Renovating Our Minds

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My kitchen is undergoing a renovation right now. The sound of hammers and drills, and the sights of ladders and tarps are dominating the landscape of this central room for family activity. It’s good. When old systems break down and wear out, it’s time to replace them. The Bible says so.

“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, NIV). That word renewing actually means “renovation”—in other words, out with the old and in with the new.

We are all made new in Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).  We’re different people once we’ve come to know Jesus. Our hearts are cleansed of sin, and we are called to represent Him to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20). The Holy Spirit works on our hearts to make us more like Jesus. His goal is that we would not be conformed to (take on the shape of) the world, but rather that we would be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), so others would see Him through us and be drawn to Him.

We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in that process. We can cooperate, knowing His movement in our lives is a sign of the great love God has for us and others.

Here’s how to undergo spiritual renovation of our minds:

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Out with the Old

We had to pull all our kitchen drawers out during our renovation. I was amazed at all the “junk” in them that was old, irrelevant, and no longer useful. In the same way, worldly ideals, thoughts, motivations, and values have no place in the life of a believer. We are told we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) once we come to know Jesus, so old, worldly values have no place in our thought life.

The Holy Spirit helps us to recognize old thought patterns that don’t align with the way Jesus thinks. When He points out this “junk” to us, then it’s time to toss it. We let the Spirit lead us in this process, and when we do, a major renovation takes place in our minds.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6, NIV).

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In with the New

We threw away a lot of old, broken stuff during our kitchen renovation. Now, we are replacing those items with new, stronger, more useful items. For example, our oven would overcook part of our food and undercook the other part. On our cooktop, one of our burners would alternate between overheating, not heating at all, and staying hot once we turned it off. Old stuff can be dangerous. New appliances and countertops are replacing the old, broken ones in our kitchen. Soon, tile will cover the purple sheetrock on the walls.

In our thought lives, we need to replace the old, “stinking thinking” with the truths found in God’s Word. Jesus tells us that His Word is “full of the Spirit and of life” (John 6:63, NIV), that “it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV), and it “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV).

We must intentionally dig into God’s Word and meditate on it so it sinks into our minds and stays there. We can let it drive our lives instead of faulty thinking. We can choose to believe and act on it, and eventually, the old has gone and the new has come!

In a few weeks, all of our renovation efforts will result in a beautiful, more functional kitchen, where we can again gather as a family and be blessed by the renewal. In the same way, we and others will be blessed as we renovate our minds.

Question: What old thought patterns do you need to toss out? What new truths from God’s Word should replace them? Comment at the link below.

Susan Jane King

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