“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
First and foremost, renewing your mind is about our Christian discipleship and our transformation into being like Jesus. How do we renew our mind? How do I do it?
We really know this: it’s daily time with God, time in Examen, memorizing and meditating on scripture. I try to live the scripture I study, rather shorter learning, longer applying.
Put into practice what I already know, and then go forward. I would rather learn to really follow one new thing/principle from the word of God, rather than knowing a thousand things about God, the world and the Bible. I would rather spend ten minutes alone with God than having all of the knowledge of heaven and earth in my brain. Why? Because I can only learn things one step at a time, by DOING it.
I also try to pay attention to negative thinking patterns and change them to positive ones.
How? Focus on the good and positive (Philippians 4:8)- it’s clear.
Just like muscles, our brains think (act) in patterns. Negative thoughts beget negative patterns, positive thoughts (think on these things…) beget positive patterns. Simple, but not easy.
So, when in conflict (and everything has to be as automatic as possible), remain in a place of thoughtful curiosity, remembering that we are all human. Then, think on the good things- about the person, about the situation, about your life, and especially about God.
Prayer of response:
“Lord, help me to take your truth from scripture and apply it to my life, thinking on the true and beautiful things. Help me to be a positive influence to those around me. For your glory and in the name of Jesus, my savior, Amen.”
Submitted by Patty Jehle
(Patty Jehle, MA, is a US/Swiss citizen who has been living in Switzerland for over 25 years, is married to Patrik and has three adult children. She’s currently teaching at the FHNW in Brugg, is a certified spiritual director (New Way Ministries), and is a certified EASC coach and supervisor with her own business.)