Thursday, January 24, 2019
What I Think, I Am
In review of Ephesians 4:23 it says, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (NLT).
Today’s verse comes from Ephesians 4:21-23. I’m reminded that since I have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, I am to throw off my old sinful nature and my former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, I need to let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes.
The good news is that my old way of life before I believed in Christ is completely in the past. It can be put it behind me like old clothes and things to be thrown away. When I decided to accept Christ's gift of salvation, it was not only a once-for-all-time decision but also a daily conscious commitment. I should not allow myself to be driven by desire and impulse. I must put on my new nature, head in a the new direction and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives me.
Change requires new thinking. In order to change, I must learn the truth and start making good choices, but I also need to change the way I think.
I’m reminded that the battle for sin starts in my mind, not in my behavior. The way I think determines the way I feel, and the way I feel determines the way I act. If I want to change the way I act, I start by changing the way I think. In addition, if I want to change the way I feel, I must start with the way I think.
Think – Feel – Act
For instance, I could say, “I need to love my family and my co-workers more,” but that isn’t going to work. I can’t fight my way into a feeling. I must change the way I think about them, and that will change the way I feel, which will then change the way I act. The Bible says, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).
To sum it up: I am not what I think I am; rather, what I think, I am. The battle for sin, the battle to deal with those defects in my life that I don’t like, starts in my mind. If I want to change anything in my behavior or anything in my emotions, I start with my thoughts and my attitude.
The renewal of my mind is related to the word repentance. Repentance seems like a harsh word. It seems like something bad, something I don’t really want to do, something painful. But what I’m learning is that repentance has nothing to do with my behavior. It is about changing my mind, learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn. It’s something I do in my mind, not with my behavior. Changing the way I think will then affect my emotions and my behavior.
When I repent, I make a mental U-turn. I turn from guilt to forgiveness. I turn from purposelessness to purpose in life. I turn from no hope to new hope. I turn from frustration to freedom. I turn from darkness to light. I turn from hell to heaven. I turn from hatred to love.
I also change the way that I think about God. He’s not mad at me. I’m deeply flawed, but I’m deeply loved.
I change the way I think about others, I change the way I think about my family and my co-workers. I change the way I think about the world, I change the way I think about the economy, and I change the way I think about my past, my present, and my future.
So being renewed in my mind means more than changing the way I think about God and Jesus; it also means I change the way I think about my own defects. The Bible tells us, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:5).
Let the Holy Spirit help renew your thinking.
What this means to me:
I should let my attitude and thoughts be constantly changing for the better.
In summary, I need to let the Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes. My old way of life is completely in the past. Going forward, I should not allow myself to be driven by desire and impulse. I must put on my new nature, head in a new direction and have a new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives me. Change requires new thinking. I must learn the truth and start making good choices and I need to change the way I think. The battle for sin starts in my mind, not my behavior. The way I think determines the way I feel and the way I feel determines the way I act.
Thank you Father for this reminder that the way I think determines the way I act. I must fill my mind with the truth and think of it and steer away from my own selfish desires. This morning Father I pray for the Holy Spirit to help remind me of this, I also ask you to provide me with your wisdom and guidance in how I conduct my job, lead and interact with others. This I ask in your Son Jesus name, amen!
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