Why is change so hard? Why is it so hard to change our mental patterns? How can we say we believe the gospel yet still struggle immensely to believe it and live it out?
I think some insight can be gleamed from a recent chiropractic visit for my 10 day old daughter. Chiropractic adjustments are adjustments that are done to the alignment of our bodies to set them back into a proper place. Unfortunately they don’t stay there but slip back into misalignment. That is why continual adjustments are necessary and eventually the body responds. This is the same idea as braces which continually straighten the teeth. For my 10 day old daughter, she’s already needing regular adjustments.
Might not the same thing be true of our thought patterns? We can temporarily have them corrected in the midst of a good counseling session or gospel presentation. We can feel the relief, the freedom yet within hours we fall back into unhealthy and untrue thought patterns. Might even our cognitions need continual adjustment? It seems to make sense to me.
The difference is, while are bodies often need to be adjusted by others, we can eventually be taught to regulate our own thought patterns. It just takes time…usually longer than all of us would like. This is yet another reason why community and time in the word is so important. We are often the hardest on ourselves and we need the truth spoken to us both by brothers and sisters in Christ, and by Jesus, the Word.