New (Wo)Man Pt. 1
But what needs to be understood is that the only power that can change someone for the better, in any kind of way, is the power of Jesus Christ. Find out how…
Have you ever had some days or maybe a period of your life where your thoughts were so negative and you wished you could get out of your own head but couldn’t? A time where you hated your thoughts and felt terrible because they wracked your mind during the course of the day? I know have. I’m a person that doesn’t mind being in my own head because I’m highly creative. Trust me ya’ll. I can live in my mind building sand castles and a dream life in a whole nother galaxy that doesn’t exist all day because I‘m just that imaginative. However, there have been times in my past when I sorely loathed my mind and rather just shut down and go to sleep because my thoughts were so dark. I hated life at one point. Disappointments and discouragement had gotten the best of me. The place that was my usual escape I was now trying to escape. But my typical way out was the not my exit for this particular problem. I didn’t know how to get out of that place for a long time. Because my thoughts were not healthy, my daily behavioral patterns weren’t either. I needed new thoughts. I needed a new mind. I needed to become new women.
While writing this post I coincidently came across a satirical website, called Estatis Inc., which offers brain transplants for people that hate their thinking and behavioral patterns, and who want new thoughts and don’t know how to get them. Science has not yet made any successful breakthroughs in brain transplants or whole head transplants. So the site is of course advertising something that cannot be done— as of yet. It’s a pretty cheesy looking website. But the basic message of it really spoke to me about what we’ve been studying so far.
The word of God is so fascinating to me. I love that for every problem we have and any confliction in our soul we can find the answer in God’s word. While scientist are trying to figure out how to transplant brains and heads, and Estatis Inc. is offering a product that they cannot produce, God has already provided the solution to this problem in His word.
In my last post I discussed how our human nature is out of whack due to how our hearts and minds function improperly due to sin. We cannot restore the way our hearts and minds were before sin on our own. The only way that we can be restored to what we used to be is by Jesus Christ and what He did for us. He has gone through the process of restoration for us so that He can restore us. He came to make us whole. He is the new man that we need to put on—His very nature.
The old man in Ephesians 4:22 we know is the sinful nature of self that we need to take off. Then we are told to put on the new man which is the nature of God we had before the fall. The first part of the new man we’re told to put on is a new mind. Paul says, “renew yourselves in the spirit of your minds.” Since we can’t do that on our own and we need Christ to do it, and since His nature is the new nature, that means we need His mind.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”, and Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
So how do we get the mind of Christ? We can find that answer in the text of Romans 12:2. Let’s look at how to get this new mind we need. The word for renewal in the Greek is anakaínōsis and it means to make fresh, new or new development achieved only by God’s power. This definition puts emphasis on the fact that this can only be done by God’s power.
Psychotherapy and teachings on the power of positive thinking are widely practiced because people want true change. John C. Norcross, a clinical psychiatrist, defines psychotherapy as “the informed and intentional application of clinical methods and interpersonal stances derived from established psychological principles for the purpose of assisting people to modify their behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and/or other personal characteristics in directions that the participants deem desirable”. And the basic definition for positive thinking is a mental attitude in which you expect good and favorable results.”
While some practices of psychotherapy may be helpful, and the teaching of positive thinking is good, they cannot restore a person alone completely. An element is missing from both. What I have found is that many who teach these theories exclude God from it. Yes you can have positive thoughts without the name of God floating through your mind.
This begins with the renewal of the mind by His power and His thoughts. All positive thinking comes from God. Even for those that don’t acknowledge Him for who He is, who have so called become a better person in some sense, need to understand that it’s not their own power ultimately that has caused them to improve in anyway. But all power comes from and belongs to God. Psalm 62:11 says, “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.”
Positive thinking can only take you so far when it comes to character change. Positive thought described by modern day gurus and even ancients like Buddha are limited in causing any kind of change, because the focus is on evolving by the power of self instead of taking off the old self. This falls slightly short of being in the category of behavioral modification which is not enough for a man to be completely transformed. A person needs to be changed from the inside out to be truly changed. This starts with the power of a new mind. Not just the old mind of the old man trying to think new thoughts and practicing modified behaviors. But rather a new mind generating new thoughts, which automatically births new behaviors. This new mind can only be created by the power of Jesus Christ. It cannot be obtained by our own doing. It is vain effort to try to change a sinful nature but trying to make an old mind think right. Just like you can’t teach old dog new tricks, you can’t have new thoughts with an old mind.
If you haven’t already asked the Lord to help you begin to take off the old man, and to help you put on the new man. Ask him to begin to create new mind in you. The mind of Jesus Christ. When I asked God to give me His thoughts and I began to reject thoughts that did not align with His word and who He is, I started to change for the better. My behaviors changed and things begin to change for me. I can definitely say I’m a different woman than what I was a few years ago. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be. That is an awesome feeling! Listen to the song “Journal” by Casey J while you meditate. Until next time, take care.