Hello everyone and welcome to episode 56, where today we consider one relationship that affects all others. Our relationship with our self, and how we think.

In the last few episodes, 54, The Greatest Obstacle to Relationships and 55, How to Overcome our Greatest Relationship Obstacle, we talked about the relational disease of self-centeredness, and how we can be cured of it by letting God transform us into a new person by changing the way we think.

The cure comes from the apostle Paul who wrote in Romans 12: 2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

How we think affects our behavior. It affects our emotions. It affects how we relate to other people. How we think affects EVERYTHING.

In this episode I’ll be sharing several examples of how this works, so you can get an idea of how changing your thinking could transform you into a new person. The person God wants you to be. Listen in.

One way God changes the way we think is by bringing into our lives people who disagree with us, who think differently than we do. A recent example is my 16 year-old grandson, Nathan. He was the listener I mentioned in a recent episode, #53  An Inconvenient Relationship Reality, from South Carolina who disagreed with my view of the Princess Diana Relationship quote of that week, “I don’t go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head.”

Nathan is not a disagreeable person; we agree on most things. But he isn’t afraid to challenge my thinking from time to time. I like that about him; it takes strength of character to offer an opinion different than someone else, and then to back it up with sound reasoning. People who think differently from the way we think is a tool God uses to transform us into the best version of ourselves.
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Another transformation by changing how we think is an example from a doctor friend of mine, Dr. Timothy Allen.

He emailed an article to me that he wrote and had published in Today’s Christian Doctor. It’s about his journey into addiction medicine.

His thinking changed from the 1st paragraph to 3rd paragraph….from finding his drug-addicted-pregnant-women-patients irritating …..to getting online training to care for them…..so counter to the custom and behavior of this world….

When he saw a need, he applied scripture to guide his THINKING, which in turn changed his behavior.

Tim let God speak to him through the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, “And the king will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.”  Matthew 25:40.

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The third and final example of letting God transform us into a new person by changing the way we think has to do with forgiveness. I wrote about in my book THEM. Forgiving my parents as a 19-year old college freshman on that Greyhound bus late on a Friday night coming into Milwaukee on I-94 at the crest of a hill. The Spirit of God transformed me that night.

The main point in these 3 stores is more about “Let God” than about changed thinking. We can only have changed thinking if we let God do his work in our lives. We have to be willing to allow God’s agenda supersede our own.

It’s a sacrifice to relinquish control of our lives to God, as Paul reminds us in verse 1 of Romans 12. It’s a sacrifice to be willing to change how we think.

If you forget everything else, here’s the one thing I hope you remember from today’s episode.

We don’t have to try harder to become the person God wants us to be. We just need to give up control, allowing God to change us by using other people – scripture – and his spirit to change us in whatever way he chooses.

Here’s what you can do in response to today’s show.
How would you like to change? What transformation would you like to see take place in your life? Are you willing to make the sacrifice of relinquishing control of your life to God, so he can bring about the transformation you desire?

Imagine what you your life would be like if you just “Let God do the work of transforming you.” Especially in the area of your relationships

I’d be interested in your thoughts about today’s episode. You can share them in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the show notes. Or you can send them to me in an email to john@caringforothers.org.

Closing

I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show, to both reflect and to act. So that you will find the joy God intends for you through your relationships. Because after all, You Were Made for This.

And Now for Our Relationship Quote of the Week

Go out and make friends with people who don’t look like you.

 ~ Karem Abdul-Jabbar

His quote reminds me of episode 43, “Thankful for People Different From Me.”

How refreshing, and how counter to the behavior and customs of this world.

Look for shorter people, younger people, people with a thick head of hair, and oh, yeah, people of a different race and skin color ( Karem Abdul-Jabbar, is course, African-American)

If you'd like to read the article by Dr. Timothy Allen and his journey in addiction medicine, click on this link:

My Unexpected Journey into Addiction Medicine

That’s all for today. See you next week. Bye for now.