I’ve discovered over the years that one of the most potent ways to affect change in my heart, mind and marriage is through the process of “renewing my mind.” This is the ongoing work that the Holy Spirit does as I surrender my sinful ways to the Lord. Don’t be confused …
This doesn’t happen automatically when you become a Christian.
Even though we surrendered our hearts when we received Christ’s salvation, we must continually turn our hearts and lives over to Him daily to “work out our salvation” (see Phil. 2:12-13). The Holy Spirit works tirelessly to convict us, but we must also listen, respond and obey.
I believe there are an awful lot of flabby and struggling believers in the world, because they thought salvation was all they needed to experience the “abundant life” (see Romans 5:17 and 2 Cor. 9:8). And by “abundant life” I’m not talking about the abundance that our world provides. I’m talking about a deep and meaningful peace, contentment and joy in the Lord—even when the storms of life rage around us.
Here are some ways that I renew my mind …
1. By continually reading and applying God’s word.
You won’t be able to run a marathon if you’ve never trained for one. It’s the same with our lives. And God’s word helps to train us in being Christ-like so that we can run that race before us (see Heb. 12:1-3).
If this feels overwhelming or uninteresting to you, then find a devotional or Bible study that addresses a particular need in your life. Realizing that God’s word addresses certain issues in your life can awaken your lagging motivation.
2. By praying and praying some more!
This one is HUGE for me! I have many ways that I pray, which I’ll write about in a later post because it would take too long here. But one crucial way is through the process of praying Scripture according to certain needs in my life.
Let’s say I need to forgive someone (and who doesn’t?), then I use Scripture to guide me in crafting a prayer that includes key biblical concepts on “forgiveness.” Then I pray that prayer daily—renewing the way I think about that person in the light of Scripture day after day.
3. By talking about my struggles with trusted friends.
Yes, this includes “confessing” especially to my husband. As I open up and share about my failures and weaknesses with my friends and in particular my husband, the fear, discouragement and shame I once felt like a noose around my neck falls to the ground.
I feel accepted and loved—warts and all!
That’s when I begin to experience the “freedom” that only comes through confession to God and other believers (see James 5:16).
If you are struggling in your marriage and feel as if nothing has worked so far, spend a season of time “renewing your mind.” And then consider whether this has positively impacted your attitude and marriage.
In fact, your spouse may wonder what’s up because you will be less self-consumed, less argumentative, less irritable, more kind, patient and merciful. That’s when your “fruits of the Spirit” will be showing … and that, my friends, can turn a marriage and life around! (Don’t get dizzy now!) 😉
What are some spiritual practices that have helped to renew your mind?
What is your biggest hindrance in doing some of the practices I’ve suggested?
Feel free to use the Character Flaw Inventory I’ve created to help you discover areas where you can work on yourself in relation to your mate.
I’d like to ask my readers and those who linkup here to please pray today for Andrew of Blessed are the Pure of Heart because he is in great pain and, if you don’t know already, is fighting a battle with a terminal condition.
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