Jeremiah 17:9-10 "The heart is deceitful above all things and it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings."
Our heart is deceitful. This means it is not to be trusted. It has a sinful nature, and is subject to our old identity and old self. The Lord says that He tests the mind and He searches our heart so that He may see the fruit we bear. Our heart must be conformed by the renewal of our mind. Doesn't it sound a lot like the basis of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has its roots in Scripture...in fact, renewing and taking charge of your mind is a step of obedience!
Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Just because we feel a certain way, or simply because we think a thought does not make that feeling of thought the TRUTH. We are to challenge the flaws in our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, and replace them with "whatever is right and confirmed by die Word"! Our thoughts need to live up to Philippians 4:28 to be regarded as LIFEGIVING!
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God's word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]."
Philippians 4:8 is too often quoted, and ends here... but keep reading. There is a promise attached to this command... in verse 9 it continues "...The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you."
Here lies the KEY to WELLBEING! Obedience is the key to wellbeing! When we think on things that are GOOD we begin to change. We begin to view things from the perspective of TRUTH and this cultivates LIFE! We begin to HEAL! We are tasked to guard our heart, as from it flows life! Consider Proverbs 4:23... "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Scripture is very direct about this, and intentional about charging us with this responsibility.
CBT says that we should identify helpful and unhelpful thoughts which lead to feelings, and in turn lead us into a given behaviour. Is this not essentially a Biblical practice? The Lord want to root out the lies in you life, and replace them with His Lifegiving truths. When we can start believing these truths, then we begin to feel and act according to these truths! Our obedience will bring us to a place of PEACE and HEALTH! This is at the very core of wellness, and God knew it when He put us to the task! He is sovereign, and very intentional.
Proverbs 4:23 "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
By Jessica Nadine Pieterse
(Specialist Wellness Counsellor and Christian Communicator)