It should be no surprise that people want to change; walk the aisles of any bookstore and you will find self-help books for people to change their looks, their behaviors, their marriage, and more. There is no doubt that within people there is a realization that something is wrong and it needs to change, but how does that change happen? If there is going to be a transformation that takes place, what does that look like?
What’s the problem?
It’s often thought that if only we get our thinking right our behavior will quickly follow behind. But history tells us otherwise. While there is importance to studying the scriptures in order to get a proper thinking, the bible is more than a handbook to look up how we are supposed to feel about a number of important issues. The Bible certainly does tell us what to think about certain things, but simply seeing it as a tool to tell us how to think doesn’t actually change hearts. For example, there are plenty of men that know and understand the fact that pornography is both sinful and destroys marriage, yet they continue to do it. Their thinking isn’t what is wrong, it’s something much deeper.
If knowing what to think doesn’t change our actions, what if we try actually changing our behavior? Perhaps we have been so moved by what we have come to think from studying the scriptrues that we realize our actions are out of line with what the scriptures treat. The problem is behavior modifaction is not the same thing as a heart transformation. Think of it this way; if you have a heart disease there will be certain signs that you have a problem. Chest pains would be a clear sign of a possible problem. There are certainly steps you could take to try to help the pain go away; you could try to control your diet or take medications. But the problem is that taking steps to eliminate the symptoms is not actually fixing your heart. Treating the symptoms is a temprary solution; things only feel better for a while. You might be able to will yourself into modifying your behavior so that you stop sinning, but behavior modification is equal to treating the symptom. You’ll correct what is causing you the most pain and guilt, but you won’t be having heart surgery. Your heart needs to be transformed not your actions.
Paul writes in Romans, “Do not conform any longer 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.” We don’t need to be taught how to think, we need our minds transformed. We don’t need to simply eliminate sinful behaviors, we need our hearts transformed; our behaviors will follow. If all we needed to be transformed was information, we wouldn’t struggle with sin. If all we needed were 3 steps to a new life, we’d have it all figured out. But what we need is to be transformed. And that happens when the scripture cuts deep and does deep surgery on our souls. The scripture pierces your heart changes you’re whole being; your thinking and your actions then naturally follow behind.
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