Sometimes my thoughts can drive me crazy and leave me mentally exhausted! The information that floods my head on a daily basis can be overwhelming — “to do” list, family concerns, children, work, marriage, the upkeep of my home, finances, health, the chaos in the world around me and abroad and on and on. I can find myself focused and fixated on the wrong things, which in turn can lead to worry, fear, frustration and just being stressed out in general! So what’s a girl to do? Romans 12:1-2 offers us some insight as we continue to explore cultivating a peaceful and joyful mind, heart and life.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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.
We see two contrast in thinking this passage: a mind conformed or a mind transformed.
conformed – syschematizo (GR4964) — to fashion alike, conform to the same pattern; to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern; a masquerade.
transformed – metamorphoo (GR3339) — to change one’s form, to transform; refers to an invisible process in Christians which takes place or begins to take place during their life in this age. From two words meaning to shape, form in the midst of (together with), fellowship.
It’s not hard to conform to the world’s way of thinking. We are bombarded with thousands of messages a day telling us how we should think, feel, look and act. But I love one of the definitions for this word: a masquerade. When we try to conform to the world’s way of thinking and acting, we find ourselves living a masquerade — not real, not authentic. So how do we change our mindset? How are we transformed in our thinking? RENEWAL! Yes, please. I’ll take some renewal. I could a break from the overwhelming flood battling for my mental attention. I could use some help discerning what is best and what is pleasing, good and acceptable to God.
renewal – anakainosis (GR342)– renewal, renovation, complete change for the better
Take a look at four ways we find RENEWAL:
- Titus 3:5 — renewed by the Holy Spirit
anakainosis (GR342) – a complete change for the better effected by the Holy Spirit
- 2 Corinthians 4:16 — renewed in our inner man
anakainoo (GR341) – to cause to grow up; to make new; changed into a new kind of life as opposed to the former corrupt state; new strength & vigor
- Ephesians 4:23 — renewed in the spirit of our minds
ananeoo (GR365) – to make new again; the divine influences by which the temperament or disposition of the mind is affected; correcting, elevating, ennobling and filling the mind with peace and joy. Through the influence of the Holy Spirit, Christians have the same disposition and frame of mind with Christ. (Romans 8:9, Galatians 6:8)
- Colossians 3:10 – renewed in knowledge
anakainoo (GR3421 – to cause to grow up; to make new; according to the image of our Creator.
This is renewed knowledge (epignosis – a precise and correct knowledge) is one that accurately reflects Christ, who He is and who we are in Him! So instead of living according to what the world deems as correct and important, we are living in light of who we are in Christ! There is so much freedom and peace in this kind of thinking and living.
A renewed mind is one that is saturated with the Word of God and controlled by the Spirit of God. It requires a transformation that only occurs as the Holy Spirit changes our thinking through consistent study and meditation on the Word of God.
A renewed mind leads to a new mindset. (Romans 8:5-9, Colossians 3:1-10, Ephesians 4:17-24)
mindset – phroneo – to think, to have a mindset of, to feel, to direct one’s mind to a thing. From a root word “phren” which literally means diaphragm, which curbs or restrains and determines the strength of one’s breath. Came to signify the seat of intellectual and spiritual activity in ruling the human spirit and emotions.
Mindset in the Scriptures refers not just to the ability to think, but also to control one’s thoughts and actions!
Could you use a new attitude and mindset today? Spend time in God’s Word and in prayer asking God’s Spirit to transform your thinking. Find the renewal and refreshing you need! I like to think of it as A Spa Day for the Soul.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com