Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Romans 12:2 (NLT)
I have been thinking a lot about change lately. Change in culture. Change in mindset. Change in habits. Change in society.
Covid gave us a lot of time to think and rethink and dream of what could and should be.
Is it possible to really change? Or is status quo the status quo? Are the ruts too deep to really change?
Personal change is what I am most interested in. I cannot truly affect change in others - only in myself.
The message of Christ is that change is not only possible but necessary. "You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God" - Jesus. "Born again" is an apt description of change.
But why don't we seem to experience more change than we do? Why do we still deal with wrong habits, patterns, mistakes, repeated failures?
There is an interesting book out now by Jon Acuff, "Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking" which I found extremely helpful. Not only does it suggest that change is possible but that it is necessary, and that it begins with changing the way you think.
That is Romans 12:2 territory (see the verse at the top). God wants us to change - expects us to change - and it starts with changing the way we think. It's developing a sanctified mind - one given over to Christ. Change the way we think and change the way we live.
So how do you change the way we think? Well, for Jon Acuff's thoughts on that you will need to buy the book, but in summary here is his main idea:
1. Retire your broken soundtracks (the wrong thoughts we think all the time)
2. Replace them with new ones.
3. Repeat them until they're as automatic as the old ones.
Retire. Replace. Repeat.
Seems easy. He suggests that we follow an old Zig Ziglar method- write down new thoughts - new soundtracks about how we want to think about ourselves and life - keep it simple - and say them to ourselves while looking in a mirror. Do this for about a month as an experiment and then see if there are any changes. It is working for him.
I couldn't do it quite that way, so I modified it. I wrote down Scriptures, then personalized them, and read them to myself out loud.
Things like.... Romans 8:31 - "If God is for us, who can be against us?" which I also added this statement to myself.. "God is with me. God is for me."
Here's another one, my life verse, Proverbs 3:5,6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." to which I added the statement to myself... " Trust God. He will show me the right paths to take."
I have 8 cards with 8 verses and 8 statements to myself. The goal is to read them out loud twice daily, at the start and end to the day and I am trying it for 30 days to see if my thoughts really do change.
So far, I am noticing that these thoughts are popping up more and more in my mind and are shaping the way I think more and more. It's early in the process but so far so good.
I don't know where this will lead. It is not the power of positive thinking - though it is similar - because it is taking God's Word as a substitute for my old ways of thinking. It's not the power of my own thoughts but the Truth of God.
I am interested in seeing where this leads, and am trusting God to rewire my brain and lead me to a new way of thinking.
That is where real change occurs - as the Holy Spirit works to transform me and change me more and more into the likeness of Jesus. It's the power of the Spirit, not the power of positive thoughts. The Spirit is the catalyst of change in our lives. By yielding to His work, we find real change.
Yes, I believe change is possible. I believe because God says it is possible and with Him all things are possible.
I'll let you know how it goes.