Taming Mr. Hyde
Have you ever woken up and realized you are not the person you want to be? Has it ever felt like someone else has moved into your body and wreaked havoc on your personality? Have you ever just wanted to pause, rewind, and do a reboot? I have.
It is the beginning of a beautiful weekend. I woke up to warm sunshine and the sound of birds chirping that spring is on it’s way, but something just isn’t well with my soul. Reflecting on this past week forces me to admit that I have turned into Mr. Hyde. I don’t like Mr. Hyde at all. Who let him inside? I did and I wasn’t even aware of it until it was too late and he was running around wreaking havoc. FORCE QUIT! REBOOT!
I am not clueless. I know that my thoughts have an effect on my behavior and my life overall. I understand that just as “we are what we eat” and must be careful what we put in our bodies, we must also be careful of what we put into our minds. Two scriptures come to mind:
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23)
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
I looked up the word heart in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology.
“Heart” (Hebrew lebab/leb [b’bel], Gk. kardia [kardiva]) occurs over one thousand times in the Bible, making it the most common anthropological term in the Scripture. It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional-intellectual-moral activities; sometimes it is used figuratively for any inaccessible thing. (BibleStudyTools)
So my heart is home to all my emotions, my morality, and my thoughts. No wonder I am told to guard it. Proverbs says out of my heart my life’s activities will flow. In examining this for myself, I can see that during the past week, out of my heart, as it dwelled upon feelings of envy and need, flowed negative behavior, anger, and general hurt. Ouch! Ok. So I am aware that my thoughts affect my life. What else am I aware of? I am aware that focusing on myself and my desires brings death to my soul.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
I find that being aware of God’s word isn’t enough. I have to put it into practice. God gave us His word to help us live in a broken world. Just as a loving father wants to help his children grow and thrive, our Heavenly Father, our creator, wants the best for His children. If I am honest, doing what is best isn’t always easy. Taking captive of my thoughts is hard and sometimes I am just too tired to try. Yet it’s what is best.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)
So how do I take my thoughts captive? How do I stop focusing on my flesh and my desires? I refocus on God and the things He says are good.
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. (Philippians 4:8)
I shall focus on what is TRUTH:
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior (Titus 1:1-3)
I shall focus on what is HONORABLE:
For kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:2)
I shall focus on what is RIGHT:
If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:29)
I shall focus on what is PURE:
But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:3-5)
I shall focus on what is LOVELY and COMMENDABLE:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
A transformed mind brings peace to the soul. My soul craves peace.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
So I believe it is time for Mr. Hyde to move along and bother somebody else. I am on the road of renewal.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)