There is an old hymn that begins with this stanza:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind;
In purer lives thy service find,
In deeper reverence praise.

The process called "redemption" or "salvation" in Holy Scripture is about this very thing. We humans are messed up in the way we think. We need God to remake our rational processes. Salvation is not fire insurance for people worried about dying. It is healthy thinking for people who want to live meaningfully.

There are so many conflicting and discordant sounds in our ears. Many of them rationalize the stupidest things you can imagine.

  • Taking what isn't yours.
  • Having an affair.
  • Spending irresponsibly.
  • Spreading gossip.
  • Sneaking a quick look at porn.
  • Self-medication with street drugs.
  • Justifying a foul temper.
  • Slacking off at your job.

You can finish the list, can't you?

Reflect the image of our God into the world.
Lectures and scoldings won't break those negative patterns. Guilt and self-hatred practically guarantee they will continue. Choices become compulsions, compulsions become addictions, and addictions wind up killing you.

Alcoholism is a paradigm illustration of how the process works. A woman's choice becomes a compulsion and soon turns into an addiction. That's why Alcoholics Anonymous speaks so freely of and urges participants to pray about "sanity." It's the same thing biblical language calls being set free, being renewed in our minds, or putting off the old person.

At the start of any given day, it is not a bad idea to pray for a fresh touch of God's grace to keep you sane for what lies ahead. Pray not to live in the past, lick old wounds, or nurse grudges. Those things will drive you crazy! Pray instead for the ability to focus on what is positive, honorable, and upright. These things bring you peace! And ask God to let you be authentically and truly human.

To be "authentically and truly human" is to be what God created you to be. Reflect the image of our God into the world. Think sane thoughts about your own worth and dignity. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Be true to your commitments. Give your best to every task. And spread some joy in your world.

Here is the way the apostle Paul said it long ago:

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2 NLT).