What I am telling you is good, so do not forget what I teach you.
It takes about 21 days for memories to be stored in the brain in such a location and manner for them to “stick.” To implant something in this way, you must chew on it and review it for a few weeks.
This is how we are able to “not forget” what we are either taught or what we want to become a part of us. You want to have God’s truth in you, I mean really in you? Memorize a passage of Scripture and say it everyday for 21 days straight. It will be a part of you and always available for recall. (As long as it is not mindless repetition, mind you.)
Or to geek out and use some more clinical terms: The new thought moves into the nonconscious metacognitive level where it becomes part of our internal perception. This process is called automatization. Just sayin’…
(The nonconscious metacognitive mind is filled with the thoughts you’ve been building since you were in the womb, and they form the perceptual base from which you see life. You operate, for peace or for toxicity, from your nonconscious mind, whether you like it or not. So if you don’t do some heart work on that level–focused attention and repetition, or let Jesus in that “room,” your mind will not significantly be renewed. This is some of the depth and science behind the word “believe” as used by the biblical writers, as I understand it.)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. [NIV]
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. [NCV]
We are told in Scripture to guard many things–eyes, feet, tongue. But we are told to guard our heart more than anything else.
In Jewish writing the heart is a person’s center, their character, their core personality, not just a biological organ. We could say (even biologically) that the heart of health is a healthy heart. You can live without some organs. You can even donate an organ, as my friend Larry did recently. But one organ you can’t live without is your heart. No one goes in to donate their heart. Not while they’re still alive at least.
In Scripture we see that salvation is not a matter of living up to a code of ethics, but rather, a matter of the heart. The purity of heart that Jesus spoke of had to do with inner aspirations and the secret desires of each person. After the heart is right with God, good conduct flows from its hidden springs. We must always talk heart first, conduct second. This is the order of things.
How do we guard our heart?
We guard our heart by taking our thoughts captive. We pay attention to our thoughts and think about our thinking. We repel sinful, unhealthy thoughts and welcome godly, healthy ones. We cannot substantially work on this while on the go. We have to stop and be still, listening to God and ourselves in the quiet. This is the needed setting of the table before being able to feast at God’s banquet of peace and health.
From our hidden spring (heart) is our actual belief and thinking. These are our lenses through which we see life and even create our reality you could say.
When we really believe something/have faith in something, we act on it as if it is true. Our belief literally processes into measurable physical realities in our brain that form the substance of nerve networks upon which we act. This is what neuroscience is now finding.
This is why it is so vital to guard our heart, for from it flow all the actions of life. It is what determines if we are indeed a good tree which will of course bear good fruit. Good actions always start with a good thought. Bad actions always begin with a bad thought.
What are your most hidden aspirations and secretest desires?
Do you guard your thoughts? If so, how?
Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home. After sending them away, he went into the hills to pray.
No matter what, even after much work or distraction, Jesus made sure He got His time alone in the quiet to pray. It was very important for Him to have time alone with Papa YHWH.
It’s almost as if He understood 21st century brain science.
Or was just crazy in love with and dependent upon His Father…