Your goal should always be to please God, not other humans. It requires meeting a higher standard than the world offers. But with God by your side, that is possible.

Your behavior and actions begin with your mind. What you place in your mind, what you spend your time thinking about, what you plan, and what you conceive are the beginnings of what you will become. God is interested in what you place in your mind. He knows the temptations to fill it with filth, greed, and lust. That's why He is also ready to help you renew your mind with His thinking.

How to renew your mind:

  • Place your life before God as an offering. When you yield your heart, thoughts, and actions to Him, He will show you your potential. Potential is what God knows you can become, which is more than you ever dreamed possible for your life. If you will bring your messed-up life to God - with all its weaknesses, failures, and limited abilities - He will bless you with His presence and the renewing of your mind.

  • Embrace what God does for you. None of us is wise enough to make it through this world on our own. We all need God's wisdom, insights, and guidance. God never leaves us; it is us who walk away from Him.

  • Don't sink into the culture. Many people go through life adapting to the latest fad or trend. The only change you should make is becoming more like God. You're supposed to influence others for good, not follow them down the tubes. The Bible says, Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17).

  • Know you live in a misdirected society. Instead of being guided by God, most people take their clues from other people. Our culture used to fear God - not trembling and shaking, but with respect for His awesome nature. When our culture stopped fearing God, we began fearing people. We worry about road rage and people carrying guns. We fear being looked down upon or talked about.

  • Christians need to be society's pacesetters. Jesus told His disciples, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48). We can get hung up on the word perfect, since none of us can possibly be perfect. But the Greek root of perfect means complete. When you set your mind on God, you will be complete in Him and find the strength to finish the tasks He calls you to do.

  • A renewed mind enables you to follow God's will. God's will is not as difficult as you try to make it. God's will is that you look at Him, walk with Him, and obey Him. When you set your mind on Him, you will find it easier to make decisions. You will know what to do, when to speak, and when to listen.

From Rescued by the Cross by Ken Freeman with Ken Walker. Copyright (c) 1999 by Ken Freeman. Used by permission of Howard Publishing Co, Inc., West Monroe, La., 1-800-858-4109.

Ken Freeman survived a troubled childhood of abuse and neglect to receive God's healing powers and begin a ministry of hope to young people and their families. In contrast to his horror-filled childhood, Ken's adult home life is a miracle of God. He and his wife, Debbie, have been married 25 years and have two sons.