By Stephen L France
Regret, anguish, sadness, and anger can’t turn back the clock…but seeking truth can.
Before I came to faith, I was on a one-man, self-righteous crusade for happiness through honest living, and good intentions. But I was compelled to acquaintance with despair and sadness, before I was rescued from the hypnotic whirlpool of prideful altruism.
Attempting to Transform the Mind Myself
I’ve been a thinker since I was a child. I also have a sharp memory for intricate detail.
Due to the analytical nature of my mind and a profound sadness from not accomplishing certain life goals, I’ve seen counsellors, therapists, hypnotherapists, psychologists, and life coaches from since I was 14 up to 30 years of age; I simply wanted peace and joy.
Among these professional sessions and the books I’ve read about ‘building a better you,’ ‘the law of attraction,’ and ‘bringing happiness into your life,’ nothing ever filled the void in my soul with sufficient truth.
All the answers these experts professed felt like a half measure – incomplete, and more a suppression of pain than actual healing of the wound.
Letting the Original Expert Do His Work
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
February 2015 at age 30, I came to read the Bible.
Since knowing God and His Word, there have been unusual, unexpected, and noticeable changes in my physical and mental expression – this isn’t about the list or quantity of changes here, but I wish to highlight examples of transformation that I’d thought impossible:
- I possess gratitude and appreciation so deep that I look forward to even the simplest part of my day – going to the gym, editing articles for my occupation, reading, or eating a batch of large, red grapes!
- Forgiving people – I don’t simply mean saying the words. I mean I’ve sincerely forgiven and further, wished goodness on many that have wronged me, proven in my reactions to them
- I don’t frown as much – this was a big issue for me for two decades
- I’m smiling more – usually, I could only smile when I’d had a few alcoholic beverages
- Profanity has vanished from my vocabulary by no conscious effort on my part
- I go out of my way to be around people – for the majority of my life, I’ve bordered on misanthropy
I can’t explain how this mental transformation is taking place other than my holding to God’s word and the divine life changing power of the Holy Spirit. There are questions of course:
Why is it that all the motivational books I read never felt like they offered complete answers?
Why is it that the professionals I went to see to help ‘fix me,’ didn’t succeed?
Why am I feeling real progress in my path to happiness with God, compared to physical and mental methods I tried on my own strength?
How can one very old book (the Bible) have such power to alter my brain mechanics, finally bringing me to true joy of life? How is this all possible?
I’m confident these questions will receive answers as I continue my journey; the significant revelation about all of this is that only God—the original architect—could have made these mental transformations possible.
I feel like a child again.
Rewinding the clock isn’t quite accurate, but there has definitely been a reset. It’s disorientating as I now live for every single day, not worrying about the future at all. I know it’s progress toward becoming the best version of myself (Matthew 5: 33 – 34), because previously I’d built myself on pride. After humbling myself before God, I needed to be deconstructed and rebuilt again, which is what is happening.
It’s odd to be witness to God’s transformation of my mind when I can remember—vividly—that nothing else I tried before this worked; however, it is in rejecting my ego and letting the Holy Spirit do His work, that this development has been possible.
Luke 9:23: And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
For more from Feeding Faith, visit here: http://stephen-l-france.com/podcast-ever-want-rewind-clock-try/