Ephesians 4:23 (CEV) Let the Spirit change your way of thinking
There are times in our lives where we need to reboot ourselves. We get stuck in a pattern, follow the wrong path for too long or simply need a jolt; that’s when rebooting can be the best thing we can do.
It's no secret that turning your computer off and on again fixes a ton of problems. Essentially, when you restart your computer you're clearing off the current state of your software and starting over again. You're basically dumping out the junk and starting over again fresh.
When you reboot yourself, you’re doing the same thing. You’re not changing the inner workings of yourself, you’re changing how you’re currently operating.
But rebooting yourself isn’t as easy as pressing a power button or holding down control-alt-delete. There’s more to it than that.
- Find a New Direction
- Take a deep look at your Life's choices
- Drop unhealthy or unproductive habits
- End toxic relationships
- If you want to do it right start but putting God first
1. Find a New Direction
God has a blueprint plan of our lives, written in the palm of His hand.
Isaiah 49:16 "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me".
I have found it helpful to set aside some time, maybe once a month, to think about where I am going in life. Pray and ask God to direct your thoughts; then write out your answers to important life questions.
There are two things we constantly need to do in life.
- Watch where we are
- Watch where we're going (Don’t just drift around. Don’t aimlessly walk through life)
Ephesians 5:15, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.”
Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is”
I think it’s fair to say that “the will of the Lord” is like our roadmap for life. It’s what shows us how to navigate our way through life purposefully so that we’re not just groping about blindly. The will of the Lord tells us where we’re going and how to get there.
In order to reboot yourself it's crucial to find God's purpose and direction.
2. Take a deep look at your Life's choices
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Psalm 32:8 ESV
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
We do not have only one choice to make, one path to find or one end result to seek. There are an infinite amount of possibilities in life, many choices to make and many journeys to take.
By believing that we must find our one purpose we think that if we aren’t feeling completely fulfilled with each choice we make then we must be failing, and must try even harder or we will never be truly happy.
We have many seasons in life and according to the season you're in there are good choices, and poor choices. Every time you make a choice, you must say no to an infinite amount of options.
With each choice we make, we learn more and more about ourselves that can help inform us on where we can use our best selves to serve others and build a fantastic community. Church is all about serving and finding wisdom to make the right choice. God has the best plan! But there is wisdom in the multitude of counsellors.
Proverbs 15:22 (NLT) Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
3. Drop unhealthy or unproductive habits
For the most part, we are usually pretty proud of ourselves when we’ve accomplished a task. Even the simplest of tasks. You cross it off your list, pat yourself on the back and smile triumphantly. Unfortunately we have far too many moments or days when we simply don’t feel very productive at all and nothing gets done.
Do you sort of feel like a failure? Or how about a master procrastinator? If you find that you feel stuck or have low energy, bad habits may be just getting you in a negative web of circumstances.
A habit is a regular practice, wired deep into our brains, often hard to give up.
Colossians 3:9-10 9 "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him"
To fight a bad habit you must,
- Admit you have a bad habit.
- Identify the reasons behind it
- Believe and determine to overcome the bad habit.
I am about t release a little booklet called "21 Days to break free from bad habits". It's important to write down our progress
4. End toxic relationships
When God wants to bless you, how does He do it? He sends people into your life. When the devil wants to destroy you, how does He do it? He sends people!
1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be fooled by people who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
There are several types of relationships that are liabilities, not assets. If you are going to develop healthy relationships, you first must cut off the unhealthy ones you have developed. How can you tell if a relationship is toxic?
Find the people who are starving for what you offer! Find people who want who you are, what you give, and what you celebrate.
Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?
A healthy relationship is one in which there is oneness of goals, purpose, values, and beliefs. God’s Word also says, “Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:16).
Never lose your identity for another person’s sake. Never compromise your character for anyone.
There are 2 ways to break a toxic relationship.
- With prejudice (offense)
- Without offense (friendly way) - Build boundaries
A boundary is your decision to stop allowing the toxic behaviors, limiting the toxic effect. If you have a toxic relationship that you cannot sever because of a previous covenant with that person you need to be able to do damage control. Remember that setting boundaries is a loving attitude. If you have no success establishing limits then you have to seriously consider a break-up.
2 Timothy 2:16-17 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like cancer.
5. Start but putting God first
If you want to do it right start but putting God first.
The first of the Ten Commandments states we will have no other gods before Him (see Exodus 20:3)
Deuteronomy 5:8-9 You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods (NLT).
Anything can become a god to us—anything we worship or put an excessive amount of time into. Even your feelings can become a god if you allow them to control you. We need to ask ourselves, Am I bowing down to God and His Word or to my feelings?
When you decide to serve God with your whole heart and make Him first in your life, your soul will prosper and your joy and peace will increase.
Ephesians 4:23 (CEV) Let the Spirit change your way of thinking
Here are some easy steps to get started with a brain reset:
1. Practice intentional thinking. What you think about is ultimately what you become. The power of positive thinking is increasingly backed by scientific evidence. The more attention your brain pays to given input, the stronger and more elaborately it will be wired and retained in the brain. When we give our attention and focus to good things, like peace, joy, and self-control, our brains rewire themselves in a way that allows us to experience those good things.
2. Pursue a different passion. The famous Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was right when he said we are shaped and fashioned by what we love. I am certain this applies to our brains, too. The life focus of a person struggling with addiction leads to tunnel vision. When you are just focused on your bad habits, passions are held captive. They forfeit the ability to direct your life in the way they would otherwise. Pursuing alternative passions, expands your horizons and rewires your brain at the same time.
3. Apply the power of repetition. Studies show that repeated behaviours, over time, cause structural changes in the brain. These changes can be negative, causing compulsion and addiction. Or they can be positive, rewiring the brain so the stimuli of addiction are no longer there. Repetition helps lock behaviours in the brain the same way an athlete develops muscle memory.
Resetting your brain, by following the steps I’ve just outlined, can have a number of positive effects on your life: