by Whitney Simpson

Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.     – Romans 12:2 CEB

A teacher told me this week that 84% of what we think about each day is the same old stuff. It's not anything new; it's what we've been telling ourselves for days, weeks, sometimes even years. I’m not sure about you, but I’m tired of the 84%. The patterns of the world may nudge me toward the 84% but it is wears me out.  My mind wants to be renewed now more than ever.  And the beauty is that God wants to renew me (and you) now more than ever too!  Don't we all want what is "good and pleasing and mature" in our lives? 

Paul reminds us in Romans to renew our minds and we will be transformed.  This version of scripture says that if we renew our minds, we may just be able to "figure out what God’s will is" for each of us.  What a relief!  We don’t have to think or act or live like everyone else.  And, in truth, this scripture reminds us we actually should not think or act or live like everyone else in the world.   

Now the practical part, how does one renew their mind?  For me, it means being kinder to myself, letting go of doing things the way I have always done them, and offering forgivess and peace. It means filling my mind with new ideas, constant learning, and Godly thoughts. It means striving to renew myself with God as the center each and every day.

Of course, we're all human and our minds often get in the way of our best intentions.  But, if I go with the same 84% for the rest of my life, there will be nothing new or renewed about me and I surely don't want that (and neither do those around me)! Let's be honest, much of that 84% is stuff that really doesn't matter. And, it is hard to admit that much of what we tell ourselves on a daily basis is not healthy or new but it's often true.

The word renew makes me think of the current fad in renewing old furniture. I have a friend who gives new life to old things, things some people would call junk. She cleans them up, envisions a new look, and paints them. She renews them. She gives them life again. God wants to do that for me and for you today.  He wants us to live life renewed!

So, how do you renew?  Does God need to give your thoughts a fresh coat of grace-filled paint? What steps can you take this week to make yourself new again in Christ? How can you live renewed?  Will you share with us below how God is making you new?

Prayer: Lord, free my mind of the things that do not matter.  Cover me with your grace and new life.  Renew my mind so that I may follow your will today.  I want to live renewed!  Amen.

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