“I have my ruts, and I like them!”
That great honesty came from a child, but it expresses a truth that holds many of us captive. “Rut thinking” is a nasty captor because it usually blinds the captive to the bondage. The walls of the rut grow higher each year, and we begin to think our way is the only way. Jesus says that those who think they know something fully, do not know it all. All of life exists for us to explore and know God more! Let’s break out of the ruts that hold us captive—and be the “brain surgeons” God designed us to be!
Our brains are phenomenal creations. They store knowledge and create algorithms that allow us to function—without our even realizing what is happening. The capacity of our brain makes us unique, special creations of God. The power of our brain is a tremendous blessing and a potential hazard! Thoughts are real things that create life as we know it! All of life–emotional responses, intellectual biases and physical feats—originate as thoughts.
Another way to think of it is this: thoughts are the software that operate the computer hardware of the brain. Our brain has the ability to be changed; in scientific terms, it has neuroplasticity. This malleability under-girds the admonishment of the Apostle Paul to take every thought captive to Christ. When we change our thinking, we change our lives. Our thinking patterns impact our physical and emotional health, inter-personal relationships, life satisfaction—and eternal destination. We become brain surgeons by controlling our thought patterns.
There is a parallel truth that mars the exciting reality of neuroplasticity. Changing the way we think is incredibly difficult—sometimes it even requires a miracle. We receive that miracle when we accept Jesus Christ—and God gives us His mind! But that doesn’t mean that the hard work of changing our physical brain is instantly complete.
Watch this wonderful video and glimpse the reality of “brain changing” in action. In the video, Destin, founder of “Smarter Every Day” unlearns—and relearns–how to ride a bicycle. It is an amazing glimpse at the complexity of simple tasks and the work required to change our thinking.
We need not be captive to thought patterns–behaviors, emotions or actions! Just as Isaiah prophesied, Jesus Christ came to set captives free:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).
Change is possible but it takes more than knowledge! Destin summed up his deeper “learning” with these profound insights:
- Knowledge is not the same as understanding.
- Truth is truth, no matter what I think about it!
We all have ruts. What brain ruts hold you back from enjoying the freedom and fullness Jesus Christ offers?