Greetings from Amsterdam!
It’s humbling to think that we are being transformed by what we meditate on. What we focus on shapes our hearts and our minds and therefore our thoughts, words and actions. As Christians, we know that we are to fix our eyes on Jesus — to meditate on His life and His love as He fully embodies God’s wisdom. When we see Christ for who He really is, our hearts are softened by the magnitude of His love for us, which fills us with a deeper compassion and love for others. God’s love casts out our fear. We are freed from lies that keep us toiling in bondage and instead we can experience the wonderful peace that Jesus came to give us — peace with God, peace with ourselves, and peace with one another. We can live the abundant life that Jesus promises (John 10:10)!
These lofty words sound great, but can seem vague and out of reach in the busyness and trials of daily life. How are we supposed to do this — to be transformed by the renewing of our minds? This is what I love about the Renewing the Mind Seminar that my co-laborer Linda Kitchen and I had the honor of teaching this Fall to thirty young people participating in YWAM’s Foundations in Counseling Ministry. The seminar teaches practical tools that are enormously helpful in bringing God’s wonderful truth into current real life experience.
One of the tools, called the Renewal Chart, helps us identify a situation in life in which we are not responding the way we want to respond. The Renewal Chart allows us to slow down, unpack and examine what is triggering us, what we are thinking in that moment, and whether or not those thoughts are true. Often what we call false beliefs are discovered, which lead to painful emotions and unhelpful behaviors. Once a false belief is identified, we have the opportunity to prayerfully ask God to help us renew this thought with His truth. It’s powerful to apply God’s word in such a specific way. Completing a Renewal Chart has often been a significant turning point in the lives of men and women I have had the joy of coaching and counseling through the years.