Crafting The Right Mindset
‘Hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.’
— Luke 8:15 NRSV
Jesus’ words about bearing fruit with “patient endurance” (steadily, over the long haul) predate neurological science by almost two millennia, but since He designed the brain, it shouldn’t surprise us that, scientifically speaking, He was thousands of years ahead of His time in understanding human nature.
Neurologists (those who study the brain) now describe how our brains are literally and physiologically shaped by our experience over time. We fashion grooves in our brains that often direct our actions.
Repeated actions impact our brain so powerfully that whatever that action is becomes our default mode of response.
This explains how you learn to play an instrument. At first, you have to think about where to put your fingers when you see an A# on the musical score.
After a while, you see the A# and your fingers just go there. Even later, you don’t even need the musical score; you just play the A# because you know — without even thinking about it — it’s the note that comes next.
What was once an unconscious decision, after repetitive, intentional practice, becomes an unconscious reaction.
That’s neuroplasticity in action.
We sight-driven, situational people have to think about how to live by faith. We have to cultivate thankfulness and gratitude over grumbling and arguments. We have to cultivate prayerfulness over reasoning and logic. We have to be intentional rather than distracted.
We have to remind ourselves to think about our walk with God in love.
It’s not a choice; it’s a hundred choices, a thousand choices, and then a hundred thousand choices.
If we keep doing that, it’s like we’re planting a seed and then watering the ground, fertilizing around it, and weeding it. First we see the shoot, then the leaf, and finally the flower.
In other words, we can grow to be like Christ. In the language of neurology, developing the right mindset is “groovy.”
We create the grooves by what we do, what we think about, and how we respond until it becomes our default mode of relating.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for delivering me from slavery to sin and making me your child, a slave to righteousness.
Help me to obey from the heart the pattern of teaching that is alive to God through Jesus Christ. I am no longer a slave to sin, I am a child of God.
I offer every part of me as instrument of righteousness.
In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.