Becoming a New You
There are times when people don’t like who they are and they desire to change, but mostly people focus on the outward changes, like appearances. Many people think that who they are, is based on how they look, their skills, their financial status, their talent and their education.
So they may try a makeover by changing their wardrobe, their hair, their looks, getting a higher education or learning a new skill. While there is nothing wrong with improving your skills and looking better; in fact certain changes are necessary and a part of life; we are in need of constantly developing. However, just by changing the external concept of our life is like wearing a mask, but beneath is the same old you.
So, by changing how you look, your hairdo, a new wardrobe, a new nose, may only make you look better, but it’s just the same old you. So what is it that makes us who we are. The secret is in the Holy Word of God. It is written in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” We are the output of our thinking. Who I am is purely based on how I think. My speech is an output of my thinking. My actions are the result of my thinking. Leading brain scientist, Dr. Caroline Leaf, says that, we are all unique because we think differently. She mentioned that even identical twins are so different in who they are, because their thinking is unique. Identical twins are split from the same cell; their genetic makeup is the same. Most twins grow up in the same environment, yet they are different because they think differently.
In life we experience the good and the bad alike, but as humans we have a tendency to incline more towards negative thoughts and hold on to them, rather than focus on the positive. When we focus on the negative thoughts these thoughts depresses us. The very word depression means to be pressed under something. When we have negative thoughts, such as fear, then we don’t have the freedom and that fear brings us down. If we constantly worry, it will weigh us down. If a person is bitter, then that bitterness depresses him. When anger is suppressed, it turns inwards and causes depression. Our thoughts affect our feelings. So negative thoughts give rise to negative feelings. These thoughts not only make us what we are but it can make us sick and even kill us. For instance a person suffering with hypertension, due to negative thoughts, may die of heart attack or stroke.
Sometimes people are misled into thinking that they are stuck with who they are and there is no way to change. For instance a person who is hot-tempered may think there is nothing he can do about his temperament and continue living his life angrily. A person that’s resentful may feel the same, that she can’t do anything about how she feels every time she gets offended, and continues to live a bitter life. Our thinking is habitual, just as most of the things we do on a daily basis are habitual. So if we have a thinking pattern that is prone to worries all the time, then we will continue worrying, just because we are in a habit of worrying. The good news is that just like every habit can be changed, so can our thinking be changed; and by changing how we think we can transform and change ourselves.
To change a habit, we have to replace it with a new habit. A habit can be changed with repetitively replacing it with a new habit. We know doing things just once cannot turn into a new habit. It has to be repeated several times. Some say it takes about 21 times. New research has shown that it takes six to nine months to change a habit. Well I believe in continuing it till change is evident, and after that keep it up. Romans 1:2 mentions, “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God, what is good and pleasing to him and is perfect”. We need to renew and change the way we think in order to be good and pleasing to God, and we need to change our new way of thinking not according to the standards of this world, but according to the standards set by God in His word.
If we change our old way of thinking with the standards of this world, which is inferior compared to God’s word, we will not be able to know the will of God for our lives, and will not be able to become what God has truly intended for us to be. If you are fearful of something, that could be because you are thinking fearful thoughts, which has to be replaced with faith and trust in God. So, every time you are fearful, you need to stop dreading, and replace the fear with faith and think about God’s protection for your life. That nothing shall harm you; you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. If you are bitter, you have to meditate on God’s mercy for your life and be gracious in forgiving and seek out to love your enemies. If you are worried all the time, replace those thoughts with trust in God, knowing God will provide and take care of everything that concerns you. If you seem to be short-tempered, you don’t have to live your life angry. Just replace those angry thoughts with peaceful thoughts. Every small thing need not be upsetting all the time. Philippians 4:8 mentions, “ Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” God’s word commands us to focus on the positive and holy things, instead of the negative and worldly things. So, instead of focusing on the hurts of others, focus on the love of God and the mercy of God.
People struggle all their lives trying to fix themselves and get frustrated and give up. Well the solution is to change distorted thinking with the word of God. Read the bible, seek the Lord and you will find him. You can be a new you, just by changing the way you think, and just like one meal won’t keep us alive for the rest of our lives, we need to keep feeding ourselves. Likewise, one positive thought is not enough. We have to renew our thinking on a continuous basis, so as to be continually transformed.
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The secret to a new you is just how you think. So start right away and discover the new you.