Do you ever feel like you want to change, but you just can’t seem to make it happen? Often the reason we can’t change is because we’re trying to change in our own strength–and we’re not strong in that area of our lives.
Romans 12:2 tells us what to do if we want to change: renew our minds. There’s just one little problem. It’s hard to make ourselves renew our minds! When that happens, we need to renew about the renewing of the mind before we renew our minds.
We can do that by looking at the lies we believe that make us not want to renew (or have our quiet times), and then replace those lies with truth that will change our desires–and make us want to renew.
Here are 10 lies that keep us from renewing our minds and 10 truths that will make us actually want to renew our minds.
10 Lies That Keep Us from Renewing our Minds
- I’m already doing that. Often we think that as long as we go to church, pray, and read our Bibles, we’re already renewing our minds. This isn’t true. It’s only a renewing of the mind experience if we leave with renewed minds. For that to happen, our minds have to be actively engaged and we have to be willing to change the way we think about God, life, others, and ourselves. Click here to learn more about how to renew your mind.
- It’s not necessary. It’s easy to think this, because it’s not stressed in the church. But here’s the truth: God wants us to change! He gives us grace and loves us as-is, but He also wants us to work on holiness so we can love Him and others better. One of the best ways to work on that is to renew our minds since that’s what will transform us.
- It’s too hard. I can’t do it. I put these two lies together because, at least in my journal, they always seem to show up together. Here’s the truth: we can do it, we just can’t do it easily, smoothly, quickly, or perfectly. We also can’t do it in our own strength. Thankfully, we don’t need to because this is something we do with God, not for God.
- I don’t have time. It’s easy to believe this when we’re super busy, but the truth is that it doesn’t take that long to renew (see the next lie). So even on a busy day, we have time.
- It takes too long. Here’s the truth: we get to be in charge of how long it takes! A renewing of the mind session can last anywhere from one minute to one hour or longer. Both lengths of time are valuable. The shorter sessions are helpful for a quick attitude change and a temptation stopper. And the longer sessions are great for an intimate time of fellowship with God and an opportunity for Him to pour truth into us.
- It doesn’t work, so why bother? This is one of the enemy’s most trusty lies, because if he can get us to believe it, he knows we’ll quit trying and give up on that pesky old renewing habit. The answer to this lie is found in Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. It works.
- It should be easier than this. Paul doesn’t go on to say, “All it will take is one renewing-of-the-mind session.” The truth is, it takes a lot of truth to combat Satan’s lies. Especially if we’ve been hearing those same lies over and over for most of our lives. God is faithful. He will change us, but He usually doesn’t do it overnight. The more often we renew our minds, the sooner we’ll see signs of that change.
- I’ve already renewed my mind about that subject before. Here’s the sad, sad truth: usually, we have to renew about the same lies over and over because those same lies keep popping up over and over. However, if we keep applying the truth day after day after day, eventually we’ll stop hearing the lies. The truth will be at the top of our minds, changing our desires and actions.
- I have to do this perfectly, and since I can’t do it perfectly I might as well not even try it. Oh, the lies of perfectionism. Here’s the truth: It’s impossible to do it perfectly. But that’s okay because we have a perfect helper: the Holy Spirit. He’ll help us as we seek to develop this habit.
- I don’t know how to renew my mind. Anytime we learn a new skill, we start out in I-don’t-know-how-to-do-this land. We learn how to do it through reading about it, trial and error, and practice, practice, practice.
Resources for Learning How to Renew Your Mind
If you’d like help with learning how to renew your mind, check out the following resources:
Renewing of the Mind Workshop – This is a series of blog posts I wrote to help you learn how to renew your mind.
Renewing of the Mind Project – This is a book I wrote after writing the above workshop that walks you through the renewing of the mind.