Joyce Meyer - Thoughts And Behavior
Philippians 4:5, Paul said to the Philippians, "Live unselfishly, for the Lord is near". I love that. That was why he's saying, "Okay, straighten up. It's time to get it right. It's time to quit making excuses. It's time to quit being silly. It's time to get off the fence. It's time to be red hot, on fire. The Lord is near". He's near, he's coming soon. If there's ever been a time to get very serious about our walk with God, this is the time. And I'll just tell you this. There's a lot of people in the world that, yes, they love God, but they're not serious about their walk with God. And we're going to say that's none of you, it's only the people watching by TV. Yeah, you were watching it before you got here, and you're going to go home and watch it some more, amen?
Colossians 3:2, "Set your mind and keep it set". Make your mind up. Make your mind up to take better care of yourself. Make your mind up to improve your health. You want me to meddle for a few minutes? Make your mind up to stop living on junk food. You sure you want me to meddle? You say, "Well, what does this have to do with the Bible"? It has a lot to do with the Bible. God even tells us what to eat and what not to eat in the Bible. And Paul said, "I buffet my body". He did not say, "I buffet [buh-fey] my body". The Bible says that we're supposed to bear the Fruit of the Spirit. You will know them by their fruit.
Just kindness is so amazing, so amazing. Patience is so amazing. I got a ways to go with that. Patience is so amazing, and I have it in me. I'm pregnant with patience. I just haven't fully given birth yet. How many of you are pregnant with some few things you haven't fully given birth to yet? But we're going to bear down and push. Come on. You know, the Holy Ghost says, "Come on, honey, you can do it. I'm your coach, push". Set your mind and keep it set. Ephesians 4:22, "Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion. And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude] and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image".
So, what's this saying? Put OFF the old man, put ON the new man. And the way you do it is through continually, day after day, renewing your mind and your attitude. Okay, now listen. I could do this for another 2 hours, but we don't have the time, and so I'm going to try to wrap this up for you real quick. You want to change, I want to change, but behavior modification does not come through struggle and effort. Although we do need to make a decision, we cannot do it without God's help. And actually, he is the one who changes us. And when we change, he should be the one that gets all the credit and all the glory. But nonetheless, we do have to want it. And we do have to be willing sometimes to sacrifice or to maybe go through a few things that are not real easy in order to get it.
You know, God getting us to do things his way sometimes takes a little bit of dealing with us in our life. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, he went to Tarshish. He got on a ship, he was going to get as far away from God as he could. Lo and behold, a big storm comes up. The storm got so bad that the men threw him overboard. God prepared a big fish to swallow him. Three days and nights, he's in the belly of the fish. Well, he got tired of that real quick, and he prayed. And the fish spit him out. And God showed up again and said the same thing to him that he did before his bad trip, "Go to Nineveh". So, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. You can go to the fish's belly before you to go to Nineveh, or you can just do it the first time that God says to do it, amen?
How many of you have been wrestling with God about something, just trying to get him to change his mind, just, "This is too hard, I can't do this"? Come on, it's... most of the room. Okay, look at me and let me tell you something. God's going to get his way. And you can make it hard or easy. That's the bottom line. God's going to get his way, you can make it hard or easy. Well, if you can't change yourself by trying, how can you change yourself? "God, you're right, I want to be everything you want me to be, and I can't do it without you. Help me".
And then what God wants you to do is commit to studying the word. And I suggest studying the word in the area where you're having problems. You know what? If you've got a bad temper, studying on prosperity is not what you need. It's not just random, the Word of God is medicine. It's medicine for your soul. The Word of God has the power to change us, to save our souls. Our spirit is good, it's our souls that need help. Are you with me? How many of you need help with your mind? How about help with your mouth? How about help with your behavior? How many of you are a little selfish, you need to get beyond that?
Okay, well, then everything that we need for every specific problem, there's a bunch of scriptures in the Bible about that situation. Use the concordance in the back of your Bible. If you're having a problem with something, go look it up, and then look up every scripture, read it, commit it to... Well, you don't even really have to, "I'm going to memorize this". If you read it enough, you will memorize it. Write them out in longhand, study them, look up the meanings of them. Look up the meanings. Use a regular dictionary. Study. Don't just read, study.
James 1:21, "So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls". This has the power. Because you know why? This is Jesus, the word made flesh, who came to dwell among us. Jesus is the word, the word is Jesus. The power of the Holy Ghost is in this book. You know that? You didn't spend a weekend sitting out there, listening to three people talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk just because we're just talking.
This stuff is going beyond your brain, and getting down into your spirits, and you can actually feel something happening. We're being educated way beyond our brain. Desire is being birthed in you. Determination is being birthed in you. Vision is being birthed in you. How many of you believe more since you came in here than you ever have that you can have a different life than what you've been having, that things can be much better than what they have been? Amen.
Now, watch this. "It has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word [obey the message] and not just a listener, betraying yourselves [into deception, which is reasoning contrary to the truth]". Learn how to meditate on the word. Learn how to speak the word. Get that list that I told you about that's got the 48 things on it about who you are in Christ off of the internet. I counted them today, 48 different things. Start confessing those things every day. Believe that you are who God says you are, and then in your experience, you will become what you believe. What you believe becomes your reality.
"Blessed are you when you hear these things if you do them", if you do them. Even when Jesus talked about washing feet in John 13, he said, "Now knowing these things, you'll be blessed and happy if you do these things". And so, the only way that we know that we know what we think we know is if we actually find ourselves doing it. And if I don't have enough of the word in me yet to do it, then that's a portion of the word that I need to keep studying over and over and over and over until I can do it. And you know, a lot of times, we just keep dancing around stuff, and dancing around it, and dancing around it. And we go around and around the same mountains, hoping God will change his mind. But he won't change his mind.
Recently, I went through the book of Jonah again to get ready to do a teaching called "Are you running from God"? And running does no good at all because no matter how fast you run or how far you run, God's always going to bring you back to the place you ran from and make you face it. And God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. And interestingly enough, he went to Tarshish, which, if you look at a map, is the exact opposite direction of where God told him to go. I mean, he didn't even veer off-course a little bit. I mean, he went to the exact opposite direction of what God told him. And he loved God, but he didn't want to do what God wanted him to do. So, he obviously didn't love God enough.
How many of you know there's degrees of loving? And Jesus said, "If you love me, you'll obey me". Now, he did not say, "If you obey me, I will love you". We don't buy his love. He loves us freely and unconditionally. But he says, "If you love me", which really, in effect, is responding to that love that he gives us, "Then you're going to obey me". Now, that doesn't mean that we're going to have 100% perfect obedience right off the bat. Matter of fact, when Jesus comes back to get us, we're still going to have a ways to go. But this is a heart issue of setting your heart and setting your mind, which the Bible often interchanges the words "Heart" and "Mind", so really when you talk about the mind, you're talking about the heart. When you're talking about the heart, you're talking about the mind. Because it's the inner man. It's to set your mind and your heart.
And if you've never done it before, then I'm really encouraging you this weekend to set your mind and your heart that you really, with all of your heart, want to do everything that God wants you to do, and that you really are not going to give up until you see that victory in your life that you want to have. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3 that he was headed toward that mark of perfection, headed toward that mark of perfection. But he said, "I'm not saying that I've arrived. I haven't gotten there yet". There's nobody in the room today here that has gotten there yet. I have not gotten there yet, amen? So, nobody needs to feel bad because none of us have gotten there. Maybe I've got a victory in an area where you still don't have one, but then you may have a victory in an area where I don't have one. But I love what he said, "But I press on".
Sometimes, you've got to press a little bit. "But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus died to take hold of me". And I love that. He did not die for us so we could go ahead and just live lukewarm, kind of halfway, sort of compromising lives, and be lights that have got a lot of dirt caked on the outside. He died really so we could be like him in the world, so we could represent him in the world, and people could look at us and say, "You're different. If that's what being a Christian is, then I want to be one". Come on. "If that's what being a Christian is, then I want to be one". It's time for us to stand up and stand out. It's time for us to let our lights shine.
Philippians 2, beginning in verse 12. Now, this is rather long in the amplified Bible, but we're going to put it up on the screen, and I want us to look at this pretty closely. "Therefore, my dear ones", Paul is writing to the Philippians, "As you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence, but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation". Now, that does not mean work for your salvation. Salvation is a free gift from God. So he doesn't say work for, he says work out. "Work out your own salvation, carry it out to the goal, and fully complete your salvation". That literally means, okay, when you're born again, God makes an amazing deposit of his own spirit inside of you.
And I'm going to show you another scripture in a minute, but let me just say right now that every one of you, if you're born again, you're pregnant with godliness. Even the men get to be pregnant this time. You're pregnant with holiness. You're pregnant with the Fruit of the Spirit. You're pregnant with goodness, with kindness, with meekness, with gentleness, with humility, with self-control. That means that you have a seed of everything that God already is on the inside of you. You've got it. Everybody say, "I've got it". But it's not completed. It's not fully formed yet. You know, the apostle Paul actually said that he intended to work with the believers, no matter what it took, until Christ was fully formed in them. And I guess in a way, that's kind of what I'm doing, you know?
I love to see people get saved. And so, in a way, anybody who's a preacher's also an evangelist, but the main call on my life is to see believers grow and mature, and to be all that God wants them to be. More than anything, I want us to have what Jesus died to give us. I want people to be peaceful, and joyful, and I want you to like yourself, and I want you to know how to get along with people, and I want you to use the gifts that you have to serve God. I want to see God's people walk in power, and be free from guilt and condemnation, and free from shame, and free from your past, and excited about your future. Amen. And I want us to just be oozing with love so people out in the world are drawn to Christ through us. And so, I intend to work as long as I can until I can see the people that God has given me to teach, so I can see Christ fully formed in them. And I hope that's your goal also, to work out your own salvation.
Why does it say to work out your own salvation? Because really, there are some decisions that only you and I can make for ourselves. Jesus has done his part. He's done everything that needs to be done. But now there needs to be a holy determination, not a fleshly determination, but a holy determination that comes up from our bellies that says, "I am not going to stay in bondage. I am not going to be addicted to stupid things. I am not going to get out in the world and compromise. I will learn the word. I will walk in the Holy Spirit by the grace and the mercy of God. If God will help me, I will lay my life on the line, and I will work with the Holy Spirit as long as I have breath until Christ be fully formed in me".
Pray for passion in your life. Every day, I pray, "God, grant me passion, enthusiasm, zeal, and energy". I don't want to be a dead man walking calling myself a Christian. Passion. I've been doing this for 40 years and I'm still excited about teaching the Word of God. I don't always feel excited when I get up here, but I'll tell you what, when I get up here, and I look at you guys, and I realize what the word can do in your lives, I just get all full of it all over again. Passion, and zeal, and enthusiasm. As believers in Christ, we should never walk around like, "Well, I just hope I can make it through. I just don't know, hope I can make it through. God, if you don't do something soon, I'm just going to give up".
I mean, look, if he never does one more thing, you're not going to hell. Amen? If he never does another thing, you're not going to hell. And God's living in you, and you've got hope. Maybe you don't have everything you want or need right now, but you've got hope. You can believe that things can change. I hope I'm making myself clear. I want to be the real deal. I want to be at home behind closed doors what I am when I'm standing up here talking to you. Amen? And I can tell you for sure I didn't start out that way.
Now, how I got from Philippians to Colossians, I don't know, but, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling". I think this is such an important verse, and it concerns me that maybe we don't fully understand it. "Work out, (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete, fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling self-distrust", I like that, "with serious caution, tenderness of conscience". Boy, it's important that we have a tender conscience. It's so important that we don't get to the point where wrong things don't bother us anymore. I don't want to get to the point where, when I hear somebody taking the Lord's name in vain, it doesn't bother me. I don't want to get to the point where I can laugh at a dirty joke that somebody's telling, and not be convicted by that.
Come on, we got to be in the world, but not let it get on us. We can't become like it. "Oh well, that kind of stuff doesn't matter". Yeah, well, it really does actually. "Watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ". I don't know, but I sense a holiness in that scripture. And boy, verse 13, "Not in your strength". You can't work out this salvation in your own strength. It's something that you've got to have God's help to do. And I tell you, one of the greatest prayers you can pray, and praying it 100 times a day is probably good, "God, help me, I can do nothing without you. Apart from you, I can do nothing".
I never come up here that I don't say to God, "Apart from you, I can do nothing. If you don't help me, I'll mess this up". Just because I've done it thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of times, I never have the attitude, "Well, I've practiced, I've done this a lot, piece of cake". No, "God, I am going to make a fool out of myself if you don't show up and help me". Amen? Look at me and let me tell you something. You nor I, we can do nothing without Christ, absolutely nothing without Christ, but we can do all things with him. And if we don't hear part two, then we shouldn't even be talking about part one. Because if you preach too much, "You can do nothing without Christ, nothing without Christ", then people kind of get this, "I can do nothing, can't do nothing, can't do anything. God's got to do it all, God's got to do it".
Well, you're a partner with God and a participator with God. And you can't do anything without him, but let me tell you something, even though he can do whatever he wants to, he doesn't do much without you. Nah, you don't know if you want to clap for that or not, do you? Why do you think he's given each and every one of us gifts and abilities and talents? We are his personal representatives in the earth. The Bible says that God is making his appeal through us. Can I tell you something? You're the only Jesus that your co-workers are going to see. Come on, don't make me get that fence back out here. Listen, stop just depending on the 10 or 12 preachers that you know. I don't want that pressure, it's not all up to me.
"Well, Joyce will get the world saved", or whoever you like, you know, Chris or whatever, Billy Graham, I don't know. No, let me tell you something. There's people that only you can reach. There's people whose lives only you can affect. And I firmly believe that God has strategically placed us... even the place you live is on purpose. God has strategically placed you at the perfect place in the universe, and we are everywhere. But we just got to turn the lights on. You know what? I understand the potential that's in this room. I understand what can happen in the Holy Ghost if we can all just get ourselves off of our minds long enough to actually let God do what he wants to do through us.
You know, we think persecution is to have a hangnail. We think persecution is somebody at work doesn't want to invite us to eat lunch. We need to go back and read the New Testament, and see what these people went through. And Paul said, "So what? The suffering that I'm going through is nothing compared to the glory that's about to be revealed". Amen? Boy, if you're having a hard time hanging on right now, if you're having a hard time resisting compromise, if you're having a hard time taking a stand, let me tell you something, don't give up. Because when Jesus parts the sky and comes back and that trumpet blows, you are going to be so glad. Man, are you going to be glad that you hung in there. Verse 14, "Do all things without grumbling and fault-finding and complaining against God and questioning and doubting among yourselves".
You know, the whole world's complaining. People that don't have jobs complain because they don't have jobs. People that do have jobs complain about their jobs. People that aren't married complain because they're lonely. And people that are married complain because now they've got somebody to be around all the time. Verse 15, Philippians 2:15, "That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent, uncontaminated, children of God without blemish, (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and a perverted and a perverse generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in a [dark] world". Well, that kind of says it, doesn't it? Amen? You know what? Everybody wants to be a star. Well, why don't you just go be a star for Jesus, amen?
Hebrews 11:24, it's decision time. "Aroused by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and had become great", now I like this, "he had become great, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter because he preferred to share the oppression [and suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life". Moses walked away from royalty in Egypt. He walked away from being considered to be great because he realized there was something much more important going on, and that this life was not the only life that he had.
Now, watch what it says in verse 26. "He considered the contempt and the abuse and the shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah who was to come) to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt". We need to consider our relationship with Jesus and being ready when Christ comes back to be much greater than any treasure that we could ever have here on this earth, amen? So what if you don't get the promotion that you'd like to have at work because you refuse to compromise? Big deal, you'll get a bigger promotion in heaven. Amen? So what happens if you lose a few friends because they're kinda threatened by your Christianity? So what if you lose a few friends and maybe you're a little bit lonely for a while? You know what? What if Jesus becomes your best friend in the process? Now, that'll be pretty cool, won't it? Amen?
Yeah, sometimes there are trade-offs. Sometimes, there are things that you have to walk away from if you take a strong stand for Christ. How many of you find that out in the world today, it is challenging to really think about doing what I'm talking about? I mean, especially for people who work out in the business field, it's difficult for people. I'm encouraging you to get out there and shine, and not to compromise. Make the same kind of decisions that Moses had to make. Now, behavior. Boy, it's so important how we behave because that's all people see. They don't see your heart, they see your behavior. And no matter how sweet you are inside, some of it's gotta show up on the outside sooner or later.
Sometimes, I think we got to just quit telling God how right our hearts are, and get around to doing what he's telling us to do. Let me just put it a different way. How many of you know that sometimes, we make a lot of excuses for our stinkin' behavior? Okay, you know what? Nothing changes till the excuses go. Oh, you didn't get it. I'll sit down, I'm tired. I said nothing changes till the excuses go. It doesn't. You know, nothing changed for me until I stopped blaming my bad behavior on the fact that my father had sexually abused me for 15 years. Nothing changed until I stopped using that for an excuse. And you know what God finally told me? He said, "It's the reason you are the way you are, but don't let it become an excuse to stay that way".
Question of the day
Joyce: Well, I hope the teaching today was very helpful to you. And now Ginger joins with me to answer some of your questions about the thought life. Well, we should not run out of questions today.
Ginger: There are many questions about this topic. It's such a big topic, and it's something that we never finish renewing our mind. It's an ongoing process, so there's always something new that comes up. We have great questions from people needing some help. Tanelle from Texas says, "I feel a lot of pressure and fear of failure when it comes to renewing my mind. When I make mistakes, it's very hard for me to recover and not feel condemned. So, how do you renew your mind but still be happy with yourself even when you're not perfect"?
Joyce: You know, just this morning God was dealing with me about a couple of different things, which you know, I think for most of us, it's a regular or a semi-regular thing. And I've really come to appreciate that, and not let that bother me or condemn me. And the thing that I was thinking this morning, and I hope that this will help the woman asking the question is that even though I have an area or two or three where God is showing me that I need to come up higher, or that, you know, I'm doing something wrong, I know that even during that, he still loves me completely. And I do believe that so many of the issues that people deal with, insecurity, fear of failure, fears of rejection, I really believe it's connected to not being 100% sure that God loves us unconditionally. And I was kind of thinking about that word "Unconditionally". And I think that we've thrown that word around so much that maybe it just kind of passes our, we don't grasp it like we should. And so, when I thought that this morning, even in the midst of dealing with this, and it was something about thoughts. It was something about thoughts and the way I think about some people that would tend to annoy me.
Ginger: Which we all deal with all the time.
Joyce: And I thought, "You know what? Even in the midst of this, God still loves me completely". I kind of like the word "Completely". You know, there's never a moment in our lives, Ginger, when God doesn't love us. I mean, he doesn't want us to do wrong things because it hurts us. I mean, yes, maybe it hurts him, too, but it hurts us, and it hurts our relationships with people. And so, when God corrects us, I mean, the Bible says in Hebrews 12 that it's always because he loves us. And I think if people can just remember that we're not on some kind of a mission to buy God's love all the time with our perfect behavior, then you can even receive correction with joy because you know that it's for your benefit.
Ginger: And it's really that he cares more about our progress than he does about our failures along the way.
Ginger: We have to have those.
Joyce: And he wants us to celebrate that, not get so focused on what you do wrong that you don't see how much you've changed.
Ginger: Right, celebrating that progress, great. This is a question from Louisiana. And they say, "My background is like yours, except I had an alcoholic mother also. I grew up never knowing what love was. Now, as a Christian, I know I have been saved in my head, but how do I change my thoughts so that I feel it in my heart"?
Joyce: The only way to change our thoughts, and I think, you know, even to say, "How do I change my thoughts"? It's something that God has to help us do. I'm not saying we don't have a part in it, because the Bible does say that we are to cast down wrong thoughts. But everything goes back to it's not just that I need to renew my mind, but my mind is renewed through studying the Word of God.
Ginger: That's an important difference.
Joyce: Yeah, there's no other way, because the word is truth, and it has power. And thoughts that don't agree with the word are lies. And they have power, too, but negative power. And everything that God offers always trumps anything the enemy gives us. So, instead of fighting with thoughts and, let's just say that I'm having all these thoughts about something that somebody did that hurt me. And I just keep having angry thoughts, and I keep having thoughts of revenge, and I keep having thoughts about, you know, self-pitying thoughts or whatever. "They shouldn't have treated me that way". I don't think that I can just fight that. I think that we fight the good fight of faith with the Word of God. That is the sword of the spirit.
And so, what I would do in a situation like that, if I was going through something like that, I would certainly pray. And if I didn't get a breakthrough just from prayer, then I would purposely look up scriptures that I knew that were telling me that anger doesn't promote the righteousness that God deserves, and that God is the one who brings justice in my life. He is my recompense. I can trust him to do those things. And I have found for me that the power that's in the word is what will calm my soul down. And my mind is part of my soul. And then sometimes I just have to talk to myself a little bit using scripture and just saying, "Well, you know, Joyce, you don't do everything right either. And there's times when you hurt people's feelings and probably don't even know it. And you know, Joyce, God forgives you umpteen times every day, so you can forgive somebody else". So, we have to let the word do the renewing of our mind.
Ginger: Yeah, very good. And that actually answered the next question perfectly, because she was asking, what are those practical steps? Is it reading the Bible? Is it being diligent? Is it trusting the Holy Spirit? And it's all those things.
Joyce: Yeah, and let me just say that reading the Bible I don't think is our answer. I've seen this so clearly in the last two years, especially that I need to keep bringing that to people. It's not just reading the Bible. I mean, I hate to say this, but that phrase almost aggravates me anymore because we hear that all the time, "Do you read your Bible? Do you read your Bible"? But we need to study the Bible. There's a difference in just glancing over something, or even perhaps reading it just to...
Ginger: "I did it".
Joyce: Yeah, just to say, "I did it", or...
Ginger: "Got that done today".
Joyce: Hurry up, "Got that done today". There's a difference in that and studying. And I tell people all the time, and I just feel like we should say this today, if you're having problems with your mind, first of all, God's the one that has to make the changes in us. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have any part in it, because we obviously do. But there are some things that you have enough information on that, I mean, there are times when I have a bad thought, and I can just cast it down and go on about my business. But there are times, too, when maybe if there's a real strong emotion involved, or it's a lifetime habit, then I'm going to need a little more help than just casting down, because I can cast down, it'll come back 500 times a day. So, that's when I need to go to the Word and study in the area where I'm having the problem. I think a lot of times people just try to buckshot apply the word. And it has to be in the area where we're having the problem. I tell people all the time, you know, if I've got a bad temper, reading a book on success is not going to help my temper. I need to study in the area where I'm having a problem. If I have a headache, I don't stick a band-aid on my head. So, we need to get smart enough to apply the word just like it was medicine for our soul.
Ginger: So, you're talking about digging in. I mean, this isn't something that we want to take lightly, because it's life-changing. So, when God gives us all of these tools, he gives us his Holy Spirit, he gives us his word. So, we need to take that stance of I'm going to do what it takes to let him help me through this.
Joyce: Yeah, something I'm thinking right now that people could do, okay, instead of getting a series of my CDs and just listening to them while you're riding in the car, which that's great, you know. Never hurts us to listen more than once, listen to it going to work and coming home. But if you're really struggling in an area, sit down with those CDs, get your Bible out, get some paper out. And every time I mention a scripture, even if I quote it, open your Bible and look at it. There's something about looking at it that helps get it in you. Even when I'm studying to preach, if it's something that I've preached ten times before, I still get my Bible out, and I look at the scriptures, because there's power in that word.
Ginger: And for me, it's writing it down too. Something about writing it on a piece of paper makes me remember it, makes me think about it in a deeper way.
Joyce: I totally agree with that. And sometimes even just to look up definitions of words are helpful. So, I don't want people to think that study the Bible is so ominous that, "Oh, well i, you know, I can't do that". There is so much information available to us today that there is absolutely no excuse really for anybody not to know the word. It's just a matter of taking the time.
Ginger: It's an investment.
Joyce: It is an investment.
Ginger: Yeah. I love this question because this really takes it down to the very basics that are so important. This question comes from New York, and they say, "I would love some advice on a simple way to talk about our thoughts and renewing our mind with our children, in my case a 9 year old". The earlier we start, the better off we are. So, how do we explain what this is that God helps us with?
Joyce: Well, you know, that's a question I've never had to answer, so this is going to be strictly a lean on God thing. I think maybe the first thing to do would be to help your children realize that they do have a conversation going on in their head all the time. I think that a lot of times, even for me as an adult, I had no idea the effect that my thoughts were having on me. I mean, I guess I knew that I had thoughts, but nobody had ever... I'd never talked about having thoughts. It was just something I had all my life, but wasn't really paying any, I mean, I wasn't...
Ginger: Just happens.
Joyce: Yeah, I wasn't even aware that my thoughts could make me miserable, they could make me happy. So, I think the first thing to do is to make them aware that they have thoughts all the time, and how important they are. And so, let's just say maybe then take advantage of things that happen. Like, if your child gets mad at somebody, then talk to them about, "Now, what kind of things are you thinking right now about this person? And you could choose to think something different. So, instead of thinking, 'I'm mad at them', let's write on a piece of paper, 'I forgive my friend for hurting my feelings'". And then you can even, "We'll say that together out loud six or seven times a day, and it will help you renew your mind". So, I think maybe applying that to certain instances. And to make that part of what you talk about in your home on some kind of a semi-regular basis. Not that you have to just talk about thoughts all day long, but thoughts and words, wow. I was thinking this morning, I thought... Oh, it was yesterday. I was walking, and I was praying, and I thought, "Lord, wouldn't it be awesome if I could just recall every negative, unkind, wrong thought that I've ever had", I mean words that I've spoken in my whole life. Amazing, just imagine how that would change our lives. And of course, we can't recall them all, but we can start making changes and doing things right so it will take over the harvest of what we've done wrong in the past.
Ginger: Oh, I think that's a very good answer. I mean, it's so helpful not only for a 9 year old, but for any of us. It's just great to understand the power not only of our thoughts, but the power of the Holy Spirit to help us change our entire outlook, the way that we deal with everything by being just immersed in God's word.
Joyce: And we do have not only "Battlefield of the Mind", but we have "Battlefield of the Mind for Teenagers", and we have "Battlefield of the Mind for Kids". And so we tried to bring it down to a level that a younger child could understand, focusing on the things that they might be dealing with. So, I don't even know if the person who asked the question was aware of that, so.
Ginger: Yeah, and they're available online.
Joyce: I think we're out of time, is that right?
Ginger: You did great, thank you.