Renewing Your Mind – Part 2
Part 2 of 3
In part 1 of this article we looked at some of the reasons we may be on the merry-go-round of busyness, stress and futility. We know we need a change – but how do we get there?
It all starts in the thought-life; “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. So how do we get our thought-life under control? And whose control? For the Christian, “self-control” is not “self” at all, but a fruit of the indwelling Spirit of Christ. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)
Is. 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you (Living Bible)
The book of Romans in the New Testament has some interesting things to say about the process of renewing your mind. Let’s take a look.
Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Living sacrifices – In Old Testament and even in NT times, pagan religions required human sacrifices to appease the gods. Or, as in extreme Muslim cults today, people sacrifice themselves to their god through suicide missions in hopes of reward. But God does not want us to kill ourselves for Him or for any cause – He wants us to live for Him – that’s really harder to do.
He does not say “offer your time or your gifts or your money,” but offer your bodies as living sacrifices. That means
- what we put into our bodies,
- what we put on our bodies,
- where we go in our bodies,
- what we do with our bodies must be in keeping with a “holy lifestyle”. Holy means set apart to God, with the object of pleasing God, not others, not ourselves.
How do you treat your body? I spend time exercising, try to eat healthy things and attempt to get from 7 to 8 hours sleep a night. I’m careful where I go, how I spend my time, what I watch on TV or read, what kind of music I listen to – what I’m feeding my spirit. I even try to stay away from negative thinking and speaking people.
Treating our body as the dwelling place of God, does not only have physical ramifications, but according to Romans 12: 1 it is “your spiritual act of worship”
When you present your body as a “living sacrifice” to God, worship becomes daily and not just something we do in a church service on Sunday morning.
Rom. 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world . . .”
Have you made a piece of clothing? You probably used a pattern and cut around it to form what you saw on the picture on the cover of the pattern.
There are patterns of this world that we should not conform to, among which are the following:
- taking care of #1 – in the sense of putting yourself first
- doing what feels good, rather than what is good
- doing what’s right for you – without considering others
- using people to get where you want and what you want
- measuring success by material possessions
- taking part in questionable activities, such as sex toy parties
- use of crude language
- being afraid to talk about your faith
- looking down on people of different race or social level
- having your kids lie for you when you don’t want to take a phone call
- and many others
“. . . but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
“Transform” means to markedly change the form or appearance of, or to change the nature, function or condition of something.
It is the same Greek word which is translated in Mt.17:2-8, speaking of the Jesus on the mountain being “transfigured” before the disciples. Transfigure means: 1. to alter the figure or appearance radically, or 2. to exalt or glorify.
You cannot change your actions until you change the way you view things. As your thinking changes, your responses and reactions change.
How do you get your mind renewed? We’ll look at that in the third–and final–installment of “Renewing Your Mind”.
In the meantime, consider what it means that the way a person thinks determines what he/she becomes.
QUESTION: What do you see from your own life to support or refute that statement?
©2011, Marcy Alves
Posted on May 26, 2011, in Christian Growth and tagged body care, Christian life, Christianity, conforming, marcy alves, renewal, right thinking, sacrifice, spiritual journey, spiritual life, spiritual worship, spirituality, thought life, transformation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.