Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting rid of stinking thinking...

She'll turn two on Thanksgiving Day.
Before you know it, the diaper stage will be over and she'll be potty trained.
Let me tell you, that sweet little girlie can clear a room
and now she's old enough to announce the fact by yelling out the word, "poopy",
as if we all didn't already know.

Sometimes we assume that our "stinking thinking" is something we can keep to ourselves,
but the truth is, our mindsets are obvious, they show in the way we speak, in our actions.
And sometimes, we are giving off a fragrance that is anything but the fragrance of Christ.

I remember as clear as can be,  the day when this key truth changed my life.
We were gathered around the typical church folding tables in the back room of the church, 
Bibles and notepads spread out in front of us.
A pastor friend of ours was teaching a Bible study on the renewing of the mind at our church.
Suddenly, it was as if I had a lightbulb moment, 
and I understood why so many people struggle in their walk with God.
At salvation, our spirit is born again, 
but our soul, (our mind, will and emotions), have yet to be restored and renewed.
The cleansing, restoring, transforming agent is the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in our life, with our cooperation, 
to renew our minds, to transform us.
This is not instantaneous, like our salvation, but a life long process.
So, it made perfect sense to me that if you don't understand this, how discouraging it would be to expect instant transformation at salvation, then become totally defeated and maybe even question your salvation when you are still struggling with old ways of thinking, reacting and responding.

"But I thought we are new creatures in Christ?" you may ask.
Yes, we are!
But, just like a new computer can be loaded with old software,
you are still "loaded" with the old ways of thinking formed throughout your life,
even after your salvation.

You may be acknowledging right now that you've got some "stinking thinking".
Like my little granddaughter,  you may be crying out "poopy!", but not know what to do about it.
I love the Word of God, because it has the answers!

In Ephesians 4:22-25 it shows us clearly the step by step process to renew our minds,
to exchange our "stinking thinking" for the mind of Christ.

-First of all, verse twenty two says "strip off...".
All too often, we want to receive the exciting new truths of God's Word that we read or hear,
and put them on right on top of our old thinking.
That is about as effective as putting a clean diaper on top of a messy one.
The old smell is going to leak right through!
We must see our old ways of thinking for what they are and choose to discard 
the old unrenewed thoughts and ways.

-Verse twenty three says, "be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, 
having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude. (Amplified Bible)
This is the "washing" part of the change.
Once you recognize that the old ways of thinking, reacting and responding stinks, 
you need to not only take it off, but wash!
Taking the "poopy" diaper off a baby isn't sufficient.
There's a whole lot of baby wipes, and sometimes a whole bath, 
involved in removing the offensive smell.
Ephesians 5:26 says that Jesus cleanses us with the washing of the water of the Word.
but there is a cleansing that we need to partake of that comes through the Word,
the cleansing of our old mindsets through partaking of the Truth.

-Verse twenty four is all about putting on the "clean diaper". 
 It says to put on the new nature.
This is simply choosing to accept and receive the Truth and receiving it as your new way of thinking.
No matter how much you think it doesn't make sense, 
no matter how much your flesh doesn't like it,
no matter how contrary it is to the cultural norm, 
what God's Word says is true, and our thinking must line up with it.

-Verse twenty five sums it up by telling us how to keep our thinking right,
 how to walk in the victory of a renewed mind.
It simply says, "reject all falsity".
We must live a lifestyle of continual submission to God's Spirit and Word,
and rejection of all thoughts, emotions and choices that are contrary.

Our thoughts, our mindsets, set the direction for our lives.
If they don't line up with the plumbline of God's Word, 
it doesn't take long for us to totally get off course.
I want my thoughts, words and deeds to line up with God's Word and His will.
It starts with my thoughts.
I don't want to struggle with "stinking thinking",
I want the sweet fragrance of the mind of Christ,
I want my thoughts to line up with the heart of God and the truth of His Word.

still following,

(I encourage you to study this topic for yourself,  
look up what the Bible says about renewing the mind and restoring the soul.  
Some books that I found helpful are The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane, 
Renewing the Mind by Casey Treat, 
Lord I Want to be Whole by Stormie Omartian.)



  1. Oh my word being a Mimi to a 16 month old, this post spoke to my heart. So very true - our stinkin' thinking does not stay confined to ourselves. Great post!

    1. You are so right, and I'm sure that when our thinking does not line up with God's Word, it doesn't smell so great to Him, either!

  2. Wow... what a great message in your post. And something that I have been wondering about. It is so awesome to read things that I can picture in my head to remember. Instead of thinking I should read my Bible more... I will just think of poopy and what I should do about it. Great! Thank you honey... love, Patty

    1. Yes, this illustration may be crude, but you won't soon forget it! I guess it does the job!

  3. Right on, my friend! Good words today.

  4. Beautiful analogy, Elizabeth. And it has to be so moment by moment, doesn't it! Retraining our thoughts doesn't just....poof...magically happen.

    Great Words. And what a precious little girl. Even with a poopy diaper. :)


    1. Thanks, Julie. The illustration may be "crude" but it gets the point across...and I'm quite sure that our stinking thinking, especially our wrong thinking about God's character, doesn't smell too great to Him!

  5. What an excellent message! And what great analogies you used! I'm not likely to forget them! Which is a good thing, because I do get into bouts of "stinkin thinkin," and even at my age am not yet completely free of the need for spiritual "diaper changes," wipe-ups, and even full baths! Thank you!

    1. When God gave me this analogy years ago, I share it whenever I teach on the renewing of the mind. If you can remember the steps in changing a diaper, you will remember the steps in mind renewal. :)

  6. "Stinkin thinkin" is something I have to work on every day. Lately, I have been using the "Jesus Calling" devotional first thing in the morning. Boy has this helped me all through the rest of my day. I have noticed a change in my thinking...a good change. Thank-you, Jesus.

  7. What a Word, girlfriend, and a timely reminder for me to abandon some "stinkin thinkin" of my own.


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