Devotion 25

Renewing the Mind

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God – Romans 12:2

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for some people to change their beliefs?  Holocaust deniers, Anti-Semites, White-Supremacists, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, appear to have difficulty accepting there might be something wrong with what they currently believe.  The same may be observed in those who deny the existence of Adonai Elohim, God, Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, and Ruach HaKadosh, the Holy Spirit.

Psychology has a label for this phenomenon – anchoring heuristic.  This is a mental process which resists changing firmly held beliefs.  Indeed, when new information is found, which ‘appears’ to contradict currently held beliefs, the first reaction is to completely deny the existence of the information or to label it ‘fake news’.  Why does anchoring heuristic exist, if Yahweh wanted us to renew our minds?

Can you imagine the impact of not having such a mechanism?  We wouldn’t be able to hold onto any beliefs — any thought which came along would immediately replace the thought currently held.  Without the anchoring of our beliefs, we literally would go insane.  But sometimes the anchoring of beliefs in our minds can cause problems not only for ourselves but for others around us as well.

What are the consequences, for example, of denying the world’s climate is changing?  Unfortunately, until there is natural disaster facing much of the world, as a result of rising seas, wide-spread famine, even in wealthy countries, and increased rampant forest fires, as a result of change to average temperatures and rainfall patterns, climate change deniers, especially those in positions of power, will refute, ignore and deny the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the reality of climate change.  By the time these events occur, which will affect change in belief, it will be too late for our planet.  And what about Believers?  Are they able to change their beliefs more easily than those of the world?

Unfortunately not, hence the existence of over 3,000 different denominations within Christianity.  There are those believers, actually very many, who believe the Hebrew Scriptures, also known as the Old Testament, is a collection of sometimes very violent stories they wouldn’t let their children read and others who firmly believe the Torah, the Law of God, given to us at Mt. Sinai, is no longer valid.  There are those Christians who hold firm to their belief anyone who follows any part of the Law of God is under legalism and will lose their salvation.  And all this is held in spite of the overwhelming evidence in Scripture that such is not the case.  So, how to we help people of the world and believers renew their minds, to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God? 

The heart’s real intentions are like deep water; but a person with discernment draws them out. Proverbs 20:5

The reality is some of us will never change our beliefs — our anchoring mechanisms are so strong, it is very difficult, if not impossible for us to examine critically our currently held beliefs and values.  As a Certified Spiritual Director and as a Spiritual Therapist, I faced my beliefs as part of my training.  I assure you, this is not an easy task; It is very difficult to realize that some of what you have believed for as long as you can remember are lies, often planted in our subconscious minds, through events of our childhood.  Does the adversary play a role in these lies?  I believe he does and, in counselling sessions, have seen what these lies can do to one’s self-perception.  Is there nothing we can do?

Fortunately, we do have support in our struggle to renew our minds, leading us closer to Tzadik, Righteousness — Ruach HaKadosh, the Holy Spirit of the Living God.  He is the One who guides and leads us through the process of the renewal of our minds, our beliefs and values, aligning them with those of Hashem, Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus.

Abba B’Shamayim, Father in Heaven, thank You for working with all those who are willing and have the desire to have their minds renewed to become conformed to Your Will.  May our desire to be renewed never leave us.  Baruch Hashem Adonai Yeshua, Amein.

May the God of Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov bless you richly this day.