Sometimes we look at our past and our decisions don’t even make sense to us. In this episode Andy explains how to transform our thinking. If you’re starting over with anything or you’re about to start over, you’re just coming out of a bad job situation, a bad marriage situation, bad relationship situation, you are wrapping up a really bad semester in school, financially made some bad decisions and here you are starting over. What we’re talking about are some things that you can do to ensure that next time won’t be like last time, at least as it relates to your part in the equation.
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Here are some highlights from Starting Over (Part 3) – Rethink It by Andy Stanley:
I’ve seen in my own life when it comes to starting over there are three essential things you have got to do to ensure that next time will be better than last time. We talked about the first one where you got to own it in part two of this series. Today we’re going to talk about you got to rethink it. When you own it you can’t blame your way into the future. It means you got to take full responsibility for whatever your part was and whatever you’re having to restart, and this is difficult for us because we all love to tell our sad story. You get no sympathy when you own it.
At 3:21 Andy talks about moving to rethink it:
Today, we are moving on to rethink it. When you think back on the thing that you’re having to restart with whether it’s relationally, financially, professionally, academically or whatever it might be, at some point along the way (even when it wasn’t our fault) we ask ourselves, what was I thinking? Here’s the amazing thing when we look back, our decisions don’t even make sense to us! When we look back and go, I should have seen this coming, what in the world was I thinking. So, in order to ensure that next time isn’t like last time you got to ask the question, what was I thinking. My observation is this, very few of us camp out on that question long enough to come up with an answer. It’s just sort of a statement, what was I thinking, and on we go. I think we intuitively go, you know kind of laugh it off, what was I thinking. But I am telling you, I can’t overemphasize this, stopping to come up with a real answer for that question is a key to ensuring that next time won’t be like last time. Here’s why, because if you think the way you used to think you’ll do the things you used to do, it’s just that simple. Chances are history is going to repeat itself, maybe even in the areas where you say very little of the blame belongs to me. You owe yourself an answer to the question.
In Romans 12 the Apostle Paul is writing a letter to the Christians and says, therefore I urge you brothers and sisters of God’s mercy to offer your bodies (not just your mind or intentions) as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God and this is your true and proper worship. It not about killing animals, it’s about living daily moment-by-moment. Here’s what he says, do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed. You have got to pay attention to what you are thinking and when you look back you need to answer that question because you are transformed by the renewing of your mind. So basically, to renew means to restore your mind. All of us at some point have promised God and made commitments to God and because we never answered the question we just move right on into our own future. One of the reasons we don’t spend time with this is because renewal takes time, that’s why. If you want to be transformed, it’s not simply a matter of the will, it’s not simply a matter of discipline, all that’s part of it, you’ve got to renew your mind. Time is your friend.
Please take a year off and renew your mind, you need time. You can’t just keep slapping on a new commitment, a new prayer and all that’s good but you never answered the question what was I thinking. What if I meet the right person? You’re not the right person, you’re not ready for the right person because you’re not the right person. If you meet the right person they’re not going to like you, you need a year off. I’m telling you hit the pause button, you’ve been in the emergency room emotionally, you’ve been in the emergency room in terms of just what’s going on in your life. Don’t make any big decisions, it’s going to take time, hit the pause button. It’s common sense and everybody know it’s true. So, I ask you Christians a question, do you want to know what God’s will for you is? Then you got to take time and renew your mind. If you think the way you used to think, you’re simply going to do what you’ve always done.
At 18:35 Andy outlines the seven lethal assumptions:
1. If I find the right person everything will be all right.
2. This is my situation and it’s unique.
3. It’s not right but it makes me happy and God wants me to be happy.
4. If only I had, then I would be satisfied.
5. I owe is better than I want.
6. My secret is safe with me.
7. Just for fun sex will solve it.
At 27:25, Andy concludes with a question you need to ask yourself:
So, here’s the question you got to answer before moving on. What were you thinking? It’s not enough to ask the question, you’ve got to answer it. Don’t start anything new, don’t jump back in because until you have taken off the old and put on the new you’re never going to get where you want to go. The good news is this next time really can be better than last time through the renewing of your mind.