Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery: Lesson 4- Sanity

Principle 2: Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.

Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. -Matthew 5:4

Step 2: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. -Philippians 2:13

Merriam-Webster’s definition of sanity is, “soundness or health of mind.” With this definition, we can rephrase step two to say:¬†We came to believe that God could give us a sound mind.¬†Having a sound mind is something the Bible talks a lot about, especially in 2 Timothy and Titus.

If you have accomplished principle two (believing that God exists, that you matter to Him, and that He has the power to help you recover), then step two is a natural next step. God has the power to help you recover, and one of the ways He does this is by helping you win the battle in your mind.

Change the Way You Think

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. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:2

One of the most important obstacles to a sound mind is found within our thoughts. Thousands of books have been published regarding the link between what we think and how those thoughts affect us in every aspect of our lives. Many times, whether we fail or succeed is predetermined by our thoughts.

Some people believe that they can’t control their thoughts. These people fall prey to false beliefs (negative or positive) about themselves and the world around them. Not taking control of our thoughts gives power and control of our mind over to whatever outside influences we encounter. Not only is this practice immature, but it can be very dangerous. Transformation cannot take place unless we change the way we think.

Take Every Thought Captive

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

It is not easy to change the way we think, but it is possible. This is done by taking, “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Taking every thought captive can seem like a daunting task at first, but you will find that as you become more aware of your thoughts and your self-talk it will be easier to identify what should and shouldn’t be there.

The first step in taking our thoughts captive is to measure them against the Truth of Jesus Christ. If it isn’t true, get rid of it. One of the more helpful ways to do this is by replacing untrue thoughts with scripture. Fill your heart and mind with the Truth of God’s Word and eventually the things that are not true will lose their ground. Pray and ask God to show you what lies you might be believing, and when He brings those lies and untruths to light, face them with the strength and power of the gospel.

The second step to taking our thoughts captive is by guarding what we allow to enter our mind. Stop the lies and negative thoughts before they take up residence in your mind. Don’t dwell on or expose yourself to thoughts or beliefs that are not in obedience to Christ or that do not agree with His Word.

This job of protecting your mind will be much easier if you monitor what you allow yourself to be exposed to. We live in a media-saturated world, and it can be easy to let our guard down or to gradually lower our standards of what kinds of influences we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. Philippians 4:8 provides invaluable advice in regards to this topic. If it isn’t true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or worthy of praise, then it shouldn’t have a place in your mind.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. -Philippians 4:8

Restoration to Sanity

I am a firm believer that true sanity cannot be accomplished without Jesus Christ. If you have not yet accepted Him as your higher power and your personal Lord and Savior, you truly do not know what you are missing.

As you begin to change your thinking and take your thoughts captive, transformation will begin to take place. Take note, the process of transformation can be difficult and does not happen overnight. If you put your trust in Jesus and faithfully pursue His will and seek His Truth, you will be amazed at the miraculous change that will occur within your mind and in your life.

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