Renew Your Mind

by Kimberly B. Southall

In the Bible, Paul tells us how we can find out what God's will is for us--in other words, how we can know what God wants us to do. And, of course, we want to do God's will, because we love Him. So what does Paul teach us?

Do not conform any longer 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)
Well, what does it mean for us not to conform to the pattern of this world? It means we shouldn't act like everyone in the world just for the sake of "fitting in" or being like everyone else. Instead, Christians are to be transformed or changed by renewing their minds.

Wow! How could we possibly renew our minds? That sounds impossible, doesn't it? Well, it's not. To renew our minds, we simply have to be careful what we are "feeding" our minds. There is an expression, "garbage in--garbage out." If we give our minds nasty things to think about, then our behavior is very likely to match those nasty kinds of thoughts sooner or later. But if we fill our minds with good things, then it becomes so very much easier to act in ways which makes God and us happy. Think about all of the different ways you spend your time. Are you filling your mind with good things or bad?

What about television? Do you watch nasty things which are not pleasing to God? Anything which the Bible tells us is wrong is not good to watch as a television show or a movie. Senseless violence and meanness is found on those popular wrestling shows. Many comedy and drama shows act like it is okay to be disrespectful to parents, teachers, police, and others in authority. Some shows pretend that leading a homosexual lifestyle is okay. Some shows are about witchcraft and magic. All of these things disgust God. The Bible shows us this. So we shouldn't fill our minds or time with those things. And TV isn't the only thing to be careful with, either.

There is a lot of reading material which isn't good for us, either. We should avoid all materials which portray the following as being acceptable: violence, witchcraft, sorcery, false religions, disrespect for those we should respect, and anything else which the Bible teaches is wrong. The popular Harry Potter series of books is just one example of reading material which should be avoided, since it contains sorcery, disrespect for those in authority, cruelty and violence, and a false religion.

We should also be very careful of the friends we spend our time with. What do we fill our minds with when we are with them? Are they helping us to put good things in our minds or are they unknowingly hurting us by filling our minds and time with bad ideas and things?

Begin renewing your mind. Start paying attention to what you're filling your mind and time with. Remember, "garbage in--garbage out." Take time to read the Bible. Be sure you pray each day. Spend time with friends who also love God and want to please Him. Do your best to go to worship God with others every week. These are some of the best ways to fill your mind with good things.

If you want to know what God wants you to do so that you can please Him, start renewing your mind today.

Copyright © 2000 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.