If life gives you lemons they tell you to make lemonade. But what if you don't know how? To some it may seem silly. Not know how to make lemonade? Just look up a recipe and make it. It’s so easy, you just add sugar and water to the lemon juice!
What if you come from a place where they have never heard of sugar? Or you can’t read? What if you have nothing to make it in?
I could go on, but I think you get my point. At least I hope you do. But just in case you don’t let me explain. If someone has a bad life, regardless of the reason, and you tell them to just make lemonade what good is it? Yes I understand what is meant behind the saying. Lemonade is good, it’s refreshing on a hot summer day, it’s sweet, not sour like just a lemon would be. I get it.
But my questions remain. Of what benefit does it have to the person who doesn’t know how to make lemonade?
It’s like telling someone who is struggling with wrong thinking to “take captive their thoughts” or “just think on whatever is lovely, good, true, etc...”. What you have said is true, but how does it benefit the person if they don’t know how to take thoughts captive? What if they don’t know what is lovely, good or true?
It’s easy to speak words of truth, but unless we are willing to take the time to get real and possibly messy with that person then what benefit is it?
Please understand, to say these things to someone who KNOWS truth is one thing, but to say it to someone who is really struggling with their thinking, lies, the past etc... is a whole different thing. They may not comprehend what you are talking about. You may only leave them feeling frustrated.
We need to understand that there are believers who may not have been taught truth. They may not know the true character of God, but have a twisted view of him. So to tell them to think upon truth, they may still be trying to think on twisted truth.
It’s possible that they grew up with their minds being filled with lies about themselves and about who God really is. Then as a believer the enemy takes those and sets out to destroy a true knowledge of God and who we really are in Christ.
You can’t make lemonade out of lemons unless you have a recipe to follow and you understand what the ingredients are. And you can’t renew your mind or take captive your thoughts unless you first understand who God truly is, and who you are in Christ.
You see for me to tell someone to “renew their mind” without being willing to walk along with them is really of no benefit. To truly benefit the person I need to help them see who God is. Help them understand His character. Then I need to help them understand what lies they are believing about God. I also need to help them see who they are IN Christ. I need to help them see and believe that they are God’s beloved, holy, set apart and loved with an everlasting love. I need to help them recognize wrong thinking, thinking based on lies from the enemy and from our past. I need to then help them understand the truth that replaces the lies.
So the next time you say to someone that they need to “take captive their thoughts” ask yourself if you are willing to then take the time to help them understand how to do it.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. (2 Cor 10:5-7)
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:7-9)
You might want to read Lemonade and a Renewed mind which I wrote as a follow up to this post