UV 2794/10000 Biblical Patterns of Life : Thought Pattern
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12 v 2
This uni-verse, in the first part, exhorts us not to be conformed to this world. In the second part of this verse, we are encouraged to transform ourselves by renewing our minds with the Word. It is a clear choice between conforming to the patterns of this world or the patterns of His word. We renew ourselves when we conform to the biblical patterns or the patterns of the Book in which the Lord who became word has revealed what is good, acceptable and perfect. The biblical patterns are what are good, acceptable and perfect.
Our lives and our behaviour, our strengths and weaknesses, our successes and failures all follow a pattern that is first set in our minds. The Bible sets forth these preferred or perfect patterns – a pattern of thought, a pattern of beliefs, a pattern of attitudes, a pattern of behaviour, a pattern of emotions, a pattern of speech, a pattern of aspirations, a pattern of decision making, a pattern of efforts, a pattern of responses and reactions to the stimuli of this world as well as our experiences in this world, a pattern of prayer, praise and worship, a pattern of seeking to satisfy financial or material needs in this world, a pattern of seeking fulfilment, greatness or immortality, a pattern of relationships. All these patterns together constitute what management calls a paradigm. These patterns have the approval of the Lord. These patterns maximise our joy, our influence, our impact, our fulfilment, our potential. These patterns are God-approved, God-anointed, God-enabled, God-blessed. The patterns of this world are obviously not good, not acceptable to the Lord, not perfect. The patterns of this world are either evil or unacceptable or imperfect. It may not even be apparently evil but could be a mix of good and evil. It may even start out by appearing to be good and turn out to be evil and harmful. To give an example, Tony Robbins, the well known NLP trainer who made immense wealth teaching people to use NLP to overcome their personal issues in recent seminars uses extreme foul or “taboo” language in an attempt to break the pattern of thought of members of his audience. This “tactic” is neither good nor acceptable. Another example, is the famous book, “The Secret” which teaches the readers to think that they can be and do whatever they think. It has led to delusionary behaviour and irrational decision making by many of its readers.
To take up first, the pattern of thought. The world faces the problem of excessive negativity, of negative patterns of thinking as a result of a series of negative thoughts and experiences that put human beings on an automatic negative thought process. The negative thought pattern has a highly corrosive and debilitating effect on all of our other patterns and even our pattern of relationships in the family and in the workplace. The world and its thinkers and thought leaders have come up with partial solutions for negative thought patterns and have variously called it positive thinking, positive psychology, rational emotive therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP, systems thinking, gestalt and so on. But the biblical pattern summed up by St Paul in His epistles to both the Romans and Thessalonian believers is “ Cling to what is good, let go of what is evil.” It is a dual process much like our breathing pattern or the beat of our hearts. When I first received this revelation, I called it Equilibrium Thinking or eqthinking for short. The Holy Spirit has revealed that it is the key to the human mind. It has an impact on all our other life patterns like emotions, decisions, efforts, aspirations, relationships, successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses. The biblical pattern of thought is to cling for dear life to what is true, pure, noble, good, wise, perfect, praiseworthy, beneficial and to let go, abhor, flee from, reject, eject, refuse what is negative or evil. The believer has the grace of Christ, the enabler, the One who is not only perfect but also anointed to perfect others, to adopt and consistently follow this pattern of thought. We have to take every thought captive to Christ or bring it to His examination. The Word will reveal over time what is good, God-approved, acceptable, perfect thought patterns and we only need to conform to this pattern. The daily intake of the Word and constantly measuring our thoughts against the standard pattern of the Word will renew our minds in Christ. The Holy Spirit will give both help, power and counsel to be aware of our thought patterns and cause it to conform to the biblical pattern of “clinging to what is good and letting go of what is evil.” Clinging implies being committed, persistent, consistent, obsessed with the positive thoughts while at the same time, releasing ourselves from the clutches of the pattern of negative thoughts. This holistic thought process would improve over time our decision-making, our speech pattern, our behaviour pattern, our success-failure pattern, our strength-weakness pattern, our emotional pattern, our relationship pattern. Our intellects, our emotions, our wills, our lives are being constantly renewed in the image of Christ as we adopt and practice the biblical pattern of thought.
Prateep V Philip