God's Roadmap

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail, encourage your hearts and inspire you with strength to always do and speak what is good and beautiful in his eyes (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TPT).


Friday, November 3, 2023

5 Ways to Transform Your Thinking

 


 by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta

A young girl sat alone in her room fighting teenage depression and feelings of worthlessness. Lies flew through her mind with voices of self-hate telling her she would never amount to anything. Tears were her only companion and a heavy heart paralyzed her thoughts. What was wrong with her? Why couldn’t she be liked by others and successful at making friends?

Don’t we all want to change something about our lives? We may fight shame or guilt. Addictions can plague us, anger or depression may control our actions, or feelings of worthlessness tell us lies.

The pharmaceutical industry creates mood-altering medications with the promise of a better life with the swallow of a pill.

Behavior modification courses abound on the internet and psychologist’s offices fill with those who seek better mental health.

But these worldly answers to human problems do not cure what ails us. They may provide relief of symptoms for a period of time, but eventually another pill is desired or trip to the mental health clinic sought. And all these man-made solutions require effort. We must continuously strive to do better. This is what causes burn-out. We simply get tired of trying.

The root of emotional or mental problems lies in our spiritual nature. When we are born again, we become new in our spirit. But for our behavior to change we must train our minds to agree with what God put into our spirit.

God tells us our minds are transformed by renewing. Without a new way of thinking, we will default to the flesh.

Like a computer has default settings, our minds default to the old flesh nature unless we do something to change them.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2 NKJV).

5 Ways to Renew Our Minds

1. Read the Bible on a Regular Basis.  We hear this encouragement a lot, but it can’t be emphasized enough. God’s Word is the only power that can keep us from falling into worldly thinking.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

2. Pray God’s Word – Write down Scripture and personalize it with your name.

In this is love, not that (insert your name or the word I) loved God, but that He loved (me) and sent His Son to be the propitiation for (my) sins (1 John 4:10) (Parenthesis mine)

3. Search the Scriptures for Verses That Use the Terms “in Christ” or “in Him.” These tell us what we have been given. We may need to write these down and keep in a prominent place. These words tells us that our identity is in Christ and not in other people or their opinions of us. When we focus only on Him we can dwell in the fullness of who He is.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. (Ephesians 1:3–4 NKJV)

4. Change the Channel on Thoughts. When a negative thought enters our minds, we should immediately replace it with a promise from God. We can’t change what goes into our minds by simply declaring that we won’t think about that anymore. We must alter what is in there. If we constantly tell ourselves negative words, these can become a stronghold in our minds. Instead we need to speak what God says and put the lies into prison.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4–5 NKJV)

5. Record Promises From God. We know our heavenly Father is faithful. We sometimes put Him into a box and treat Him as we would another person. People will fail us but He never will. His promises are true.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV)

That young girl who sat in her room crying tears of depression was me. But over the years and through listening to word-based Bible studies and sermons, my thought process has begun to change. This doesn’t mean there is not still a battle, but I have learned where the answer lies. And that is in the love of Jesus.

When we let the Word of God do the work of changing us we have a transformation that is lasting because the change is real. (click to tweet)

What helps you when negative feelings come your way? Join the conversation.

 

 

Image by Jasmin_Vรถlker_Fotografie from Pixabay





23 comments:

  1. Spot on, Barbara! I agree: all of these ways you've shared do indeed transform our thinking. In addition, I've had Christian music redirect my thoughts as well. Sometimes it's fresh lyrics in a new song that will grab my attention; sometimes it's the words from an old hymn committed to memory long ago. I love that God ministers to us in numerous ways!

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    1. I love that, Nancy. Music is a beautiful way to meditate on our God. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

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  2. Barbara, we need constant reminders of these strategies because we're so susceptible to our old ways. Thank you for making this so clear.

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    1. Those old ways do want to hang on, don't they? Thanks for sharing, Annie. Blessings!

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  3. Barbara, we must constantly renew our minds and then get up and practice what it says. Great post!

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    1. Yes, renewing our minds is a daily activity to keep us on the right track. Thanks for sharing, Debbie. Blessings!

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  4. I like how you word this strategy - "Change the Channel on Thoughts." Here's a trick that has helped me with this one. As soon as I became aware that a negative thought had entered my head, I would snap a rubber band i wore on my wrist. It helped! That conditioned response helped me stop those dangerous streams of thoughts before they could take root. Another way I change the channel is to quote the Phillipians 4:8.

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    1. That's a great idea. Whatever we can do to condition our minds to right thinking will help us.Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

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  5. Yvonne Morgan11/9/23, 12:17 PM

    Thank you Barbara. We do need to renew our minds often so we don’t get stuck in the same old patterns. Loved the great examples.

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  6. There are sometimes physical issues that contribute to depression and such as hormonal and metabolic, and those need to be addressed. But when our thinking is the root cause it requires a different solution and you have offered real hope as a way to approach it.

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    1. Depression can be caused by multiple factors. At times our thinking can even contribute to the physical maladies. But, yes, we can be thankful that our God covers them all. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!

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  7. Another one to file away in my "Wisdom file" Ms. Barbara. For me, when those negatives start creeping in, I go for a walk around the ranch. I talk with Father and sometimes sing "There's Something About that Name". I'm sure glad He doesn't score me on singing ability, but instead looks at the condition of our heart. God's blessings sweet sister. Such an encourager ma'am.

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    1. J.D., you have a beautiful place where you can walk around and talk to the Father. I'm glad God doesn't judge me for my singing either! But that is part of His mercy, isn't it? Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

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  8. This hit home today. One thing that helps me is writing every encouraging word down, whether it be from a person or scripture itself. Today I wrote your words, “ My identity is not in anyone else’s opinion of me, or whether or not they accept me.“ Oftentimes, when we get rejected, our pride takes over and we become angry. Only the love of Christ can take away that self-focus and the power of our ego that wants to control us.

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    1. Rejection can make us self focused. Thanks for sharing this thought, "Only the love of Christ can take away the power of ego." So true! Blessings!

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  9. We are so blessed that our Lord rescues us from those dark places. Thank you for these wonderful strategies for maintaining a close relationship with our Savior.

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    1. We can be so grateful we have our Savior to rescue us and give us His Word to strengthen us. Thanks for sharing, Katherine. Blessings!

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  10. Thank you, Barbara! This is beautiful and feeds my soul. I especially like your teaching about in him or in Christ. I never saw that presented like that before.๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿค—

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    1. I'm grateful you were blessed. I like looking for those words "in Him or "in Christ" too. Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings!

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  11. Anonymous11/13/23, 12:27 PM
    Thank you, Barbara! This is beautiful and feeds my soul. I especially like your teaching about in him or in Christ. I never saw that presented like that before.๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿค—

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  12. Good reminder to keep listening to God.

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