If you knocked over your drink right now, what would spill out? Coffee? Water? Soda? Chocolate milk? I have no idea what your beverage of choice is today, but I can tell you exactly what will spill out of your glass, mug, can, or bottle.
What will spill out of your glass is whatever you put in it.
I know. Master of the obvious, right? But what seems ridiculously obvious when we’re talking about your drink becomes less clear when we’re talking about your brain. However, the same truth remains.
The ideas that spring forth from your mind come from whatever you’ve put in it.
So the question then becomes, how well are your you feeding your brain? Just like food sits somewhere on the spectrum between chemical-laden junk food and nourishing fuel for your body-machine, there is a spectrum for mind-food as well.
The highest quality end of that spectrum is Scripture. By absorbing God’s Words into our minds, we are transformed from the inside out to become more like Jesus.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~ Romans 12:2
Receive the Truth.
Mindset Matters. We all need to clean up our thinking. The best way to renew your mind is by reading your Bible and absorbing its life-changing truth. Here are 3 ways to soak up as much Scripture as possible.
#1 Read the Word of God alone.
You can and should read the Bible for yourself no matter what experience level you have. The Holy Spirit helps you learn what you need to know.
The Bible is a living document, meaning God can shape the nuances of words and phrases to speak to your specific, personal situation. God spoke the universe into existence. Jesus himself is called the Word. God has imbued words with his creative power of life and death. There is power in his word.
Write in your Bible. I know you were told not to write books as a kid, but we aren’t kids anymore and we learn better if we mark the book up in meaningful ways. Highlight verses. Make notes in the margins.Put a significant date next to a verse that has a special meaning for a special time. Jot down references to other verses that you discover are connected. Over time, your Bible becomes a unique and intimate record of your relationship with God. It’s the best love letter ever!
#2 Study the Bible with others.
The best way to study the Bible with others is in a small group. Most churches have Bible study groups you can join. Another excellent option is Bible Study Fellowship. They have local and online options.
You can also study with others virtually via online sermons and classes.
Finally, you can also read Bible studies and commentaries written by others. That doesn’t substitute for meeting with other humans in person. Ideally, using all 3 of these methods together is a stellar option.
#3 Meditate on Scriptures daily.
People use the word “meditate” in lots of different ways. So we are on the same page, I define meditation as thinking deeply about what you’ve read in the Bible. Think about how a cow ruminates on its dinner over and over until the bright green grass turns into hamburgers and milkshakes.
Ingest – Receive Scripture with hunger.
Swallow – Own it. Ingest it. Claim the words as yours.
Digest – Assimilate it. Let God’s Word become a part of you.
Renew Your Thoughts
The ongoing, daily habit of marinating your brain in Biblical wisdom renews the way your mind works. Through this practice of spiritual growth, you develop the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Repeat – Consistent renewal
Daily with God – This is not a once-and-done activity. Like brushing your teeth or hair, bathing, eating, washing the laundry, mowing the lawn, etc – you have to keep doing it. Your brain requires many repetitions to make godly ways of thinking automatic. Post it. Read it. Write it. Sing it. Say it out loud. Tell others.
Patience with self – Good fruit doesn’t grow overnight. It takes time for the seed to germinate, grow, flower, develop fruit, and mature. You won’t see much fruit after reading the Bible daily for only a week anymore than you can pluck an apple from an apple seed you planted last Sunday. You have to play the long game on this one.
Grace for others – Other people in your life won’t be at the same place you are. God may be working on something else in their life or maybe they aren’t interested in working with God at all. Your growth will inadvertently highlight their immaturity and stagnation which will make them uncomfortable. They might even lash out but they won’t be able to explain why. Just because God showed you something doesn’t mean your BFF or family member is ready for the same lesson. He treats us all as individuals with original, one-of-a-king degree programs in sanctification. Have patience and grace for others on their journey just as you desire and require patience and grace in your growth. Never be stingy with grace. God has an unlimited supply. You aren’t capable of draining the storehouse.
Results – Personal Transformation
Perspective – Your own inner dialogue colors your perspective on how you see everything else. Renew your perspective with God’s thoughts and everything else will look better.
Wisdom – Renewing your mind to think more like God does means you will learn to know God’s will. No more guessing. You’ll know what you should do to please God and make the most of the life he’s entrusted to you.
Transformation – We aren’t supposed to conform to the mold of this world. God intends for us to change the world, not the other way around. This can only begin to happen when we allow God to change us from the inside out. This transformation is only possible with continual renewal in biblical ways of thinking.
Reward – Powerful Influence
Questions – Over time, others will begin to notice the transformation and ask what’s different about you. Seize the opportunity to honor God by being prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15)
Reactions – When your mind is renewed, your responses will be different. Remember the cup that gets bumped spills whatever is in it. When you get bumped, you will start spilling more Jesus-love and less self-love.
Proactions – Life is so much more than our reactions. The real influence happens when we lead others. Leadership is not a big, scary thing. Leadership means influence. And everybody influences the people around them for better or worse. With a renewed mind, you are eager and able to initiate change for others in your sphere of influence.
Hopefully, I have convinced you of the benefits of renewing your mind by reading your Bible and I have shown you that it is quite doable for anyone who is willing. But now the question remains, what will you do about it?
Being convinced means nothing if you fail to act on it. How do you plan to start renewing your mind in God’s Word today?
Elizabeth is an author, blogger, and speaker. In addition to supporting her military husband and homeschooling 6 of her 8 children (2 are grown), she writes and speaks about overcoming adversity and building a resilient life. The depression and anxiety she experienced following the death of her son in his second trimester made her passionate about helping others fortify their mental health.