Have you ever self-examined your heart? No, not your physical heart that pumps blood throughout your body, but your spiritual heart, where thoughts are produced and habits are developed. As you probably know, self-examinations and annual check-ups are highly recommended as a preventative health maintenance approach for the physical heart. However, what is the application for self-examination of your spiritual heart, and of your mind? Since mental concerns are on the rise, let’s learn how to self-examine what is truly going on in our minds.
First, the mind is a critical component of one’s life; a person’s life flows in the direction of their thoughts. King Solomon determined, “For as a [man] thinks in his heart [mind], so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). When a person chooses to consistently think negatively, the brain rewires itself to skip past the neurons that transmit positive, happy-go-lucky thoughts, and hones in on the negative ones.
Second, a mind check-up is vital to our family life because we share much of the same space. Those neurons are transmitted to the people you associate with most frequently.
In short, your children will develop the same mindedness as you. In our culture, we say “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, to mean that children resemble their parents.
In order to self-examine and detect what is going on in your mind, the spiritual and moral compass of the Word of God is recommended. Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the [mind].” The Word of God will help you locate where you really are, by what comes out of your mouth.
Years ago, Dr Cindy Trimm stated that everybody has “issues”. Oftentimes, folk in church assemblies act as though they are flawless, which is very misleading. The truth is, we all have some form of ‘stinking thinking’ that needs to be adjusted.
Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to have an abundant, overflowing, enjoyable-to-the-last-drop kind of life.
But there is a formula, and every self-help guru knows the importance of aligning mind, words and actions to get the desired outcome. If you are oblivious to your own funk, however, spotting your flaws will be a real task. That is why the Word of God works so well to initiate the process, because it pierces even the most deceived soul with truth and love.
Why is this important? Can’t a person just be who they are without self-examining the deep recesses of their mind? Sure. The funny thing is, you don’t always notice dysfunctional behaviour in yourself, because you have camouflaged it for so long, but when you see it in your children, it will horrify you.
When we seek the Lord to help us shine a light on ourselves, He addresses it. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a candle and place it underneath anything to conceal it. Instead, they put it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. The light represents the positive behaviour having a positive effect on the environment of the home (Matthew 5:13-15).
When your mind is healthy, your whole body is filled with light, but when your mind is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. If, in fact, the light you think that you have is actually darkness, how deceived are you? (Matthew 6:23).
Therefore, the goal is to be transformed by meditating on God’s Word day and night, to retrain the neurons in your brain to attract positive neurons. With determination and persistence, old patterns can be broken, and new behaviour can emerge. A self-examination of the mind is a holistic approach to living a more fulfilling and prosperous family life.
It’s up to you. The question is: “How bad do you want it?”