The Power of a Renewed Mind

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What is holding me back?

I had no problems – not really. Sure I wasn’t perfect but problems were what other people had. So you can imagine that when the spotlight of emotional health did a reality check on my life, I was in for a rude awakening. When I learned that I couldn’t blame others for the way I was feeling or the situation I was in, this was not a happy place for me. When I discovered that the issues, struggles and hang ups I had were primarily a reflection of what was going on inside rather than outside of me, well the joy kept coming.


I had to ask, why was I struggling with what people might think of me, why was I struggling with so many insecurities and depression? I loved Jesus, I read my Bible, I prayed, I worshipped… so why hadn’t He transformed me before now?


Now don’t get me wrong, when I came to faith His Spirit began a noticeable work of transformation in my life, but it seemed limited. When I looked around I saw many in the Church who had similar struggles. I saw people who loved the Lord, were serving faithfully, but struggling with the likes of anger, depression, pornography, comfort eating, relational and sexual difficulties, people pleasing and resolving conflict issues.


One of the key reasons for this is that we have forgotten from where real transformation comes. Jesus said, “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” - wherever you encounter it, however you encounter it. It’s not the acts of reading our Bible or of counselling but the truth that is encountered through each that brings freedom. This is why Paul says in Romans 12:2 “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.


What occurs between your ears is of infinite importance in your transformation.


It is no coincidence that our enemy is known as the Father of Lies, and where we are loyal to a lie, he has access to enter in and “rob, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). What you believe deep down in the basement level of your mind affects every area of your life. When you believe a lie such as “What others think of me determines whether I’m ok or not”; or “I’m only ok as long as I perform well or achieve”; or “I can’t trust anyone else, I can only really rely on myself”; “Others are to blame for how I feel”; “Yelling gives me power”; “Porn gives me the intimacy I need”, it will limit your life and affect your spiritual growth. This is why we are told to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5). There is a part that we need to play in bringing about the transformation we seek.


When lies take a hold in our life they quench the transforming work of the Spirit because He is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17). Consider 2 Cor 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. If you pause right now and do a stocktake of your life, where are you not experiencing freedom? Wherever that is, guess what? The Spirit of the Lord is not present there - not to the degree He longs to be. You will be believing a lie somewhere there that is keeping the door closed to Him. When we face it and find the truth we need to open that door. The Holy Spirit can then flow in with His transforming power.


There is power in the renewed mind because it works with the power of the Spirit of Truth. This of course is an ongoing process in our discipleship. The more we are proactive in this area, the more we experience “life in all its fullness”, and the closer we can follow our Lord.



Richard Black


Richard Black is the director of Mind Health, an organisation dedicated to enhancing wellbeing. He is also a counsellor and communicator. His heart is to empower the church to thrive.