by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta
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.
What helps you when negative feelings come your way? Join the conversation.