In Romans 12:2, Paul said that the way believers are transformed is through the renewing of the mind. He says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
What does renewing our minds mean?
First off, before we talk about the benefits of the renewed minds, we need to ask what does it mean to renew one’s mind?
In the NLT translation of Romans 12:2, it says “ Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Renewing your mind simply means changing the way you think.
Why do we need to renew our minds?
Living in a fallen world naturally causes worry, anxiety, overthinking, fear and doubt. Many of us are familiar with being burdened by these thoughts throughout our lives. In fact, we have become so familiar with these that for many of us they have taken up permanent residence in our minds.
But God wants to transform us into a new creation-- this includes the way we are thinking! God wants to change our worry-filled minds and bring His peace upon them. He wants us to be people who are set apart, who think differently from the rest of the world, and who, in the midst of everything that is happening around us, still find God to be trustworthy and faithful.
Philippians 4:8 gives us instruction on how we can practice changing our minds: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
The benefits of the renewed minds are the evident fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
Everything starts with what we allow to dwell in our minds. Whatever we allow in it will also manifest in our words, in our actions, and in the way we live. The Word says that by having the Holy Spirit, we will also have its fruit. And by renewing our mind, we are taking the first step to walk in Spirit, and eventually, it will manifest in the way we live.
The benefits of renewed mind:
LOVE. Just by browsing Social Media and reading the posts and comments, we see how people can easily throw hurtful words toward someone who disagrees with them. The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). Our words are the reflection of what’s going on inside of us. So let’s be the kind of people who display love and compassion. Let’s fill our minds with thoughts of God and allow it to change the way we love.
JOY. A renewed mind will definitely transform our overthinking and worry into joy. This is more than just positive or wishful thinking. Having this joy comes from having security in God and in His promises. It is having an overflowing joy despite any circumstances because you know Who’s with you!
PEACE. We are so wired in worry that sometimes we might feel like getting to the other side of worry-- peace-- is almost impossible. But Jesus promised us this: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27) That peace comes when we choose to fix our thoughts on what He said rather than in our circumstances.
PATIENCE and KINDNESS. Anxieties weigh us down, give us the desire for control and irritate us when things seem beyond our control. But training our thoughts to submit to God’s sovereignty will help us release control. Thus it will produce patience and endurance to wait on His timing. Kindness will become more evident because we don’t feel compelled to control, rush or compete with people-- we will love them and we won’t have reason to be harsh with others and with ourselves.
GOODNESS. Goodness starts when we renew our minds with things that are, well...GOOD.. Whatever we possess, it will manifest.
FAITHFULNESS. Faithfulness is being reliable and trustworthy– even in the little things that have been entrusted to us. Good stewardship comes from faithfulness and God promised that if we are faithful in little, we will be given much.
GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL. Being gentle is the opposite of being proud or arrogant. When we think highly of ourselves, become our own idols and don’t place ourselves in humility before God, the opposite of gentleness happens. The Bible says that even our thoughts should submit to God (2 Corinthians 10:5) and this happens when we are meek and not proud. When we learn to submit and control our thoughts and make them pleasing to the Lord.
Remember that the way we think will determine how we live. With the help of the Holy Spirit, let’s renew our mind and live in the center of His good, pleasing and perfect will.