Something has been on my mind lately…just marinating in there. I am going to ask all of you “Positive Polly” Christians hang onto your hats…I am about to say something that could be considered negative. I do not believe I can change my mindset just by changing what I say (repeatedly changing what I say) or by reading my Bible more. I know…it goes against what so many Bible teachers say.
When my husband was growing up, if he was bored, his mom would tell him to read his Bible. When the kids had too much energy, she would tell them to read their Bible.
I agree that reading the Bible is good. When you put good things in, good things come out…eventually. However, there are many Biblical scholars, people who know the Bible from cover to cover, who are not Christ followers. They have knowledge without wisdom or understanding. Proverbs repeatedly admonishes us to gain wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is information, wisdom is the belief in the knowledge and understanding is putting the information into action (or in some cases non-action).
Simply knowing the Bible is not enough to change your mind. There must be power behind the words.
1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.
What is the power? The power is The Spirit. The Word of God combined with the Holy Spirit is the power that swings the sword; the word that is as powerful as a double-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)
When I was young in my walk with God I tried so hard to be “positive”. I read all the books that informed me as to how I could be a “good” Christian. I surrounded myself only with other positive Christians. In the end, I always felt so badly about myself because I never measured up to what the books said I should be. Any time I would have a negative thought, I would feel guilt because I wasn’t being a “good” Christian. In reality, the standard is the Bible and no human ever measures up….there are no “good” Christians. If you think you are then I am pretty certain we could have some conversations about pride. (I’m just saying…)
Just reading my Bible and memorizing scriptures didn’t cut it for me. In fact, sometimes I still have negative thoughts and even struggle with over-coming some mindsets.
There are several steps that have worked for me…
1. Working with the Holy Spirit to identify what thoughts are mine and what thoughts are arrows being shot at my mind. (Pray – relationship reveals areas of potential growth)
2. Taking an active role by putting on the armor of God, daily (reminder for myself to re-establish this habit) and praying that the mind of Christ be established in me.
3. Binding and rebuking thoughts that bring death and destruction.
4. Focusing more on being who God made ME to be rather that trying to be who everyone else says I should be…
Change doesn’t happen over night. The power to change is only through the Holy Spirit. Through His Spirit we are continually being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. I am being perfected. If you are focusing on me, you will find areas that are “under-construction”. If you are focusing on yourself, I will probably let you down (because it’s all about you). If you are focusing on Jesus, then our journeys are heading in the same direction….let us encourage each other.