A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to start posting my notes, ideas, and etcetera about a book I was required to read for my General Psychology class. 2019 is here and now we begin! First, I must say I am so thankful for my instructor for this class as she did a wonderful job making Psychology not just a general ed class, but a class with an applicable and biblical approach! And so, that being said, we begin the journey in being Changed Into His Image (Jim Berg).
The first chapter of Changed Into His Image talks a lot about sanctification. Sanctification initially starts when one places his faith in Jesus, trusting that Jesus-- and only Jesus-- is able to pay the penalty that he deserves. Sanctification continues after the immediate salvation and is then "progressive sanctification," meaning that one is growing into being more like Christ.
If someone wanted to change something in his life for the better, he must first have that relationship with the Savior. He must then be actively growing in His faith by seeking wisdom and applying it to his life. He is to be willing to look inside himself to see the sinful habits, thoughts, and actions. However, he cannot stop at simply noting the sin in his life, but should be actively changing to be like Christ. James 1:23-25 talks about a man who looks in the mirror, seeing a blemish, but doing nothing about it. James tells us not to be like this man in our spiritual life.
Secular psychologists often counsel clients to change by outward appearances. I do not mean that they seek to change their client's hair style or fashion, but rather their outward behavior instead of their heart problem-- their sinful, human, flesh problem. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that "man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" and I believe it is important to consider that secular psychologists often want outward results instead of inward results. While a problem may seem to be fixed on the outside, it may only be temporary because the focus of fixing wasn't beginning at the root of the problem: the heart.
Berg states that “our greatest problems are never around us, but they are in us” (3). In my past, I have tried to build my low self-esteem by focusing on one talent or one hobby and trying to excel in that. However, I know now that without God I cannot excel. For it is by God's standards on which I must base my excellence and if it isn't pleasing to God, then I do not want it to be pleasing to me.
Everyone wants an example to follow-- someone they can look to. In Changed Into His Image, Jim Berg focuses on the perfect role model: Jesus. “Jesus exemplified the characteristics of a man controlled by the Holy Spirit and in perfect fellowship with God.” Who wouldn’t want to be in perfect fellowship with God? Throughout the book, Berg tells us that we can have a more perfect fellowship with God. But don’t just take my word for it. Don’t just take Berg’s word for it either! Study the Scriptures for yourself and fellowship with your Creator!
Until next time--keep your focus on God,
Marie Cloud :)
God has given me a love for people and a passion to write. I love that the sky shows the creativity of our loving Maker, don't you? I hope you will join me on this journey through life exploring the beautiful creation God has made and the lessons that He is teaching me through it all.