Since it is virtually impossible to identify and erase all of the misleading information in our mental computers, the only way to change our thinking habits is to input new information. Unless we change what we know, we will continue to believe, decide, and act in a manner that is contrary to our best interests” (The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle, by Jim Rohn).
This theory is similar to the “black box theory.” Picture how complicated some of our technological gadgets have become. Technology is now so complicated that when our toys of wizardry break (e.g., a cell phone, an airplane instrument, computers, even a television set), sometimes it’s almost impossible to fix them. However, we can introduce new information into these “black boxes” that WILL fix them (Generation to Generation, by Edwin Friedman)!
When people can’t fix what’s broken in their relationships, the same principles apply. There are a plethora of communication skills that can bring healing to any relationship. Yet many people – and many couples – are unable to use these skills. However, if kindness and comfort are introduced into the dysfunctional relationship system, problems are solved and communication automatically improves!
When someone has an imbalance in their protein-based neurotransmitters, then introducing the right medication can eliminate or help to manage difficult problems such as panic disorders, obsessions and compulsions, bipolar disorders, anxiety and depression, and many other problems that either are certainly or may be chemically based. New information is simply plugged into the “black box” of the body organ that we call our “brain.” Just as many medications heal all kinds of physical disorders, psychotropic medications often fix problems that are based in imbalances in our brain chemistry.
In relationships, when communication skills don’t seem to help people fix the “black box,” then meeting intimacy needs such as attention, affection, appreciation, and respect often bring healing. When such needs are met, the relationship often starts to function in a healthy way!
The same is true of an individual. If underlying assumptions about self, others, the world, and the future cannot be discovered, e.g., such dysfunctional assumptions as “Men cannot be trusted,” “Everyone must love me,” or “If I don’t succeed, I am a loser,” and if new and rational decisions are just too hard to make, then people often simply need to meditate on truth.
Meditating and acting on the truth brings changes in the human soul and psyche (and brain!). Perhaps, all we will ever discover is that somewhere inside of us are assumptions that enabled our survival at the time, but that as adults, don’t work anymore. But new decisions and new thinking can fix the black box!
Personally, I “re-tread my head” with God’s word. I program my mind with “wholesome thinking” such as thoughts that are “true, honorable, and just.” Also, I try to be proactively kind to people. All of these are scriptural principles guaranteed to bring positive changes in ourselves and in our relationships.
When we give our life to Christ, he assists us in changing us from the inside out. We partner with God by believing and confessing the truthful statements of God’s word.
We know that as with many people in the Bible, God gives us a new identity when we submit our lives to Christ. God didn’t send Christ to make us “better,” but to make us NEW! We’re new creations in Christ! Our personal “black box” is often simply fixed through faith in this fact and in living it out every day!
When I “walk” (act and believe) in this newness of life by trusting God and by re-treading my head with the truth, I am changed – even when I’m not sure about what the underlying problems are – whether in a relationship or in myself. I simply introduce new information into the black box and put my full trust in God to change me from the inside out. Of course, God never fails!!!
When we plug ourselves into the mysteries of life, these mysteries are often made known to us.