So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18 – NLT). Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:2 – NLT).
Mind renewal is essential to change. We live the way we think. We have both conscious and subconscious thoughts. Probably 80% plus of our behavior comes from these subconscious thoughts. That’s the reason that often there is a disconnect between what we know and what we do. Paul said it this way in Romans 7:15: I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate (New Living Translation).
Subconscious thoughts are really our belief system, which is a collection of thoughts that determine how we view ourselves and others and how we approach life in general. We could also call these subconscious thoughts or belief system our conscience. Once you’re born again, God wants to revamp your conscience or belief system! When you conscience or belief system agrees with His Word, you’re going to change from glory to glory!
As I mentioned yesterday, our belief system is developed by our associations with our environment. Much of what we believe about ourselves is set at a very early age.
In my own life, I was brought up in a Christian home with godly parents who took me to church three times a week. My Father was a deacon and my mother was a Sunday school teacher in a Baptist church. I thought for years that my home life was as good as it could get. We didn’t have bickering and quarreling in my home. My mother loved my father. My parents loved me. But they are human, and being human they were not perfect people. They are fallen human beings who have been redeemed. I can see now how my mother and father were influenced by their families before marriage and passed those influences into my life.
For affirmation as a four and five year old, I would clean the bathtub and sink in our bathroom and wait to hear my mother’s gleeful response: Mitch, you did such a good job. Since I craved affirmation, I found that hard work would produce it.
My dad valued work so much that most of life revolved around it – just about all the time! My belief system from childhood equated work with personal value. And that reinforced in me the belief that you’re only valuable if you are accomplishing things every single day. And if I tried to rest, I felt the deep seated sense of failure and emptiness.
As an adult I became a workaholic. I loved work because it gave me a sense of worth. Make sure you praise your children, not just when they perform well, but also when they fail. Otherwise, you may be developing a workaholic like I became. At age thirty, I allowed the Lord to begin the process of delivering me from getting my value out of my work alone. Today, I can work, rest, and have leisure each day. My affirmation in not in accomplishment, but it is in who I am in Jesus.
I’ll go into more detail tomorrow. I also had to overcome perfectionism and a deep seated sense of rejection as the Lord began to show me my wrong belief system. And as my subconscious or belief system or conscience was changed by the Word, I changed!
What traits did you absorb from your family that need to be changed?