The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences did a brain scan study that discovered something interesting. By studying brain patterns, scientist could determine what decisions participants were going to make seven seconds before they made it. In essence scientists discovered the the unconscious mind makes decisions before your conscious mind even realizes it. This left them questioning, “Do we have a freewill?”
Many in the ministry get apprehensive at the mention of psychology. Understandably there are some whacky pop-psychology trends out there, but I think it’s dangerous to completely disregard psychology in our churches. It’s important to understand how the brain works, in fact I think the Bible implores us to consider the habits of the mind.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
It’s our mind that does the transforming of our actions. The world around us shapes us a certain way, the RENEWING of it transforms us. If there is integrity in the study mentioned above, it’s true: our mind controls us, we don’t control it. No one wants to believe this, especially in this world of free choice and choosing your own way. We are all slaves to something. Whatever masters us, that is what shapes our unconscious mind. When we become a sacrifice and a slave to Jesus, He shapes our minds that transforms our actions to His good, acceptable and perfect will.
Don’t misunderstand, we are responsible for our actions, but our actions are responses of the unconscious mind. What then is guiding your unconscious mind? Do we really have control over our minds, or are our actions a product of our mind’s control? Freewill is more of an illusion than we want to believe. Comparing Romans 12 and the scientific study, it would seem our minds transform us more than we transform our minds. What will you allow yourself to be transformed by? -jason