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. – Romans 12:2 (NIV)
We are in this world, but we are not to think like this world. That is hard to do when we are bombarded by violent images of beatings and killings, when we are being told what to think and how to feel and when the cares of everyday life become overwhelming.
Renewing our minds to what God tells us to focus on–whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy–takes deliberate effort on our part (Philippians 4:8).
To focus on the good instead of the bad, takes paying attention to our thoughts and replacing the negative thoughts with good ones.
However, I believe it takes three more steps prior to this.
Every morning, I speak the Word of God out loud. Specifically seven scriptures about who I am in Christ. I repeat these Scriptures several times a day. Some times I even listen to a recording of me speaking these Scriptures while I am doing mundane tasks.
Then I pick one Scripture to meditate on during the day. Biblical meditation means to mutter it to yourself over and over.
The more we meditate on a Scripture, the more it becomes real to us, the more we begin to believe that Scripture…effortlessly.
In addition to these two, I rehearse what God has done in my life. I spend time thanking Him for what He has done, who He is and what He is doing in my life.
When we speak the Word aloud, meditate and practice gratitude, we are deliberately changing our mindset. We are changing the way we think.
When we change our thinking, we change our actions. When we change our thinking, we change our lives.