How Your Mind Works

How Your Mind Works

Do You Ever Wonder How Your Mind Works?

by Bill Irwin 

God in His infinite wisdom made our physical bodies in a marvelous way.  And the most complex and misunderstood part of our bodies is our brain which houses our mind, which contains our soul, spirit, emotions and intellect.  But God made it to work out that it is our free will that He insisted on giving each of us so that when we do choose to do things His way according to His Word, there is no question that we do that in spite of our own flesh, the secular progressive world around us, and of course, the enemy who lurks in the recesses of our minds to tempt us to yield to the that lead us down the spiral of degradation and to ultimate spiritual death.

And since we have been on this earth for around 6,000 years the human mind is still one of the world’s least understood entities.  The human genome has been isolated and described to now contain over 100,000 genes of which only 50,000 have been associated with a bodily function and I am sure that most of the other 50,000 has to do with the human mind in one way or another.

Most of you don’t believe that God indeed gave us 100% control over that marvelously made mind in the capacity to take effective control over your thoughts.   You won’t believe this until you actually do it.

In His living Word He says in  1 Corinthians 10:13 “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

This verse does let us know that we indeed do have complete control over every thought that we have.  And that we cannot be tempted more than we are able to spiritually take   and when we are tempted He always provides a way out so that we can endure it.

If God didn’t give us this control I profess then why are there so many Biblical references to those controls in the form of our choices?

So, by now your question is what is the way out?  I am so glad you asked. That takes us to our next passage of scripture.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

This is God’s solution for us to escape those rebellious thoughts and capture them and make them obedient to Christ.  Now, your question has to be, that is great, but how do I do that?  Again, I am so glad that you asked.  This takes us to our next scriptural passage.

In Philippians 4:8-9 ”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.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

This passage provides us with a filter in which to funnel all our thoughts through to determine which of them need to be captured and when we do that according to this passage   anything that passes this test is a great thing to think about.

Now, you will want to know exactly how this works, right?

Before I go into that I must give you a few facts about behavior as our thoughts are an integral entity in our total behavior.

Total behavior is made up of four entities and they in reality cannot be separated from each other except for discussion purposes.  They are the following:

The action or doing component of total behavior
The thinking component of total behavior
The feeling or emotional component of total behavior
And finally, the physiological component of total behavior

And since they are in actuality inseparable from each other they are all affected by any total behavior that one chooses.

So, what does this mean?

Well, you know from your own life experiences that where your thoughts take you, so goes your action.  This means that you have 100% direct control over these two components of total behavior.

What about the feelings and physiological components, how do they respond in relationship to total behavior?

Again, I am so glad you asked.

Let’s equate the 4 components of total behavior to the 4 tires of a car.  And let’s  assign to the left front tire the action or doing component of total behavior  And to the right front one the thinking component And to the left back tire we can assign the feeling or emotional component, and to the left back tire we can assign  the physiological  component.  Are you now very confused that this is all going nowhere?

Wait one moment.

If you now look at that car and focus on the 4 tires remembering that on the car the front two tires are attached to the steering wheel of that car.  Isn’t this correct?  Good!

So, from what you know about how that car works, then you also can figure out how total behavior works as it works exactly like those tires on the car.

If you turn the steering wheel to the right, where do the tires go?  Exactly, the front two tires go to the right.  And if you turn the steering wheel to the left, then the front tires go to the left.

But what happens to the back two tires in this scenario?

You are exactly correct; they follow exactly where the front two tires went.

So, what does this say about total behavior?

It means that we have direct and complete control over our action and thinking components and only indirect   control over our feelings and physiological components of total behavior.

In essence , to put this very complex concept in proper perspective  if life is not working out for us to have the quality of life that we want and that our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to have , we can change one or three things ; we can change what we are currently doing, What we are currently thinking, or we can change both of these components of total behavior and there is a better than 95% chance that our life will improve , especially if we use the Philippians 4 filter in making these changes.  Now, let’s see what happened to the emotions and our body’s responses to our initial change of the steering wheel.  By now you have surmised that the steering wheel is analogous to your mind. And when you decide to make a change in the direction of your thinking and doing components of total behavior that your feelings and bodily response is also changed in the process.  And that is exactly how it works in reality.

Now after we talk about a few facts about how our minds work as some premises to work with we can go on to some other basic concepts that wil show you exactly what to change and how to do it when you are not getting your needs met adequately.

First of all it is humanly impossible to completely clear your mind of thought; if you think about it, this is another thought.  Therefore that will not work to try to clear your mind completely.

Another fact that increases the efficacy of this concept is that God made our minds to not be able to process but one thought at a time, which gives us total control over our thoughts.  We cannot multitask our thoughts, we switchback and forth     which is sequential thinking not simultaneous thinking.  This characteristic of our minds gives us total control over each of our thoughts.

Another fact is that we have the capacity to re-direct any of our thoughts to fit the Philippians filter    and when we do that we are in God’s will; when we choose to go with our flesh then we are not in God’s will and are much more vulnerable to making sinful choices.

Let’s think about a truck driving up and down a muddy road and you can see how when it is making a rut in the road the more it goes in that rut the deeper that rut gets.  If it decides to stop going in that rut for some reason, what then happens to the rut?  Does it just go away on its own?  No, if erosion doesn’t fill in the rut, it just sits there until someone comes along with a grater and fills in the rut.

Now if we make this scenario an analog to our mind and how the neural pathways to our cerebral cortex where our memory and conscious mind functions , we can see the miraculous way that God made provision for every single aspect of the way our minds work .

These neural pathways transmit electromagnetic energy to a location on our cerebral cortex making that location the resting place of that particular memory.  When that memory is pleasurable then we get pleasure in re-thinking it And like our truck analog the more traveled the pathway to that thought the stronger the electromagnetic energy becomes and the easier it is to bring up that thought again and after a few weeks of ruminating on that thought it then becomes a habit to think about it and by definition, a habitual thought pops into our minds as though we had absolutely nothing to do with it.  But the reality is that it took about four weeks to make that thought or image a habitual thought or image.

This phenomenon is the reason why it is so difficult to believe that we had anything to do with putting that thought in our minds deliberately.

Is this making sense to you now?

So, let’s take this one step further to see just how intricate God made our minds to work.  Remember that truck?  Unlike that vehicle, God made a provision for our minds to work both ways when it comes to the strength of our neural pathways and the electromagnetic energy that makes any thought a habit if it is frequently traveled.  The reverse situation is the additional provision.  When a person chooses to eliminate a habitual thought as one puts distance   between the frequency of that thought and the interval becomes increasingly longer the electromagnetic energy  becomes increasingly lighter and after it diminishes and that person continues to work to not think that thought it eventually goes completely away.

This is the model for behavioral modification in addictions treatment, especially for those who like me, are Christian Counselors.

So, in addictions therapy one helps his/her  clients to make better choices in the habitual thought and his addiction becomes under his thought control completely enough that he can go the rest of his life without thinking the very thoughts that used to dominate and horrify his mind to the point of him sometimes thinking of taking his own life; this leads to hopelessness and this is never God’s wil for any of His children’s lives.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

This is exactly why our omniscient Lord Jesus Christ gave us all 100% control over all of our thoughts!

So, if you don’t believe this then just try to make some Biblical behavioral changes in your life and it will lead you to belief!