As A man thinks, so he is
Every morning when I get ready for school, I put my clothes on then go look in my full-length mirror to make sure that the outfit I have chosen looks presentable. Do you trust the way you look when you get ready or do you check your outfit, makeup or hairstyle before you head out the door?
When we moved to Kansas City, one of the purchases I needed to make was to get full-length mirrors for all the bedrooms. My daughter Katelyn was visiting, so we trekked to Target and purchased wall mirrors. I was placing the mirrors in each bedroom for Greg to hang later in the day and one of the mirrors was not like the others. Looking into it was almost like a fun house mirror at an amusement park. I asked Katelyn to stand in front of it to see if she noticed what I noticed. She and I both laughed so hard because the mirror made us look almost as wide as we are tall. I immediately packed that mirror back into the car and exchanged it for a mirror that reflected correctly.
How did I know that the image wasn’t reflecting correctly? Why didn’t I trust the “fun house” mirror? Because I have seen my reflection thousands of times in mirrors throughout the years. And I have a pretty accurate idea of what my reflection looks like so when a mirror reflected something different than what I knew to be true, I recognized it quickly.
In Romans 12:2, Paul shows us two agendas for your mind. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Either the world will shape your mind or the Word of God will shape your mind. I see these two ideas as two opposing mirrors. What I fill my mind with will be reflected in how I see myself and how I see others. Just as the mirror I purchased, Katelyn and I noticed immediately that something was off. Certainly, neither she nor I looked like that. But what if those were the types of mirrors I had always looked into? What if I didn’t have an accurate reflection of my image? I would not have recognized that the “fun house” mirror was wrong. I would have settled for that image of myself. And any other reflection I saw, I would reject.
Paul tells you and I how to fill our minds so the reflection we see if accurate. We are instructed to fill our minds with the Word of God so we are transformed. It’s not that our thoughts are different, but our entire way of thinking is transformed. This is the time to train your mind to think from God’s perspective. Fill your mind with what God says about you.
What you think and how you think matters. And what you say to yourself matters. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is,” Proverbs 23:7. Your “mirror” can get distorted with an inaccurate view of God. What kind of mirror are you looking in?
How can you renew your mind to be transformed?
Meditate on the Word. In order to have a correct identity, you need to know what God’s Word says about God and what He says about you. The Word of God is the only reliable source to speak into your mind and thought life. The Word is truth. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth”. Truth renews and transforms from the inside out. Get the values of the Kingdom into your core. Train your mind to think rightly.
Take thoughts captive. Not every thought that comes into your mind should be planted in the soil of your thought life. Take wrong thoughts captive. This takes training and practice. In order to take your thoughts captive, you must think about what you think about. Many of us spend hours per week at the gym training our bodies and/or hours planning meals to keep our bodies healthy. How many hours do we spend training our minds? Focus on the thoughts that are true about you whether or not you believe them. Truth is truth whether you agree with it or not. If you keep taking your thoughts captive, eventually your mind will be renewed. It doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little, transformation happens. It is a process.
Walk out the meditation. Write out what is true about you and what is true about God. Speak it out loud to increase faith in your heart and mind. Remind yourself who you are. James 1:23-25 says, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it~ not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it~ they will be blessed in what they do.” Live out what you are reading at you meditate.
As you prepare for each new day getting hair, make-up and clothes on, how can you prepare your mind for the day ahead? Check yourself in the physical mirror and check your mind in a spiritual mirror. Begin your day by meditating on a verse that will renew your mind so you leave the house all put together from the inside out.
Declarations list to get you started: