word. I encourage you to try it and see, after all, what do you have to lose? Let me know what you think once you’ve given it a try!

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Are Toxic Beliefs Derailing Your Destiny?

As a young believer, I often listened to Joyce Meyer on the radio during my daily drive to toxic thinkingtake our kids to our church’s Mother’s Morning Out program. I can still remember her saying one day, “Do you ever stop and think about what you’re thinking about?” and my first thought was, “No, I don’t!” Then I wondered if it even mattered, and if so, why. I was genuinely perplexed!

Now that I’m a bit older and hopefully a little wiser, I understand what she was saying. As believers, our thought life is one of the most important factors of our walk with God. You may have seen this poem or one that is similar to it:

If you accept a Belief

You reap a Thought.

If you sow a Thought

You reap an Attitude.

If you sow an Attitude

You reap an Action.

If you sow an Action

You reap a Habit.

If you sow a Habit

You reap a Character.

If you sow a Character

You reap a Destiny.

–anonymous

Your beliefs and thoughts greatly affect your destiny by determining your choices, or actions. What you do is always the result of what you believe.

I’m not talking about “head knowledge,” which is facts or information we may believe or agree with. I’m referring to the core beliefs that we hold deep in our hearts and may be totally unaware of.

These beliefs often surface when a circumstance triggers a reaction that catches us completely off guard. Have you ever experienced that? Maybe one day your best friend makes a comment that your new outfit is a little snug around the middle. Suddenly without thinking, you get upset and offended, accusing her of calling you fat! And for the sake of this hypothetical example, let’s say you struggled with your weight as a teen and had a mom who made similar comments far too often, though her sincere intent was to try to help you. This is just one (though not particularly good) example of how core beliefs are triggered.

In His mercy, God allows these situations in order to show us areas that need healing in our minds. He understands our frailty and gave us a way to get free from toxic thinking – Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The word transformed is the Greek root of our word, metamorphosis – the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. It is a beautiful word picture of the radical change that takes place when we make the effort to renew our thoughts and beliefs.

In the natural, a caterpillar is bound to the earth, crawling along the ground or on plants and bushes. As the butterfly emerges from the cocoon it no longer resembles its former self in any way; it is a totally new and different creature. Free to now soar above the earth, it has a completely new perspective – a heavenly one. This is an amazing picture of what happens to us and our thinking when we make the choice to renew our minds. God doesn’t do this for us, nor does it happen automatically when we get saved, it is a lifelong process that requires effort on our part.

So how do we go about doing this? How do you renew your mind? I discovered a key a few years ago that has greatly helped me and I believe can help you if you will take time to do it. I will be writing about it in my next blog post, so stay tuned for more! How has toxic thinking affected your choices? Please comment below.