by Rick Warren — January 10, 2022
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts."
Proverbs 4:23 (GNT)
Most people long for God to take away all problems, pain, sorrow, suffering, sickness, and sadness. But God wants to work on you first, because transformation won’t happen in your life until you renew your mind—until your thoughts begin to change.
Why is it so important to learn how to manage your mind? Here are three reasons:
Because your thoughts control your life. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (GNT). Your thoughts have tremendous ability to shape your life for good or for bad. For example, maybe you were told while growing up: “You’re worthless. You don’t matter.” And you accepted that thought, even though it was wrong. Now, years later, it’s shaping your life. That’s why it’s important to choose which thoughts you allow to affect you.
Because the mind is the battleground for sin. All temptation happens in the mind. Paul said in Romans 7:22-23, “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin” (TLB).
One reason you get mentally fatigued is because there’s a battle in your brain 24 hours a day. It’s debilitating because it’s intense, and it’s intense because your mind is your greatest asset. Satan wants your greatest asset!
Because it’s the key to peace and happiness. An unmanaged mind leads to tension. A managed mind leads to tranquility. An unmanaged mind leads to conflict. A managed mind leads to confidence. When you don’t control the way you direct your thoughts, you will experience an enormous amount of stress in your life. But a managed mind leads to strength, security, and serenity.
The Bible says, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6 NLT).