Lately, my mind has been conforming to thought patterns out of sync with my preferred pattern of thinking. I desperately want to break out of the rut of negative thought patterns that my mind has settled into. Renewing my mind definitely takes effort, but it can be done. Everything is possible with God!
Romans 12:2 contains a two-part command:
- don’t conform
- be transformed
God never commands us to do something that he doesn’t also empower us to obey. Therefore, I absolutely can stand against conforming to the world’s pattern.
Here’s another part of the Romans 12:2 promise. Once I’ve been transformed and renewed, I’m able to test and approve what God’s will is. Wow. But here’s the thing. The transformation process begins with breaking out of the world’s pattern of thinking, acting, living. Philippians 4:8 says, “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” (NIV) That’s how we renew our minds. Philippians 4:9, says that if we put biblical teaching into practice, then the God of peace will be with us. God will be with us. Not merely his peace, but also his presence. God’s presence brings a depth of peace that surpasses human understanding. God’s supernatural peace flows in to shore us up against the tide of fear, anxiety and negativity in this world.
You and I can’t always choose what we hear. Unsolicited comments and automatic negative thought patterns will clamor for our attention. We can’t choose what we hear, but we can choose what we listen to. What we think about. What we give voice to. A friend of mine once told me of the importance of ear gates. We use ear gates when we turn off the TV or stop scrolling on our mobile devices. We also use our ear gates to keep out what we hear so it doesn’t invade our thoughts. When we tune into negativity and other patterns of this world, the hinges on our ear gates can get worn down. Let’s refuse to conform to the listening patterns of the world. Let’s set aside our tendency toward fear, anxiety and negativity. Let’s renew our minds by focusing on the God of peace and all that he calls true, right and pure.
Don’t forget to download the graphic that goes with today’s episode. You’ll find it—along with the graphics for all my episodes—on my podcast page at this link: Shawna’s Blog – Bible Teacher | Author | Shawna Marie Bryant
This week’s scripture: Romans 11:33-12:2