Proverbs 31 Womans Devotional - Encouragement for Today

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Preach to Yourself - Encouragement for Today - November 21, 2018

Hayley Morgan

November 21, 2018
Preach to Yourself

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2a (NIV)

Let’s kick this off with an honest confession, can we?

It’s easy for me to get stuck in my head. Our brains are like the command centers of our bodies, telling our muscles to move, helping us speak, and a billion other things (some of which scientists don’t even totally understand yet). Our brains are powerful parts of us, but they’re also made of flesh. And that means our brains and our thoughts can be difficult to wrangle. I’m often reminded of the fact that my brain is just human when I’m faced with how out-of-control my thoughts can become.

Maybe you’re like that, too? That whooshing and whirring, loud and purring brain of mine can feel like it never, ever stops. I can actually get tired of hearing myself think.

From the moment I tip over the side of my bed and plant my feet on the ground, my mind gets going. I’m pretty sure other people can actually see my mind whirring behind my eyes. I’m always thinking, always wondering, always curious. This is how God made me, and I love it, most of the time! However, like every great attribute, there is a darker side that trips me up.

Even before breakfast, I’ve had 1,000 thoughts, and not all of them agree with each other. How chaotic and confusing! This internal frustration oftentimes keeps me from obeying God in the small but important things He asks of me. I’ve already expended all my energy chasing after the loops of bad news playing in my head.

I can’t do this.

I am not enough.

Nothing is ever going to change.

I spend a lot of energy wrangling my thoughts. I am my own worst critic, and I say things to myself on repeat that I’d never ever say to someone else. My mind is not a very good friend to me sometimes.

But, like everything in the life of following God, there’s good news! The Bible shows us a way out of the mess of our minds, and God actually wants to change our minds.

According to brain science, when we think the same things over and over, our brains are designed to make a sure path so thinking is easier next time. This is great when you imagine a task like making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You’d hate to have to get out a cookbook every time you pack a lunch. It’s nice to just remember how to do a simple task.

However, this same design can work against us when we look at negative thought patterns. Essentially every time you think about something, you make connections within your brain that make it more likely you’ll head down that same thought path again and soon.

So, when you think “I can’t do this,” pretty soon you’ll be hearing that a lot more often in your head. Your brain behaves as though you’d like to access that thought quickly and makes a path for you to do so. However, “I can’t do this” is not the most helpful thought to think on repeat, especially when you’re trying to be obedient to God.

However, the Bible tells us that if we renew our minds, God will transform them: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a).

When we break the negative thought patterns and turn our minds toward God, He changes the way we think.

Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Uncover your personal bad news. Ask yourself: What do I tell myself every day that doesn’t agree with the truth of God?
  2. As those thoughts come, notice them and call them out. Don’t let those thoughts run through your mind untended. Notice your personal bad news loop, and then mentally call it out every time you encounter it.
  3. Replace that bad news with the Good News. Find Scripture that talks back to your bad news with truth. Repeat that Scripture often to begin to rewire your mind.

Father, thank You for the way You created my mind. I’m not able to control all my thoughts on my own … it would be impossible; there are so many! But, You’ve shown me a way to make my mind more like You, Lord. Thank You. Please change my mind, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (NIV)

We know Christ came to speak life, but then why does our inner critic keep showing up and stealing the mic? If we’re honest, she’s a harsh one, saying things we’d never dream of saying to others: You’ll never measure up, you’ll fail again tomorrow, you just can’t get it right. If your heart struggles to believe truth, you’ll appreciate Preach to Yourself: When Your Inner Critic Comes Calling, Talk Back with Truth by Hayley Morgan.

Follow Hayley on Instagram, or stop by her Facebook page.

How’d you like to win your own copy of Preach to Yourself by Hayley Morgan? In celebration of this new book, Zondervan is giving away five copies! Just leave us a comment today, and you’re automatically entered to win. {We’ll notify the winners in the comments section by Monday, November 26.}

What do you hear your mind telling you on repeat every day? Spend a few minutes asking God why that might be the thing you’re stuck on.

© 2018 by Hayley Morgan. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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