The Renewing of My Mind—Part 1
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 by Dr James H Dotson Jr

Once, during an appointment with my counselor, she made the point that I could repeat a text from the Bible from memory but had no real understanding of what it meant or how to live by it. As we explored this further in future counseling sessions, I came to realize that I had a lot of biblical information in my head, but that wasn’t really doing me much good because they were just words in my mind and not principles I lived by. Truly, I didn’t understand what it meant, why it was relevant to me, nor how to apply it to my life.

Yes, as I was seeking to break free from my sex addiction, I sought help from a professional counselor. And I was blessed that while she most definitely brought all the skills of a licensed mental health professional to her work with me, she was also a Christian who brought God into her counseling. It was as if she and God were working together as partners to help me—literally, not figuratively. And it was in counseling with her that I was awakened to the transforming power of the “Word of God.”

The Power of the Mind

The mind/spirit, sometimes referred to as the heart, is the part of a person that thinks, reasons, feels, desires, and wills (to choose or make decisions). It is the “immaterial” part of a person which is the actuating cause of an individual life—reason a person acts in a certain way; a fundamental activating principle determining one’s character. Consider this:

  • “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, ESV)
  • “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.” (Mark 7:21–22, ESV
  • “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, ESV)

What’s in my mind/spirit/heart is key to what I think, how I reason, how I feel, what I desire, as well as what decisions I make and what actions I take—it’s fundamental to who I am and how live. 

Am I suggesting that other factors, such as my anatomy/physiology, have no influence on my life? No, not at all. But what I am saying is that the mind/spirit/heart is key to determining the me who shows up and lives from day-to-day.

Principles for Living 

My counselor told me that if I wanted to gain victory over my sexual addiction, I had to do more that focus on my sex organ. I had to win the battle in my mind/spirit/heart. 

An important part of winning the battle in my mind/spirit/heart is to search diligently for the truth and then live by it. When I find the truth, then I adopt a principle for living based upon that truth and commit it to my mind/spirit/heart to live by

When principles for living, rooted and grounded in the truth of God, become part of my mind/spirit/heart, it helps me in this way.

  • They are beliefs that guide me.
  • They are like a standard or rule of conduct.
  • They exercise a directing influence on my life and behavior.
  • They become a settled rule of action and consistently direct my actions.
  • They are a reference point by which I evaluate and interpret the experiences of my life.
  • They are the basis for my reasoning, and the rule by which I make decisions and choose among options. 
  • They function like a traffic light in my mind/spirit/heart: sometimes shinning red to indicate that I should stop; sometimes shinning yellow/amber to indicate that I should be cautious; and sometimes shinning green to indicate that I should/may move forward.

In my next two blogs, The Renewing of My Mind—Part 2 and The Renewing of My Mind—Part 3, I will share with you ten principles for living that helped free me from my sexual addiction and are key to my sexual recovery.

Copyright © 2022 Training for Transformation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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