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  • David Chadwick

Davidisms: First Belief, then Feelings, then Behavior

Why do we act the way we act, and do the things we do?

Here’s the answer: first belief, then feelings, then behavior.

The order is biblical. We act on what we believe. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

It is our mind - where our beliefs reside - that informs our feelings. Feelings then bring about our behavior. It’s why we must first think differently before we will act differently.

Too often we try to change our behavior by practicing feelings modification. It seldom works. We must get to the root of our feelings, which is what we put in our minds.

The apostle Paul understood the power of one’s thoughts. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

As we are conformed to the image of Christ - which includes a mind with wholesome thought patterns - our feelings will follow suit (Romans 8:29). And then we will want to live as God wants us to live. Behave as he wants us to behave. Obeying his commands.

Remind yourself daily to focus on things above (Colossians 3:2). When you do so, your beliefs are set. Feelings will follow. Then there will be the right behavior.

And you will honor God with your heart, soul and mind.

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