Five ways renewing your mind can help develop Christian character
Yes, I agree with the statement that the renewal of the mind is central to the development of your character as a believer. And when the topic of mind renewal comes up, the first scripture that comes to mind is Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
There is also Ephesians 4:21-24 “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
Here are five ways the renewal of your mind can help develop Christian character.
1. Renewing your mind gives you a revelation of your true identity – your true character: Through the New Testament we see that the old sinful man is dead and the new man who should desire and think as Christ, is now alive. We are also taught that closeness to God through his word, keeps us in tune with our new nature. Psalms 119:11 (NIV) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. In James1:23-25 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues [in it,] and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does”.
the word of God is likened to a mirror and it is by looking in this mirror and acting according to what we see in the mirror that we begin to realise that we are Christ like and we have the character of Christ. It is not something we are going to possess one day but something that we already have in him. In the word of God, we begin to see this truth, our mind is renewed and we begin to develop in any areas that are lacking.
2. Renewing your mind gives you a revelation of your holiness. According to the verse we read in Romans 12:1& 2 we see that we can present our bodies to God and be holy just as our Father is holy(1Pet.1:15). As we transform through the renewal of our mind, it becomes easier to settle in the truth that we are set apart and not lonely souls. We realise that we do not have to conform to the patterns of this world because we are different and we should give expression to our true selves through our character without feeling out of place.
3. Renewing your mind give you control over your thoughts and emotions. It has been scientifically proven that our emotions are connected to our thoughts. Therefore, if a person is thinking happy thoughts, then they will begin to feel happy. Well, science tries to tell us what scriptures have already revealed. As a man thinketh, so is he (Prov.23:7). By renewing your mind and thinking on the things that are pure, true, of a good report etc (Phil.4:8) we begin to manifest these things. If we think kind thoughts, we begin to carry out kind actions.
4. Renewing your mind gives you peace and rest. Many times, there is the temptation to want to “hustle” and strive to succeed at work, in ministry or wherever else a person has been planted. It is in yielding to this temptation that selfish motives are stirred up and people begin to try to scheme their way through things just to “outshine “others. Renewing your mind brings a revelation of God’s provision, love and sovereignty. Psalm 18:43 – 44 “Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; And thou hast made me the head of the heathen: A people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: The strangers shall submit themselves unto me.” And many other scriptures show us that our steps are ordered by the Lord. We are assured that we are getting maximum results even with seemingly minimal effort because the Lord is our portion.
5. Renewing your mind gives you dominion over sin. In Ephesians 4:21-24 we encouraged to put on the new nature as we allow the Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. This renewal gives us dominion over lusts of the flesh, pride and other characteristics of the sinful nature. Clothed with Christ we are able to be better witnesses for him.