Changing our Minds
If your anything like me changing your mind or making a concrete decision is all dependent on the circumstances. For example, when I was a little girl every once in a while my dad would let me walk over to the candy aisle while he pumped gas and select my favorite candy bar. The struggle was I didn’t have a favorite candy bar. I liked ALL the candy bars! So choosing just one was a MAJOR decision. I remember my dad getting agitated when I just stood staring down the aisle reaching out and then reaching back again scared to make a decision I’d regret. Here’s the real issue, I STILL do this! 🤦🏼♀️ As a child, I remember thinking making decisions is hard! Boy was I right! The decision was eventually made, of course, because the circumstances demanded a response. I knew I couldn’t walk away from the candy aisle without the goods so regret or no regret I was making a decision.
Since I’m bearing my soul now, here’s another example: I’ve just turned sixteen years old and like every new driver I want/NEED a car for my 16th birthday. I’m, of course, very certain that if my parents do not gift me a car for my birthday they are certainly the world’s worst parents and I live the saddest life known to man. (heavy sarcasm here) To my most confident surprise, I arrived home from school to a brand new ford focus. One should be elated here, jumping for joy, and praising the good Lord Jesus. Not I. I was devastated, to say the least. Let’s hear the facts first so you can further sympathize with my selfish sixteen-year-old self. Upon my sister’s 14th birthday my parents bought a shiny blue mustang with white pinstripes. The exact car she had requested. When she rolled up at school friends waved and pointed out of pure jealousy. It was all any reasonable sixteen years old wanted, right? On the other hand, when I pulled up to school in my dark gray hatchback ford focus no one bothered to break a neck or even point. I don’t think a soul on the campus knew I had arrived. So you understand my struggle now. (insert laughter and head nods)
Onto the changing of minds portion. After a few hours of uncontrollable crying, pouting, and embarrassing tantrums I sat quietly in my room staring at the walls humiliated at my actions. My dad wrote me a letter slipped it under my door and as I read it I wept. Not over my new car and how others would perceive me in it but, of my poor decision making. What a selfless act of two parents working hard and striving for so much just to have it all shoved back into their faces by their own child. I was ashamed, to say the least. I wanted to change my mind. Wanted to make it all right and have it all be forgotten. But how? It was simple. I walked out of my room with my head hung low found my dad and repented on the spot. “I’m sorry I made such a big deal over the car. I appreciate what you’ve done. I will be glad to drive this car. Thank you, dad.” (I’m sure it went something like that) He hugged me like only he can, tight and full of promise. We walked outside took a long overview of all the car had to offer. I sat inside gripped the stirring wheel and instantly I knew this was a gift I was so glad I had not turned away. I was so happy I had changed my mind. So happy I had repented and made it all right again. I knew this car would take me places, show me things, bring new adventures into my life. I knew this decision I had just made would be one of the best decisions of my life.
Repentance is not just a simple choice, it is a change of mind. It’s setting yourself on a different path. For many of us, it’s a lifestyle change. It’s a change in relationships, atmospheres, and environments. There’s so much more that goes into repentance than just the simple prayer we pray at church. It’s more than confession it’s accountability. That’s why the Bible tells us to confess our sins one to another that we may be healed. James 5:16. Healing doesn’t come from repeating a prayer after the pastor on a Sunday morning when you are grieving a bad decision. Healing comes from facing the tough issues in ourselves, from digging to the root of our sin and plucking it out one day at a time. Healing happens through relationships. Allowing others to hold us accountable and being vulnerable about what tempts our soul. God works through people. People love us, hug us, support us, pray for us, feed us, laugh with us and mourn with us. People are the extension of God’s grace in our lives.
When I read over the letter my dad wrote to me after I had just made a mess of a wonderful situation I realized God’s unhappiness with my actions. It was the goodness of God, through my dad’s words, that drew me back to repentance.
“Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realize that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness[a] is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance?”
Romans 2:4 (TPT)
My challenge to you, friends, is to allow other trusting Christian friendships to gain more weight in your life. Change your mind about those things that the Lord has been pressing on you about. Repent to God and confess those things to others you trust. Ask them to keep you accountable. Ask them to carry these burdens with you and pray for your full restoration in God. Ask them to uphold you in love. Ask them to share with you in life’s struggles and victories. Open your heart to others and your heart will be opened all the more to the love of God.
I believe as we do this God will open the eyes of our hearts to those around us who need to change their minds. Those who need a revelation of the grace of God just as we did. To be commissioned by God we must have been a mission by others. Someone reached out to me and caused me to see the need in reaching back.
Changing your mind today can change your life tomorrow. Changing your life can change someone’s mind.