Body + Spirit
The Mind of Christ: 8 Principles For Identifying & Reshaping Negative Thinking Patterns
hat exactly does it mean to be transformed by the renewing of the mind? A renewed mind is a key aspect in living the Christian life successfully. Our thinking must be changed from the old ungodly way to a new godly way of thinking. What we know in our minds to be true forms a conviction in our hearts and of that truth and conviction in our hearts translates into actions.
As Christians we must renew our minds first and this action requires dedication, concentration, and application. The Bible is our guide book of instructions to righteous thinking and clean living. It’s like a road map that leads us to a godly lifestyle. It is the only infallible source of God’s written truth revealed.
Transformation through renewed thinking comes as believers expose themselves to God’s Word. Exposure occurs through faithful church participation and personal Bible study. Solid biblical teaching and preaching are invaluable in helping us with the renewal of our minds.
The process of mind renewal starts when we decide to take control of our thoughts and compare erroneous negative thinking to what we’ve learned from studying God’s Word. When facing temptation, we should weigh our thoughts carefully and verify them by the truth of the Holy Spirit. We must place our faith in Christ and trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit for He is the Spirit of Truth. It is important to understand that when a thought enters the mind, after examining it, we must determine if we should accept it or reject it. All negative thoughts that are misaligned with the Bible could possibly lead us down a wrong path.
Here are a eight principles that will help you to identify and reshape negative thinking patterns.
1. Negative thinking is rooted in fear.
When a person’s thinking is primarily negative, anxious or doubtful, it’s a sign of a lack of faith. 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Our thoughts must align with the Word of God.
2. Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the Word of God.
Doubt and unbelief work against the mind. Doubting is a choice. You can choose to doubt or you can choose to believe. It’s your choice is yours alone.
3. Erroneous thinking patterns must be replaced with biblical truths.
Many of us have had a lifetime of garbage programmed into our minds. Renewed thinking is not an overnight process – it takes practice, patience, and time. 1 Corinthians 2:16, tells us that we have the mind of Christ, which means, we are to think godly thoughts. We gain an understanding of the attributes of God by reading His word and His word tells us how He thinks.
4. Negative thinking is a mind battle.
Through prayer and meditation we can overcome negativity and replace it with positive thoughts. The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome negative thinking (Matt. 7:7-11). Philippians 4:8, instructs us as to what the mind should be thinking on. It takes practice, but with persistence we can overcome unproductive thinking patterns. Thinking about what you’re thinking about and do not allow your mind to have free reign to wonder negatively. The Bible warns us to dress in our spiritual armor. We are to put on the helmet of salvation to protect our thinking. This piece of spiritual armor protects our mind against the enemy’s lies and deception.
5. Anxiety and worry are both attacks on the mind extended to distract us from serving the Lord.
If your plans are not happening as rapidly as you had hoped, instead of worrying, re-strategize your goals. By doing this you will cut negative commenting out and cast away all doubts of being unsuccessful.
6. Finding quiet moments to study and meditation on God’s Word can cause the raging storm within to cease.
It’s a good idea to get somewhere peaceful and be still. By doing this, you can focus and tune your ear to listen for God’s voice. (Spiritual Note: Sometimes He speaks in a small still voice.)
7. Patience is virtue!
Philippians 4:8, instructs us as to what we should be thinking about. With practice and persistence, we can train our minds to think on the positive and totally avoid negative thinking patterns. The more we accentuate the positive the less time we spend on negative thinking. We can enjoy happiness, contentment, and peace.
8. Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
If your thoughts are negative, your mouth will be negative, which produces a negative life. The mind must be disciplined in order to produce the desired results. Don’t let negative thoughts rent space in your mind, reject them when they come. Your mindset determines your outcome. Learn to speak positive about your life and live well. Your victory depends on YOU!