Welcome to WEEK ONE of our summer study on Renewing of the Mind! If you are on the Thin Within journey, this study will support and strengthen you. I am so excited because this summer will be the summer you realize your godly goals. If you do the work in the assignments shared here –many of which will refer you to Barb Raveling’s blog, you will experience the transformation by the renewing of your mind that God speaks of in Romans 12:1-2:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
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.
Our transformation doesn’t happen merely by changing the outside of our bodies…how we appear. We all have done diets before and know how to lose weight. What we want, though, is permanent change, that isn’t dependent on an approach that causes us to be so obsessed! You know what I am talking about, I bet…where the scale, food, eating, clothing sizes has your mind in a flurry–ALL THE TIME! Don’t you just want food and size to be a *non*-issue? We are called to freedom! It’s possible! Let’s experience it. To do that, though, we have to be willing to train our minds. That’s all there is to it. Dieting is easier, to be honest. Training ourselves to think differently is tough work.
In this video, I give you my reasons for making this summer a time to study, learn and do this Renewing of the Mind. I mean, we just DID this study here at the blog, right? So why on *earth* am I revisiting it? Why should someone who hasn’t done this study do this one instead of something else? Why should Thin Within participants do this “non-Thin Within” study? (Barb Raveling’s material is awesome, but she is not a Thin Within participant and prefers another approach for maintaining her healthy size–in spite of my bantering with her about it! LOL!)
Have a look at this video:
We will begin to evaluate what our focus on thin is doing to us. (You can take a moment to journal about this, if you like.) Is it serving our godly goals? Is hopping on the scale so many times in a day something that draws us closer to God? Are we growing in trust and dependence on God when we have a death grip on food and scrutinize every single nutrition label? Are we condemning ourselves more than we are walking in the wonderful freedom that Christ paid for with his precious blood? Can we be free from our emotions and thoughts causing us to eat? What if we release our grip on the food? Will that just send us into clothes that are 4 sizes larger than what we are currently wearing? What do you believe? Journal about this.
This summer, we will evaluate thoughts we have that control our actions. What we think about (especially again and again) affects what we believe. What we believe affects our actions. What actions will result in the transformation we hope for? What actions are needed to experience the transformation GOD hopes for in our lives?
This is the heart of this study, but it will have some VERY practical applications. You will experience great breakthroughs!
In all my years of supporting people in the Thin Within program, I have never seen the large numbers of people having breakthroughs as I have since using Barb’s Renewing of the Mind material to supplement other Thin Within material. I hope you will give this the next three months and really give it a try and see.
To understand a bit about what this summer’s study will be about, please stop here and read this post at Barb’s blog. It is an easy read and explains what we are up to this summer.
In her post, Barb encourages us to look at Ephesians 4:17-24. I have linked it here for you. I would suggest you study this passage, answering a few questions, perhaps. You can do this in your new “Renewing of the Mind” journal if you like. Here is a bible study from this passage that you can use if you like:
1.) From your experience, what describes the way the “Gentiles” (unbelievers, world) live?
2.) What is “futile” about the way the world thinks?
3.) Have you struggled at all with thinking the way the world does–in futility? What examples can you think of relative to your journey with food, eating, size?
4.) As Christians, we don’t have to be concerned about being separated from the life of God since Christ paid the price for us to have access to God, but we can nevertheless remain in darkness in the way we think. We can do this habitually and harden our hearts to God’s voice. Have you struggled with this in your life at all? How so?
5.) In what ways have you experienced less sensitivity to the Lord and given yourself over at times to indulge in impurity with a constant lust for more? The obvious answer may have to do with overeating, but can a quest to be thin also be thought of in a similar light? How so?
6.) What are some practical things that you can do to “put off the former way of life” and the “old self?” (see verses 22)
7.) Do you see any ways that your former way of life was corrupted by deceitful desires? How so?
8.) Spend some time journaling about the promise of verses 23 and 24. How does it sound to you to experience the following:
- to be made new in the attitude of your mind?
- to put on your new self created to be like God in TRUE righteousness and holiness?
9.) Journal a prayer to God about your desire to no longer think like you have in the past, but to think differently during the course of our study this summer…to be trained for the rest of your life!
10.) Sit with your journal open for a few minutes. Ask God to impress HIS thoughts upon you…what is HE speaking over you right now? Jot it down. (Share it with us here if you like!)
Here is the recorded version of our online class that we held during the week this class originally ran:
These posts have been edited for those of you going through later than our 2013 class. So, you can go at your own pace. The way this was originally intended was for a posting each Monday. Then, the participants (you!) could spread doing the assignment out over the week or do it all in one sitting. Even if you are later in doing the study, you can still comment here at the blog. Some have subscribed to the comments and may respond if you have a question or need support.
1.) Write down what you believe about food, about yourself, about emotions, about your ability to be your natural, God-given size, and anything else that you might want to deal with. Skipping lines as you write in your journal will give you room for the rest of the activity.
2.) Interrogate what you wrote down with truth…use the Philippians 4:8 test… Is the thought TRUE, noble, good, pure, excellent, praiseworthy, etc?
3.) Prayerfully ask God to help you to recognize lies in what you have written down. Reject them. Simply, cross them out. Replace those lies with God’s view of the situation by writing the TRUTH down next to the crossed-out lies.
An example would be I will never be able to get this weight off.
I have to be thin in order to ever be happy.
The truth is, these are lies. I hope that thin will be put in it’s place–that we will begin to think God’s thoughts about thin and size and weight. What are GOD’s thoughts about these beliefs? We can do all things through Christ!
4.) Recognize little “t” truths that you magnify or give a lot of time and attention to. An example of a “little t” truth might be I have such a hard time losing weight and keeping it off. This may, in fact, be true. How much mental energy do you give this thought? Is it owning you? Are you condemning yourself for this? Is it a truth that has any right affecting your mood, your thoughts, your actions? How much are you “magnifying” it? Are you making it bigger than God? Would magnifying the Lord make a difference?
5.) Write down Truth – Big “T” Truth – from God’s Word to replace any of the lies that you are now choosing to reject or that trumps any of the little “t” truths. An example of a Big T truth that trumps the little t truth of I have a hard time keeping weight off might be:
God is doing a new thing
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
God has begun a good work in me and he will complete it.
Even better if we begin to realize: Being thin isn’t as important to God as I have made it out to be. Really…what are God’s thoughts about this?
For this summer’s study, you will want to have a journal, a translation of the bible you like, and a spiral bound set of index cards. You can purchase the cards this way. More on that during this week’s online class.
6.) If you can either join us for the class on Wednesday by registering here, or watch the recorded version of it–you need to sign up for that, too.
7.) If you don’t have an accountability partner yet, prayerfully consider getting one.
I hope you are taking captive any thoughts that say “I can’t do this much work!” or “This won’t work for me!” or “I don’t get it!” and submit these thoughts to Christ in obedience. Instead, ask God what HIS thoughts are about this study, this work, this hope for you for this summer. Replace the lies or “little ‘t’ truths” with HIS thoughts–his “BIG ‘T ‘Truths!”