As a 15 year old really experiencing God for the first time, I remember being in times of worship, looking around and observing people crying.
Why is everyone crying? I wondered. Does being a Christian mean I am going to cry more?
That's a funny thought, because years later I realize yes, that is true.
True for different reasons than I initially thought. God continues to show us how His heart breaks for nations, situations and people so that we can partner with Him in prayer. And it isn't a bad thing to cry, in fact it shows us that there are deeper things going on that are above ourselves.
But when is enough?
Living in a Christian community, being a feeler and a thinker I observe how much we all struggle. That isn't always a bad thing. Until it takes over. It's almost easier to give into the lies, fear and wrong thoughts because temporally we feel it helps. It's less work to understand our thoughts than it is to just give into them.
However, there is Scripture all throughout the Bible that tells us to think on those things that are heavenly. Philippians chapter 4, verse 8 says, "finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Let's be honest, our own thoughts don't always fall into one of these categories.
If Romans chapter 12, verse 2 says, "we will be transformed by the renewing of our mind", then how do we renew our thoughts?
The original meaning of the word transformed means; a renewal, renovation, a complete change for the better. Moreover, to cause to grow up, to make new. A renovation may take weeks, months or even years but when you can visibly see changes, you know it was for the better and hopefully you are satisfied with the outcome.
Furthermore, the original meaning of the word perfect means; full grown, adult, mature. As well as end; termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be. The word perfect was not meant to be read how we perceive it, in this context. We are in a process of maturing.
When change and transformation happen and we remember that He knows everything and is not afraid, we are able to exchange for greater. Just like when you renovate a kitchen, you may change an old bathtub in exchange for greater, a new bathtub.
With this in mind, we can take steps to move forward, choosing not to play stuck in the mud. Knowing when we renew our minds, think on what is commendable and worthy of praise we are changing for the better and walking into maturity.
Havilah Cunnington says in her book, The Good Stuff, "You always get to choose your response because it's your responsibility, it falls within the boundaries of your personal yard. Don't let the lie that the enemy feeds you: "you are always going to be this way" or "you'll never think that way" stay in your mind. He is a liar and he knows if you start to change your mind, you will change your life and eventually your effectiveness of the Kingdom."
When we are really honest with ourselves, admit that things are not always okay, it moves us from feeling stuck, into being proactive. God is given glory in the process, as we are stepping into greatness and moving into who we are designed to be.
Rebecca Bowie is a young Christian who is intentionally seeking after Gods heart and striving to love people with everything. Now living in Brisbane Australia, was formerly living in London, England. She's a full-time volunteer at Youth with a Mission.
Rebecca Bowie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/becki-bowie.html