Every one of us come into the world with a broken “thinker,” a mental bent to buy into false and distorted views of reality. We’ve all heard the expression “garbage in, garbage out,” and this is certainly true when it comes to how faulty beliefs damage our emotional health, relationships with others, and, most importantly, our relationship with God.
In his efforts to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), the enemy constantly roams the earth looking for whom he can devour, and he does it primarily through temptation, accusation, and deception. Each of these “schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11) are attacks on our mind because they are aimed at getting us to question the love, goodness, and sovereignty of God. Unfortunately, we play into the enemy’s schemes, and, like lambs led to the slaughter, exchange the truth of God for the lies of the enemy and experience lives that are watered-down and unsatisfying.
I have been blessed to be a psychologist for over thirty-five years, and I have witnessed thousands of lives destroyed by the toxic lies the enemy has in his arsenal. But we are certainly not defenseless in that we serve a God who is Truth and ready, willing and able to help us overcome the lies we believe so we can experience the abundant life Christ came to offer us.
That being said, we have to do our part. God is too much of a gentleman to ever violate our free will, and He won’t force us kicking and screaming into practicing the spiritual disciplines we need to practice in order to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). God won’t force us to study His Word, meditate on it day and night, pray, fellowship with other believers, serve others, or practice solitude (just to name a few). We have to roll up our sleeves and practice these and other spiritual disciplines if we hope to overcome toxic and unbiblical ways of thinking we bought into when we were young.
As the Apostle Paul put it, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Our childish thoughts and ways of reasoning got us through our growing up years, but they fall apart in adulthood and don’t allow us to mature in Christ. With God’s help, we can put childish ways of thinking behind us and experience a mental adulthood based in truth that will improve our emotional health, relationships with others, and intimacy with God.
God blessed me with the opportunity to write books on being transformed by the renewing of our mind, including The Lies We Believe, The Lies Couples Believe, The Lies We Believe about God, and, my latest book, Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself: Making the Journey from Condemnation to Compassion. In future posts, I’m going to take you into these various books and explore some of the deadliest lies we believe and what we can do to co-labor with God to allow the truth to set us free. I’m going to help you learn more about how to take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:5), tear down mental strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4), think on what is true and worthwhile (Philippians 4:8), and develop the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).
I want you to know I’ll be doing all this as a fellow struggler. I have spent my life battling various deadly lies, especially the lie “I must be perfect.” While the renewal of the mind is my professional area of interest and expertise, my “thinker” is just as broken as yours and needs God’s transformational truth just as much as yours does. In the weeks and months to come, let’s work together in an effort to turn our minds over to the God of Truth so we can live the abundant life.