“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” .-Romans 12:2
In this popular bible verse above, some may skim over an important part of this verse. I know I have. Some may focus on the “do not be conformed to this world”, and say, “Oh yes, to focus more on being a ‘good Christian’ “, “strive to obey the 10 commandments,”, “go to church”, “read your bible”,etc… However, the second part of this sentence clearly states, “but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”You see, if the enemy can work on the way you think, by what you see, hear, experience or endure, he gets a leg up. If you as a mere mortal start focusing on your mishaps, set backs, and failures, the enemy gets a leg up. If all you begin to focus on is the negative,the enemy gets a leg up.
You must take captive your thoughts as this bible verse says,
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
In my mental health classes that I formerly taught to people living with or suffering from a mental illness I would present an example of a grassy field that would develop into a path, then to a trench, then to a deep gully that you cannot escape with every ruminating negative and self-defeating thought to where eventually a person will need professional help, medication, or even hospitalization to escape.Maybe you are on that path, or been on that path? Please stop! Take captive your thoughts, be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
Granted there are mental illness that are no fault of the person incurring this illness. It could have been caused by a brain injury, trauma, chemical imbalance, or genetics. However, mental illness, just like any illness, is treatable, and recovery is not only possible, it occurs. We also must understand that God is also the Great Healer, & Comforter. In addition, most of us have the power to change the way we think, take captive our thoughts, and are in charge of the attitude we have and the perspective we take.
Take a look at this bible verse:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Some may think this temptation that is not uncommon to all humanity that you have the ability to escape that He provides a way of escape, referred to above, is just about physical sin. However, being to critical of yourself, thinking negatively, focusing on your anguish, is also a sin as you are a fearfully and wonderfully creation of God and He loves you. He certainly doesn’t want you to beat yourself up mentally and lead yourself to emotional and mental destruction.
Life can be hard. God did not say it would not be hard whether you are a Christian or not. In fact Christ said you will endure tribulations.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Stop the stinking thinking, choose to count your blessings no matter how small. Take captive the way you think, what you allow your mind to hear, and see. You are not alone. You are important, you matter, and you are loved. Start with loving yourself.