How are you renewing your mind?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
Over the past few years, I have become much more conscious of the areas of influence in my life and, more specifically, my mind. There have been mulitple studies completed on how our minds are “being transformed”. Science has confirmed that our minds process subconscious thoughts at a rate exponentially higher than our conscious thoughts. What this means is that while you are consciously reading this email, your subconscience is processing millions of other thoughts and things which are going on around you.
Have you ever had a time where a thought seemly came out of no where that wasn’t particularly pleasing? Sure you have! Likely something within even the last few minutes. Or, have you ever had words come out of your mouth that shocked you either in a positive or negative way? Again, I anticipate this has likely happened to nearly every one of us within even the last few days. While I’m not an expert on the mind, I think intuitively we all could relate and understand these being conscious thoughts which have emerged from subconscious programming.
So, what is programming your subconscious? Is it what you’re watching on TV, video games you’re playing, the music you’re listening to, the books you’re reading, the movies you’re watching, the internet sites you’re exploring, the friends you’re surrounding yourself with, or even the thoughts you’re thinking? ABSOLUTELY “YES”!!! All of the above and more are influencing your mind and, in today’s world, chances are they’re not influencing in a manner you “consciously” would say is positive. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, I can watch those shows, play those games, or listen to that type of music and it won’t effect me. I can discern right from wrong and it’s simply fun and entertaining.”? Guess what….you’re being influenced much, much more than what you could ever imagine. Chances are, it’s not for the good either.
For this reason, as believers in Christ, Paul encourages us to “…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5b NIV. And further states: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phillipians 4:8 NIV Clearly in these verses, as well as numerous other verses in scripture, we’re commanded to be intentional in “the renewing of our minds”.
So how do we become more intentional? Well, by far, one of the best ways is to spend time reading, meditating, and imparting scripture upon our heart and mind. In Lisa and my case, we have found that we need to turn off the TV at times and pick up our Bibles. While we’ve pondered it on occassion, “no” we’re not one of those who has completely unplugged the TV and thrown it out the door. However, let’s just say that we are far more intentional on when and what we’re watching. This is just one of many examples.
The same holds true for other environments or circles of influence we tend to place ourselves. We need to become more intentional about those people or areas of influence in our lives. This isn’t to say that we should go hide ourselves under a rock. The Great Commision clearly commands us to “go” and make disciples. In order to do so, we have to be in areas of influence or be around people which may not be the best influence. This, in and of itself, heightens our need as believers to be much more intentional about the process of “renewing of our minds”.
Another area that I personally find a tremedous amount of value in renewing my mind is through listening to Christian music. If you’ve never tried it, I would encourage you simply to commit the next 30 days to listening to Christian music exclusively. Whether you’re in the car, at home, or in the office, simply tune into your favorite Christian radio station (eg. K-Love), or program your iPod with your favorite artist and set it on random repeat. As God’s word is put to song and continually imparted into your mind, I can guarantee you’ll see a renewal of your mind. I also bet you’ll catch yourself breaking out in worship in ways you’ve never seen before. More importantly, with this renewal of your mind, you’ll likely experience a much deeper relationship with Christ than ever before.
Christian music is just another example of a way to intentionally impart God’s Word into our hearts and minds. For some, you may not enjoy music and simply want to “fast” from areas you know are not the best influence. Whatever the commitment, if you decide to take our challenge, please let us know by commenting on this blog or sending us a direct message. We will commit to praying specifically for anyone who notifies us of their commitment to a 30 day challenge or the likes.