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Changing Your Mind
Photo: C. Newland 
When I was a teenager driving in downtown Seattle with some friends, we got lost. After making several turns to find the restaurant that eluded us, I suggested to my friend Scott that he make a right turn onto a certain street. He quickly made the turn and we suddenly found ourselves facing a row of traffic. We were headed the wrong direction on a one-way street!

Sometimes our thinking is headed in the wrong direction. We may not even be aware that our minds are headed down a bad highway because we are so used to traveling (thinking) that way. Yet, our thinking hurts our families and friendships. We believe certain ideas that are deeply imbedded in our thoughts and it affects our behaviors. We need to stop and turn around.

For instance, you may have a deep foundational belief that your core value as a person is based on what other people think of you, what they say about your, or how they treat you. If you live your life on that belief, you will obsessively seek the affirmation of others and try to be somebody you are not. You will live anxiously for the praise of people and not have any peace when others treat you poorly.

The Bible says, “Do not conform any longer 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” (Romans 12:2). How are our minds renewed? There are actually patterns in our physical brains that are pathways that become deeper and stronger the more they are traveled. These neuropathways can be changed and renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Truth Thinking

By practicing “truth” thinking, by meditating on what is right, God’s Spirit changes our minds. Some people refer to this change of mind as practicing “reversals” in our thinking. Here’s one way to mentally go a different direction. Practice thinking, “I used to believe my value as a person is primarily based on what other people think of me. But that is like drinking poison. I reject that way of thinking. I now believe that my core value as a person is based on what God thinks of me and what Jesus Christ has done for me on the cross of Calvary.”

King David practiced putting truth into his mind. He wrote, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). When we take God’s truth about us and hide it in our hearts, it changes our way of thinking. How you think impacts how you feel and how you behave. You can practically put truth into your mind by not only repeating these truths out loud, but writing them down or sharing them with someone else. It will reinforce your mind with Bible truth.

Perhaps you are like my friend Scott, facing a row of cars and realizing you are going the wrong way. Maybe you need to make a U-turn in your thinking. Maybe it is time to change your mind.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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