A New Way of Thinking

"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." Romans 12:2 (NLT)

The way you express your anger is a learned response. You didn't just automatically choose it; somebody modeled it for you. Anger response is a learned response.

The good news is you can unlearn it. You don't have to stay that way. You can learn new patterns and habits. You don't have to keep perpetuating what your parents and their parents and their parents did. Every time you get angry in an inappropriate way, you're modeling it for your kids. You're teaching them how to do it the wrong way, and they're going to teach their kids how to do it the wrong way. Somebody has to stop the cycle!

The Bible says 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" (NLT). What's the behavior of this world? Repress, express, and suppress.

Television and movies are filled with violent responses to people who are frustrated, hurt, or feel out of control. Kids learn from the models they observe. You don't want to teach your kids wrong ways to be angry.

The key to learning a new way to handle anger is in Romans 12:2: "changing the way you think."

If you want to change the way you act, you don't focus on the behavior. You don't even go back to the way you feel. You start by changing the way you think. When you change your mental process, it's going to change the way you feel, and it's going to change your behavior. You will be "transformed by the renewing of your mind."

That's what God does for you. He's the one who can change the destructive thought patterns in your mind and transform you into a new person.

Talk It Over

  • What patterns do you see in your family that have affected the way you respond to difficult situations?
  • How can you better model for your kids or others how to respond to people in loving ways?
  • In what other ways do you want God to transform you into a "new person"?
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