Sometimes when we hear the term “renewing the mind” we have visons of some eastern-style meditation that invites the participant to check their brain out at the door before entering into this mysterious realm. This is the last thing anyone struggling with mental health issues needs if they want to get better. Thankfully, there is a time-worn antidote that is tried-and-true and I know that because I have practised this myself. It is the “washing of the water of the Word” (Ephesians 5:26).
There is a pivotal verse in the New Testament that is key to understanding how God can help us with our mental health issues by simply giving close attention to His Word, the Bible. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Scripture is more than just words on a page (or a tablet or phone). These are the very breath of God, breathing life into us, His creation. Once I realized that truth I never read the Bible again as just “another” book. It is God’s Book, His revelation to ME!
The word translated “transform” means ‘a change in form’ and it is where we get our English word ‘metamorphosis’. It is the caterpillar transforming into the butterfly. Our lives are actually transformed, changed in form, when we renew our minds with the words of Scripture. This renewal is the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God. Think of it as kind of like thinking God’s thoughts after Him. For me, His thoughts are WAY better than some of the stuff that comes my way in media, the arts, philosophy, etc. that brings me down.
One other key that I have found in this renewal process is to have time with God in my Bible that is both unhurried and undistracted. I like to find my own little quiet, out-of-the-way spot and just hang with the Lord for a bit. I start every single day like this because I need it.
Just passing the salt!
Pastor Brian Horrobin