If you’ve ever tried to win an argument, you know how hard it is to change your mind.
In my last post (read here) I wrote how real change only comes when you change your mind, and not when you just do something different.
Doing something different can bring temporary change, but not long-lasting change. For the long haul you need to change your mind.
I remember I once changed a teacher’s mind. In my high school geography class we were studying Israel and who had a right to the land – the Jews or the Arabs. It was a hot issue because, at the time, it looked like Egypt and Israel would go to war.
Our teacher set up a debate for our class to decide who had the rights to the land, with one side defending the Jews and the other the Arabs.
I got thrown on Israel’s side and, since I was probably the only kid who went to church, I had some background to Jewish history.
By the end, my side had won and my teacher was really impressed that we had changed her mind with our arguments.
Changing your mind takes work; it doesn’t come easy.
If changing our minds was easy, we wouldn’t do the same things over and over again, expecting a different result.
Changing your mind is like a skill, and to develop any skill you need to work at it; you need to practice.
Years ago I learned the skill of playing the guitar. The only problem was I didn’t practice it enough. Though I play the guitar, I don’t play it very well – that would require me to practice way more than I do and, over the years, I’ve proved that I don’t have the desire to practice enough to become good at it.
Changing your mind requires that you put new or different information in your head, and then use it or practice it over and over.
It’s similar to having a favourite picture frame filled with an ugly picture. You won’t be happy with the frame until you change the picture in it.
In my office I have a picture I had taken of me with a famous hockey player. I also got his autograph to “Pastor Paul” on a separate card.
They sat on my desk for a while before I did anything with them. They were of no benefit to me until I got a nice picture frame, removed the sample picture that came with it, and replaced it with the picture of Darrell Sittler and his autograph.
It looked great; it was just what I wanted. But it took another week until Lily found the right place to hang it on my office wall so I could enjoy it.
To change your mind, you have to want to change, and then you need to put new information in your mind and use it.
Here’s the thing: If you are struggling with a sin, a habit, or a character issue and you want to overcome it, change it. Then find a verse that speaks to that issue and memorize it. Work that verse into your mind by saying it every day, and every time you fail at the change you want to make. Over time you will change your mind with that verse. It will help you to change your character so that you will not be plagued by that sin, habit or issue any more.
Question: When you think of something you would like changed, what verse comes to mind? Leave your comments below.