Restoration Through the Replacement Principle

Psychology and the Bible agree on many things, and the replacement principle is one of those.

Consider this Bible quote from Philippians 4:8-9 (NRSV):

“… whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me [the apostle Paul], and the God of peace will be with you.”

The replacement principle applies to the things we think about.

It was Dr Caroline Leaf who said, “What you think about most, grows.” What we think about most tends to drive our behaviour and our feelings. Our thoughts have tremendous power.

Of course, it is a battle. Overcoming a negative, guilty, shamed, or persecuted mind is a major challenge. But it isn’t impossible. And as we capture our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), one thought, one moment and one day at a time, and in this God gives us a power, we begin to live out the destiny that is ever before us.

The truth is that restoration is dependent on a change in mindset. That is, by definition, repentance. Repentance is literally a change of mind, to changes one’s mind. It is a decision. It is a commitment made to turn from ways that have not worked, and to have faith in executing a way of thinking that will lead us to a new way of behaving and is feeling better about things.

If there is any way your life isn’t working, apply the replacement principle, do not give up, and change is in sight.

The replacement principle inspires hope.

We often think about repentance in our relationships, but the only common denominator regarding repentance is that we turn back to truth; we turn back to God. Whether it’s an apology leading to a different behaviour when interacting with someone or it’s a new life direction matters little.

Repentance is change, and change is possible with God.

Many people have agreed with themselves upon the call of God on their lives, having experienced their own personal restoration, to advocate for others and their restoration. It can appear, in these people’s lives, at least to outsiders, that these people have surrendered their restoration. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, they have a holy calling – to inspire others to the courage they themselves were inspired to, which enabled them to change.

Whenever we desire to rid ourselves of something negative, we always fall short, unless we use the replacement principle, and think innovatively about what positive we can install in the place of the negative.

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