What we pay attention to has a profound impact on us…

Okay, that’s not rocket science. But it turns out that it is brain science. The idea that we creatures of body, soul and spirit need constant reforming is nothing new. Curt Thompson (M.D.) is is helping me understand a bit more about how that continual reforming happens in his book The Soul of Shame.

Consider the following that is a sliver of the chapter The Integrated Mind (I’ve inserted the texts he refers to).

“This way of comprehending the healthy development of the mind reminds us of the Genesis narrative which declares that we mysteriously hewn creatures are both dust and breath;…”

“then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

“we are inseparably embodied and relational. Furthermore, this feature of integration is reflected in the psalmist’s plea that God would give him an undivided heart,…”
“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭86:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

“… and God’s deep desire to do so while transforming hardened, disintegrated hearts into flexible, connected ones…”

“And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,” (‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭11:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

…”The notion that my mind comprises different parts that function well only when brought together in harmony and only with assistance from someone outside of myself is but one metaphor the writers of Scripture offer, a poetic expression of our embodied neural circuitry operating in an integrated fashion.” (Thompson, The Soul of Shame, p. 46)

Earlier he noted that what we’re paying attention is key to what we become.

If the first thing I hear each morning  is the 5:30 news and the first thing I read is my Twitter feed or a newspaper, it’s no wonder I have difficulty keeping God in front of me (to borrow from Willard). 

Willard tells us to train our hearts and minds.

Personal Scripture reading, prayer and disciple making conversations are ways that I pay attention to God.

Aim at Heaven y’all!

In this paying attention, I see God renew my mind.

Thanks be to God!

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1 Comment

Filed under seeking understanding

One response to “What we pay attention to has a profound impact on us…

  1. Mom

    So true! I’ve been reading this book about this topic from Caroline Leaf, neuroscientist – Who switched off my brain? You can listen to her speeches too on Youtube: https://youtu.be/WAfLKzVtepg

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