How the World Shapes Our Mind
Have you ever found yourself doing things that you regretted afterward? Do you find yourself participating in behaviors that you usually would not have chosen to do because of the pressure of your peers or coworkers? Are you struggling to discern what God says and what culture tells you? Do you find yourself thinking more about the latest news and drama than the Word of God? Are you allowing the world to shape your mind?
All of us, at some point or another, will find ourselves thinking in ways we never thought we would, participating in things that we probably shouldn’t, dwelling on subjects that can drag us down emotionally, or feeling as if we are losing sight of the person we once were.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a part of growing up or being necessary for us to remain relevant in an ever-changing culture. But, maybe that’s not true. Perhaps we are being influenced in ways we may not be conscious of. Maybe the things that are shaping our thoughts and actions are not beneficial, not God-honoring. Perhaps we need a transformation of the mind.
As we continue our focus on mindset and wellness, let’s consider the importance of being filled by the Holy Spirit, particularly as it relates to our minds and transformation.
Garbage in, garbage out
Some of you may have heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out.” And if you haven’t, it means that what you fill your mind with is what will come out in your words and actions. The things you allow in your mind will shape the way you think, speak, and act.
Suppose you’re allowing your mind to be filled by what the culture says about relationships, fashion, beliefs, or whatever else. In that case, those will be the things that influence your worldview and affect your actions.
As believers, we need to be cautious about allowing the world to shape our minds. It only takes one glance in the wrong direction, one step in the wrong place, to completely change the course of our lives away from Christ and toward destruction. Some days it can take one glance to change the outcome of my day if I allow the thoughts to turn into actions.
How can we avoid this?
Know God’s voice
In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us to “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes” (TPT).
We must put a stop to our tendency to follow what everyone else is doing or saying. Instead, we need to make spending time with God our priority. It is in filling our minds with His thoughts and His vision for how a Christ-follower should live that we are transformed into the women He desires us to be.
If you are a member of my private Facebook group (and I hope you are), I shared an excerpt from Carl Lentz’s book, Own the Moment: How to live a spiritual life in a secular world. These words are an excellent example of the importance of not allowing the world to influence us.
“Make sure you had a really good reason to change and bend and compromise on something. If somebody wants to change something and I ask them why and they say, ‘Well they think I should,’ my first response is always, ‘Who are they?’ Normally what follows is, ‘Well, everybody.’ And I say, ‘Cool. Name them. Name everybody.’ Typically, they can name about two people and that’s it. I love to point out how amazing it is that two people almost spoke for everybody and got you to make big sweeping changes. Be careful of what words and ideas you let sit in your soul.”
Be careful my friends of the words and ideas you allow to permeate your soul. Do not randomly imitate the ideals and opinions of the culture around you in your need to belong, be significant, or be cool.Be careful my friends of the thoughts you allow to permeate your soul. Do not randomly imitate the ideals and opinions of the culture around you in your need to belong, be significant, or be cool. Dr. Robin Revis Pyke Click To Tweet
Instead, study the Word of God so you can recognize His voice above all others because we know God by listening to His voice and learning His habits.
John 10:1-5 explains this in the context of sheep and their shepherd. Sheep come to know and trust the person who cares for them. They know their shepherd’s voice and routines, and they trust him completely to lead them in safe places. When a stranger comes along, they run from him because his voice and habits are unfamiliar.
Who are You Listening To?
Whose voice are you following? Do you find yourself following strangers, or do you recognize God’s familiar voice and run away from all others? And should you doubt the voices you hear, make sure to confirm the words spoken align with God’s Word.
If you find yourself struggling with following the wrong voices and feel the need for a mentor to walk alongside you as you learn to discern God’s voice, please reach out. I am here for you. I want you to know you are loved, and you need not be alone in your journey.
You matter. Your dreams matter. Your passions matter. There’s so much negativity in our world right now that everyone has an opinion – good or bad, but take note, only take in what is good and true. Only allow the noblest words to fill your mind.
Today, I encourage you to ask yourself, is what I am hearing and reading align with God’s Word? What am I allowing to shape my mind? Then, go deep into scripture and allow God’s Word and His promises to lead you, and not the messages of the world. ❤️
Let’s keep on shining!