Boast In The Lord January 20th, 2023

Romans 12:1-2
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your body as a Living Sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

When I was in college I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do for a major.  I finally decided on psychology at the end of my sophomore year.  Up to that point I had enjoyed courses in high school and college about psychology as a way to understand the human mind and behavior.  What I did not realize at the time is that the Bible has a very clear message on how our thoughts affect our behavior. 
The Psalms and Proverbs are full of Scripture that speak of the wise and foolish; how and what we place our trust in can affect our lives, and how out of our heart and mind we speak and act.  In fact, there is a popular type of therapy utilized today that focuses on how changing one's perceptions can affect your behavior.  It is called cognitive behavioral therapy.  

According to the American Psychological Association, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on several core principles, including: 1) psychological problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking, 2) psychological problems are based, in part, on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior, and 3) people suffering from psychological problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.  Simply put, CBT involves counseling and coaching efforts to change unhealthy thinking patterns.

Why may you ask, am I bringing this up?  Well, CBT is not really a new thing at all.  Actually, the Bible has been very clear about how the changing of one’s mind will influence behavior.  
In Romans 12:2, the Apostle Paul challenges us to renew our thoughts and change them to focus on good things, holy things, righteous things, and those things that bring our heart in alignment with God's Spirit.  And even more than that, as a result, by doing this you will be able to identify God's will for your life and how you can bring Him glory and be a blessing to others.  
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote, “Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”  Why?  By putting your mind to those things, God will bless your heart and mind and give the kind of peace, supernatural peace, you need to navigate the troubles of this life.  
By focusing on the things that God has identified as pleasing to Him, He will provide “peace that transcends all understanding” and will “guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (verse 7), giving you everything you need to be the man and woman of God He intended you to be.  Now that is something great about our Lord to boast about!

Derek Ressa

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