Do You Have to Identify the Lie in Order to Renew Your Mind?
In my book, From the Cliff to the Cure, I explain that the Lord cured me of mental illness by renewing my mind. I explain that I believed lies about my past, myself, and the world around me. I based my life on these lies. They dominated and directed my life every day. I want to address this question: Do you have to first identify the “lie” in order to renew your mind?
The simple answer is no. Allow me to explain. You do not necessarily have to identify the specific lie that you believe in order to renew your mind and repent. Yet, I would say that you do have to recognize that your beliefs and actions are wrong at least in the general sense. You must realize that your thoughts and actions are incorrect and many times even sinful. Then, you simply turn away from the wrong way of thinking and acting.
It is all very basic. You must first understand God’s way, the way based on truth. You must then apply God’s way of thinking. God has a right way of thinking and acting for your life.
You also do not have to understand the reason or source the lie in your life. I strongly believe that the Bible never teaches that you have to understand the “why” behind believing a certain, incorrect way. You do not have to know why you are acting a certain way. You just have to repent and renew your mind.
I think a lot of people, possibly from the influence of psychotherapy, are chasing the why or the reason they act a certain way. They recount every childhood memory to try to dig up the root cause of why they act a certain way. I do not think that this is necessary or Biblical. I suppose it could help to some extent, but the important part is that you simply repent of that behavior.
Do not get me wrong. Understanding the lie you believe can be helpful and important. Understanding the source of the lie can also be useful information. I just strongly believe that both of those things should not be over-emphasized or counted as necessary for repentance and life change.
Let me give you an example from my life. When I about twenty years old, I developed an eating disorder. I starved myself and even purged any calories that I would eat. About ten years later when I became a Christian, I still had the eating disorder. As a new believer, I felt convicted about it. I chose to stop starving myself and stop all the behaviors related to the eating disorder. I did not search for the “why” or the reason behind why I started the sin in the first place. I simply knew that it was wrong and I repented. I relied on the Lord when I was tempted to go back to my old eating disorder habits. I asked for help from fellow Christians. Even though I did not yet fully know the lies that I believed, I was still fully capable of relying on God’s truths. Specifically, I looked towards 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 which says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
In conclusion, although it might help in some situations to know the specific lie that you believe, it is not necessary. It is also not necessary to know the “why” behind the lie. Instead, simple repentance and faith in God is the key.