Renewing Your Mind

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.  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.

—Rom 12:1-2

It’s essential to understand how your mind works.  Christians should turn to the Bible for answers.  This will be all part of fulfilling the destiny to love abundantly.  Joyce Meyer (b. 1943), a Christian author and speaker said, “As you pray to the Holy Spirit to make you aware of thoughts  that come in your mind that don’t line up with God’s Word, you’ll begin to realize when those thoughts come and you can renew your mind with the Word.”  Undoubtedly the mind is a key to Christian living.  It’s for us to be able to discern the truth to be guided in the right way (1 Cor 2:14).

To do so we have to understand ourselves.  Some players of sports might be best able to capture this reality because their success is based on performance.  Ralph Marston (1907–1967), a professional football player wrote, “Rest when you’re weary.  Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit.  Then get back to work.”  With Christians it’s always a job of loving and serving others.  They have to be well-equipped to complete these tasks.

Much of this calls for a personal examination of our hearts.  Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973), a writer and novelist explained, “Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up.”  Our goals have to grow out of such confidence as we change our ungodly ways of thinking into new and life-affirming ways.

Time of Renewal

The church’s calendar has periods dedicated to renewal.  James Keating (b. 1923), a Trappist monk and priest wrote, “Lent is the time to renew wherever we are in that process, that I call the divine therapy.  It’s a time to look what our instinctual needs are, look at what the dynamics of our unconscious are.”  Loving God and our neighbor is an ongoing process.  Our thoughts are often buffeted by the happenings in the world around us, so we must turn to the Word, repent, and pray for forgiveness.

But how can we do these things?  Susan L. Taylor (b. 1946), an editor and journalist said, “We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”  Others may see this as something we should do whether we’re in a church or not.  As Satya Nadella (b. 1967), an Indian American business executive of Microsoft wrote, “You renew yourself every day.  Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re] not, but it’s the average that counts.”  This lesson on loving, and renewal, takes time, and work.

Renewal is what is good, acceptable, and the perfect will of God (Rom 12:2).  It’s how we praise God, and think about these things (Phil 4:8).  By showing affection for the things above (Col 3:2), you shall run and not be weary, and walk, and not faint (Isa 40:31).  Then you could say like Louie Schwartzberg (b. 1950), a director, producer, and cinematographer: “I think we need to do some deep soul searching about what’s important in our lives and renew our spiritual thinking, whether it’s through faith-based religion or just through loving nature or helping your fellow man.”

Life’s Remote

Need a remote?  Do you think by having this devise you can control your life?  It may be natural to think so, for if you can control your mind you may be able to solve your problems.  But is that possible?

Personal Control

In thinking about oneself it’s usually a battle with the mind.  You may try controlling your thoughts like using a TV remote. What to think – monitoring what’s good or bad. But, “Use commonsense” you say, “for I’ll have a perfect plan.”  By encouraging good thoughts – those enlightening to the mind, body, and spirit, you’ll be able to solve your problems.  These must be the ones you must feed and nurture.  By starving thoughts that are negative you’re discouraging unwanted feelings.  So do breathing exercises, meditate, and pray for have control.  Do these techniques work?  Yes, to some extent.  Some negative thoughts you may capture, and banish from your mind, but emotional ones linger.

Controlling the Emotions

Psychologists warn us about the dire consequences of feeding our mind with negative thoughts.  When they come to your mind do something about them.  Try distracting yourself by going for a walk, or playing music, which will surely change your thinking.  If negative emotions persist do not dwell on them, but pray to let them go. Call on the Lord, and quote Scriptures to refresh yourself. And watch a change in attitude come over you.

 Dream Dreams

A dreamer may dream about the future.  It’s estimated that 20 percent of the population are lucid dreamers.  Another 50 percent occasionally remember some of their dreams.  These are dreams while  we are asleep, but we’re all dreamers while awake and active.  Dreaming is like clicking on the remote to be transported to an imaginary place.  The only thing is this action doesn’t actually give you a movie-like experience.

Rewinding Our Life

Like a movie, we can’t rewind our life.  Listen to what Frank Matobo from Africa University, Zimbabwe said, “Time waits for no man.  A second of doubt means you are a second behind.  So make a choice, use it wisely or lose it forever.  There is simply no rewind.”  This is why believers must have faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  They must embrace life, believe in good things, and accentuate the positive.  Christians must never doubt, but accept what’s holy, true, just, and honest.  These attributes comes with perseverance, and studying the Word.  There’s a Facebook community where people want to rewind their lives. They can only speculate about those things they wish to change, haven’t done, and if they had a chance to do it over again, what they are willing to do differently.


Like with the rewind feature individuals can use their minds to recall past events.  They can linger on their experiences, errors and faulty thinking, but with the fast-forward button they can only use their imagination to dream.  We are incapable and limited, for we can’t fast-forward our minds through problems.  To do so we’ll have to be able to know what the future brings.  With a movie you can speed forward and know because all scenes are already prerecorded.  You can watch the end, or middle before the beginning.  In real life you can only imagine this feature.  That’s why Christians can focus on eternal life, because they have discerned, pictured, and are reassured by biblical promises their commitment in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is sound.  Indeed this is through faith because they have been exposed to the totality of God’s Word.

 Pause & Mute

In life some critics argue that there’s never pause and mute buttons through which we have control.  From birth the play button propels us on our trajectory.  It’s for us to steer our ship, and do our best to avoid shipwrecks.  Let us reflect on what author Sonya Parker wrote, “Life doesn’t come with a rewind, FAST -FORWARD or PAUSE BUTTON.  Once it starts it PLAYS until it ends or until you press STOP.”

It’ll be interesting if we can view the pause and mute buttons as times for reflection, and prayer.  Being caught up in a hectic schedule sometimes it’ll be best to withdraw to a quiet place, close our eyes and give thanks to Almighty God.  Our prayer may very well be on pause when we fail to utter words and are one with all creation.  It’s suicide or murder if you hit the stop button.  Never do this, but let life end naturally, and you’ll be blessed.


The Divine Process

What role do people play in the Divine process?  Obviously, they are on a journey of discovery to find the true light in their lives.  Many of us begin by taking “baby steps” until we are more confident about embracing our real goals.  This can be summed up best by our desire to live fulfilled-lives.   As believers this calls for making the tough choices.  It will take the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us.

William J. Clinton (b. 1946), president of the United States said, “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes.  But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person.  It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you.  The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”  People who are guided by the Holy Spirit will never ever quit.  They know that their faith is eternal.

Believers’ Mission

Undoubtedly, believers strive to do as much work as possible about their lives, friends, communities, and churches.  They have to learn how they can be true lights to others.  Through discernment they have to discover how best to serve.  As members of the body of Christ it’s essential to use our talents effectively, for we are of one body of which Christ is the Head.  It’s the Holy Spirit that directs our actions.  And it’s for us to reflect God’s love toward others’ lives, for he’s omnipotent.  We do this best when we surrender to his Divine Providence.

Christian Faith

Believers cannot afford to be lukewarm about their Christian faith.  They must be like Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? who explained that we’re here to enjoy full purpose driven lives.  This means an uttermost commitment to the Christian faith.  It’s the way we walk that will reap God’s blessings.  This faithfulness guarantees we’ll enjoy eternal life.  Our experiences in life of trials and tribulations are like pin-pricks compared to the joys that await us in heaven.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement said, “Life most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”’  Christ wants us all to become involved and be of service to those among us.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in “big or small ways.” But we’re to do something – anything that’s positive, and let our true light shine upon earth.

Good Lives

What determinants shape people’s lives?   Almost everyone will have his own list.  But it’ll be beneficial to focus on the following: 1) destiny, 2) intellect, 3) physical characteristics, 4) ethnicity, and 5) economics.  These factors aren’t listed in any order of importance.  It may well be that the  business-minded might put “economics” as being of prime importance to the other categories.

Destiny – If you believe in destiny this may be how you’ll view experiences in life.  For some people this feature is difficult to put a finger on.  There are those who think that with almost all things there’s free choice.  Some feel that they are always making choices, but they may not necessarily be doing so.  Thomas Merton (1915–1968), a Catholic writer and mystic wrote, “Love is our destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.”  Merton in No Man Is an Island discusses this aspect of our lives, and provides insights about mankind’s nature.

Intellect – Undoubtedly some people are truly endowed with intellectual gifts and are considered geniuses.  Their ability to recall and interpret what they have read is phenomenal.  But some people may display their talents in other ways.  They may not be intellectually savvy, but are spiritually insightful.  As Christians we have at least one gift.  Maybe this special gift may go unrecognized, but it’s nevertheless God-given.

Physical Characteristics – This is how people are physically regarded by others.  Some may appear to be like eye-candy.  They are beautiful, charming, and charismatic. Others may be endowed with natural beauty, and their admirers make praiseworthy comments about them.  These persons are blessed with striking personalities, and when they walk into a room they are able to turn heads.  Joel Osteen (b. 1963), a televangelist and author said, “I believe that God put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of everyone of us.  When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe you’re a person of influence and a person of purpose, I believe you can rise up out of any situation.”  To Osteen, it’s more than the physical characteristics which matter.  He saw that with whatever qualities individuals have, the Creator can shape them into being people of influence.

Ethnicity – In some societies people’s ethnicity might be a cultural death sentence.  Prior to the 1960s it was this way in South Africa, Rhodesia, and to some extent the United States.  In many countries of the world skin color still determines privilege.  Even today in America this image persists in various forms, although this nation did elect a bi-racial president in Barack Obama.  People from every ethnic group are gifted in their own way, and are children of God.  Dis-proportionally in America, blacks because of a past history of slavery have been dogged with poverty, lack of education, poor housing and low living conditions as compared to whites.  Paul Ryan (b. 1970), a Republican U.S. representative of Wisconsin said, “Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.”  This remark goes to show that we ought to stop thinking about ethnic characteristics in order to move forward as communities.

Economics – Interesting enough what people do in life may determine how much money they have.  But this isn’t always the case.  Some individuals are born into rich or middle-class families, while others are poor from birth.  Some may be so poor that they are unable to see their way out of poverty.  Even with help there are those individuals – some of them hungry and homeless, who are still unable to make ends meet.  Like some of the indigent giving aid, training, and handouts won’t turn their lives around.  Yet there are those in society that continue to believe that all people can pull themselves up by their boot straps.  Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), a founding father of the United States wrote, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in his nature to produce happiness.  The more of it one has the more one wants.”  It’s obvious that money by itself is worthless, but what matters is how it’s used.  Charitable givers demonstrate that money used wisely can make a difference to those in need.