“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

{Romans 12:2, HCSB}

My Bible, a Journal, and a Pen . . .

I’m pretty sure I’ve not taken this seriously enough. This whole “renewing of your mind” thing. Sure, I’ve heard this verse quoted for years. I’d come across it myself whenever I read through Romans. But I still don’t think I paid it enough attention.

We’re transformed by the renewing of our minds. But what does that mean exactly?

Last week I spent untold hours running errands. They were all important errands too. At least they seemed like important errands at the time. One errand after another filled my day until none of the things I really wanted to do got done. By the end of the day, I was spent, and I carried with me a pretty poor attitude.

I grumbled my way through the kitchen, “explaining” to anyone within earshot that I couldn’t clean it earlier because I was in the car so much that day. I complained about the backpacks piled up by the door because I slipped and tripped over one of them. Again. And I shuffled around the living room, unhappy with the piles of laundry that seemed to grow out of nowhere on the couch.

I was out of sorts and struggling to snap out of it. My negative thoughts were spiraling downward with negative actions to match. If ever I needed some transformation it was on this icky day where everything irked me.

I needed a do-over. Some quiet time away. My heart and mind desperately needed a reset button!

For me, a “reset button” looks like a few quiet minutes in my favorite chair with my Bible, a journal, and a pen. With ink on paper, I asked God to show me how I got so far off-track that day. I told Him how I sorry I was for my bad attitude, and I asked Him to help me replace those negative thoughts with His truth.

Reading God’s Word helps to quiet my soul in ways nothing else can.

I retraced my thought-patterns for the day and realized it all started with one small irritation. An unforeseen delay. Which wasn’t a big deal. But then it was compounded with another unexpected turn. Then another. With each new delay, I entertained more negative thoughts. Soon the train of negativity was barreling through my mind until it led to a train wreck of a mom.

This is why Paul tells us in Romans to renew our minds. Our actions begin as thoughts. Small thoughts that seem harmless in the moment. But if left unchecked, these negative thoughts will grow into negative actions.

The good news is that transformation is possible! When we take those negative thoughts captive and examine them under the light of God’s truth, those negative thoughts lose their power. Because the truth sets us free.

God’s Word is alive and active, and it can penetrate our hearts and minds with the truth. And His truth always leads to freedom and transformation.

What soothes your soul when you’re out of sorts?

by Denise J. Hughes
  • Tami

    Hey, Denise and Incourage–I just want to say that I’ve been appreciating these Sunday am devo thoughts from you! It is kind of like a tiny Sunday School class for me (I live overseas and we don’t have a Sunday School class!). Anyway, thanks!!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    How true that one negative thought can snowball into an avalanche of negativity. For me, the key is recognizing that my day is quickly heading south and then hit the pause button. For me, it’s often put down what I’m doing and go for a walk and pray and talk to God as I do. For the first half of the walk I pour out…a cathartic stream of consciousness. Then, once I get it all out on the table…I walk…I listen…I wait on God. Sometimes He replaces my negativity with His truth and sometimes He just gives me quiet…silence…absence of thought. It’s not a crime to just not think occasionally. I try to always remember to simply praise Him and give Him thanks. Gratitude for my blessings is a great reset for negativity. Thanks for the wonderful reminder this am. Denise…

  • http://www.whatithinkiknowtoday.blogspot.com/ Ms. Witi

    You just posted about my yesterday. According to my family I “complained” about back packs, dishes left out every where, not picking up clothes, and #1 irc …. not wiping up the counter top after making honey bread….I cannot tell you how many times my hands have landed in old honey and become stuck.

    I explained I was not the maid but the mom and they need to pick up too….they heard the complaining and scattered to avoid it.

    Sometimes its hard to sit and turn to God because I really want my family to simply clean up after themselves. ;-(

  • Beth Williams

    When I feel frazzled & irritated I simply go for a walk outside, if possible. Sometimes just listening to quiet praise and worship music and letting the words sink into my head while sipping hot tea. The time is used to hit the pause button and apologize to God and letting Him feed me!
    Blessings :)

  • http://lovellegerthmyers.com/ Lovelle Gerth- Myers

    This was so good. <3

  • Anna Smit

    Oh yes, how I recognize the need for a “re-set button”! How easy it is to let the thoughts snowball! Running yesterday I found myself heading toward that snowball and stopped myself with “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”: what a difference it made- I even found myself sprinting at the end. This morning, biking to church with feelings of grief and unworthiness mounting, I was right back at it again until a silent prayer brought the worship song: “Thank you oh my Father for giving us your Son and leaving us Your Spirit here till your work on earth is done.” Thank you for this reminder to take our thoughts captive in His Name.

  • Gzu

    I want to join this book club because I really need to be disciplined in my prayer life. God has been speaking to me about it but it is really a battle for my focus, time and energy!