Welcome to week nine of our Renew Your Mind Challenge! I am so glad you have joined us! In this 13-week challenge, I am sharing with you the single most life-changing truth I have personally discovered.
I will update the links below as I post them.
1. Back to the Beginning
2. Fix Your Mind
3. Accepting His Love
4. Love Into Joy
5. Joy Into Peace
6. Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness
9. Overcome Evil With Good
I used to be depressed, needy, easily offended, anxious, stressed – the list goes on. Now I am happy, fulfilled, and at peace. I discovered the answer at 29 years of age. The secret to happiness lies in your inner response to life: perceptions, intentions, feelings, thought patterns, beliefs. Come along with me and let your faith come alive to you in a new way – a way that will change everything. Each week, we will focus on one small yet powerful action we can take to change our inner life, and renew ourselves into the love of God.
For the last few weeks, we have focused on choosing a right heart response to those around us, rather than just choosing the right actions while our hearts and minds are filled with negative thoughts.
Now we are going to talk about why having a pure heart – loving inner thoughts and feelings – is so important.
The Bible teaches us that good overcomes evil. It teaches specifically that we can, and are supposed to, overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil by doing good.”
1 Peter 3:9 says, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing.”
But how are we supposed to do this? How do we overcome evil with good? The Bible also teaches that we cannot make the right choices “in our own strength,” or “in our flesh.” This is because outward actions, in and of themselves, mean nothing. All of our actions must flow out of pure intentions, out of a transformed, loving, and compassionate heart if they are to have any real power in the world.
When the Bible speaks of good overcoming evil, it is not talking about outer actions that barely cover our inner demons and darkness. No, it is talking about the good that flows from a transformed heart – from a heart filled with the love of God. What is really interesting to me is that science backs up these ideas.
Quantum physics has discovered that we are all energy and that matter is an illusion. Every thought we think, every feeling we feel, every motivation we have is like a ripple of energy that spreads outward, affecting first those around us, and continuing till it reaches the ends of the universe. This is science!
Bruce Lipton, cell biologist and former researcher at the Stanford University’s School of Medicine puts it this way:
Vibrational energies interact. Vibrational energies can change each other through interference patterns, such as constructive and destructive interference. So the net result is: wherever you are, you’re being influenced by [energy] fields…It really comes down to understanding the nature of the field, and the field is the environment. And just so we get clear on what I’m defining as the environment: it is everything from the core of your being to the edge of the universe. That is the environment. It includes everything around you in close proximity to you, as well as the planets, and the sun, and what’s going on in the entire solar system. So we are part of this entire field…
Lipton is saying that we are all influenced by the energies of our environment, and that our environment includes everything and everyone to the ends of the known universe. Science tells us now what the Bible has told us all along – that our “energy,” or our thoughts, motivations, and intentions hold all the power. It is the motivation, the mindset, the intention behind our actions, rather than the actions themselves, that have an effect on the world. This means that whatever action you take is energetically fueled by the heart response behind the action. A “good” action performed in spite of an angry heart is actually, energetically, an angry action, and it energetically effects the world as an angry action.
When I first realized the power I have, we all have, with our inner life – our thoughts, feelings, responses, intentions, motivations, and mindset – when I first began to understand the power I had to energetically or spiritually influence everything around me, my entire life changed. Literally. My home became a place of peace. My children became calmer and happier. My relationships thrived. All this because I understood that the energy of my inner life was affecting everything around me. I began to intentionally be filled with, and project outward through my thoughts and attitudes, the light and love of God.
You are more powerful than you imagine. You can rearrange your surroundings with your intentions. When chaos surrounds you, you can be at peace, and you can project that peace to your surroundings. When those around you hurt you or do you wrong, you can remain secure in love, and you can project love back to them. You can refuse to let the evil they intended for you to take root in your own heart; instead, you can shine the light of love into theirs. You can overcome evil with good.
Our challenge for this month is to overcome the evil around us with good. And how do we do this? It all goes back to step one – being filled with the love of God, and bringing everything inside us in harmony with his love. Anything that is less than his love, less than an inner response of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, has to go! When presented with a darkness in your life, whether a dark person or a dark circumstance, or even just a negative conversation or a bad day, let’s intentionally meet that darkness filled and overflowing with the light and love of God. Let it spill out into the darkness. Let loving and pure thoughts and motivations fuel all of your actions.
Week challenge: View your thoughts, feelings, motivations, and intentions as ripples that spread out to affect everyone in their path. Visualize how they may be affecting others. How does this change your thoughts, feelings, motivations, and intentions? Purposefully overcome the evil around you with good, loving thoughts and intentions.