Insight: Renewing Your Mind Means Choosing With Your Head

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

The Law of Differences holds that there are just two paths you can take as you observe others’ differences.

  1. You can judge another’s individual differences (you see another’s differences as weaknesses)
  2. You can value another’s individual differences (you see another’s differences as strengths that God gave them)

In every relationship, you have a choice between these two options. Your decision will dictate whether the relationship “lives” or “dies.”

You make that decision with your head, your heart, and your hands.

Here’s An Insight

Ephesians 4:22-24 exhorts Christ-followers to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (ESV).

This passage immediately follows a description of the different strengths God gives to members of His church – special abilities given to equip and build each other up.

Coincidence? No.

hats off

Image: Captain JP’s Log

By placing this bit of instruction about renewing your mind right after an formula for unity, God explains that strengths are from Him … and that we can make a conscious choice about how to view strengths in ourselves and others. The choice you make to value others’ differences, says Paul, includes choosing to renew your mind.

Choosing to Renew Your Mind

Paul explains that “renewing your mind” involves two steps.

  1. A renewed mind “puts off” the old self (v. 22) – it makes a conscious decision to turn away from judging another’s differences (by confessing negative thoughts, repenting of them, and giving them to God.)
  2. A renewed mind “puts on” a new self (v. 24) – it makes a conscious decision to value another’s differences (by embracing God’s way of thinking and adopt it as your own.)

As you “put off” and “put on,” you exchange your thinking for God’s thinking.

A renewed mind makes the decision to value another’s individual differences, leading to relationships that not only live … but flourish.

Now How Shall I Live?

On a piece of paper, make 3 columns. In the first column, list each person you have encountered in the last few days. In the second column list negative thoughts (about each) that you may have had that lead to judging them. Do you see any trends? These are the thoughts you must “put off.” In the third column, list God’s way of thinking about each person on the list. Make a choice to “put on” God’s thoughts and actions towards the people He has placed in your path.


More Insights

Using Your Hands Means More Than “Just Do It’

Changing Your Heart Means Giving God Access

Do You Know Your Strengths … Or Are You Simply a Know-It-All?

Strengths Are Given In the Image of God