Read Ephesians 4:17-24.
The way you think determines the way you live. The way you live affects the way you think. Your attitude sets up your actions and your actions reinforce your attitude. Your brain and your behavior affect each other.
The thing is though, our mind can play tricks on us. We all have desires that are tricky, so to speak (“deceitful” – vs.22). We may not be what we think we are, even though, as I just said, we are the product of our thinking. Whether we have or have not given much thought to why we act the way you do, we cannot come to the right conclusion as to what we should be or why you should we what we are in terms of living until we have “learned” (vs.20) from what we have been “taught … with the truth that is in Jesus” (vs.21,22)
Now this is a hard truth, for as adults, we like to think we’re past the point of “going to school.” But learners we must ever be, students we must remain, as long as we live. Our hearts and ways can never reach the point where they need no further instruction and correction, guidance and training from God. If we determine that we want our mind to not “live in darkness” (vs.18) and that our heart should not be come “hardened” (vs.18), then we must determine to not merely “live as the Gentiles do” all around us. We must daily make up our mind to be a very different sort of person than those who make up the rest of humankind; we must be teachable people, teachable to the truth about our attitudes and actions.
Heavenly Father, may I never grow insensitive to my need for constant shaping from you in mind and behavior. Hedge me in lest I indulge myself in what is not from you, pure and holy. At the same time, set me free in Christ’s ways, full of your Spirit, not full of my own selfishness and greed. May I ever be a seeker after you, a truth-seeker, and not merely a creature of habit or follower of tradition, lest I be deceived and deceitful. This is I pray today in my Teacher’s name, Jesus. Amen.