We don’t need science to prove the Bible is true—but we can learn from research how biblical principles are good for your overall health. Read these four biblical principles proven by science, and prepare to be astounded by God’s goodness to us in His Word!
Scientific theories don’t always agree with the Bible—and they always seem to be changing! But the Bible NEVER changes, and we know it to be the only truth on which to stand for eternal life and victory in this world. In other words, we don’t need science to prove what the Bible says, because we believe the Bible is true by faith. However, when science does finally catch up to the Bible, we can glean from the information and add to our own knowledge.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a friend of Kenneth Copeland Ministries and an anointed cognitive neuroscientist, has researched the human brain with emphasis on unlocking its vast, untapped potential. With more than 30 years of clinical research and private practice, Dr. Leaf has traveled the globe, helping people link science and Scripture as a tangible way to control their thoughts and see victory in their lives. She recently sat down with Kenneth and Gloria Copeland for a special broadcast series to discuss new discoveries found in her book, Think, Learn, and Succeed: Understanding Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life.
Dr. Leaf says, “The Bible is the story—science tells us how the story works.” Here are four biblical principles proven by science, as shared by Dr. Leaf, and how you can take practical steps to put them to work in your life.
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Biblical Principle No. 1: Take Every Thought Captive
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” –2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
Sometimes, Christians get caught up in focusing on outward actions as a sign of right living. But God has always focused on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV)—including your thoughts! That’s why the Bible spends so much time instructing us to pay attention to our thought lives.
Spiritual battles are won and lost in the thought realm—that’s where we choose how we respond to situations. It’s where we choose to believe or doubt, have faith or fear, love or hate. It’s where we find victory or defeat.
And did you know that science has proven the same thing to be true? Research shows that our thoughts impact our emotional, mental and even physical health. In fact, 75 to 95 percent of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. There’s an epidemic of toxic thinking!
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According to Dr. Leaf, the average person thinks between 30,000 and 180,000 thoughts per day. And according to the Word of God, we are supposed to bring every thought captive to Christ Jesus every day. That means every waking moment, we are to be capturing those thoughts in a meaningful way. Dr. Leaf advises, “Don’t ever let any thought run rampant through your mind; capture every thought, check for the lie, reject the lie, and embrace the truth!”
Dr. Leaf shared that brain research shows us that we are designed to regulate our thoughts every 10 seconds. “Six times every minute, we can consciously, deliberately and intentionally bring our thoughts into captivity to Christ Jesus,” she said.
Taking every thought captive is not optional! It’s a command. Thankfully, God doesn’t give us instructions without giving us the ability to carry them out. This is exactly why the Bible says to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2, NKJV) because when your mind is renewed, you are able to identify wrong thinking.
How do you renew your mind?
Dr. Leaf says, “Jesus was extremely practical. You renew your mind as a lifestyle.”
Here are three ways she suggests you begin:
Don’t allow chaotic thinking.
What is chaotic thinking? Anxiety, worry, depression, a loss of hope or purpose—these are all things that shave time off your life span. Research shows chaotic thinking creates neurochemical chaos in the brain, which in turn affects memory and emotional well-being. In addition, living under an unnecessary sense of urgency creates toxic stress that causes the blood vessels around the heart to constrict, restricting blood flow and oxygen to the brain that can cause foggy thinking and memory problems.
If you are checking in with your thoughts regularly, as soon as one comes in that is in the chaotic thinking category—chase it out! You can choose which thoughts you allow to take up residence in your mind.
Refuse to fear.
Fear is not only the opposite of faith, it is toxic to your physical body. Generating fear shoots negative energy into our brains and creates neurochemical chaos. The 75 trillion cells in the brain feed back to the mind, and when the mind continues to feed fear, it creates negative feedback loops, which means it just goes around and around, causing damage to the body and brain. Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1400 known physical and chemical responses, and activates more than 30 different hormones.
You need to know this: You are not able to control the events and circumstances of life or what other people think and choose. But you do have the power to choose what you believe and how you respond to circumstances in your life. “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). So, according to science and Scripture, we are able to think and choose well. Choose faith, choose life—refuse to fear.
Reject guilt and shame.
More books have been written about guilt and shame in the Christian genre than in any other. Why? Because Christians have used the commands and standards in the Bible as a reason for condemnation, rather than a way to propel people forward. This has caused guilt and shame to run rampant in the Body of Christ. Romans 8:1 tells us if you belong to Christ, then there is no condemnation for you. Furthermore, condemnation takes the focus off what Jesus Christ did for us at Gethsemane. Condemnation has never changed anything—it just makes things worse. It slowly kills the brain, and the brain is the connector between the mind and the spirit.
Get into the habit of thinking right thoughts. Align with the correct way of thinking by renewing your mind to God’s Word, and reject guilt and shame at every turn.
Biblical Principle No. 2: The Power of Words
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue. ” –Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)
The power of the tongue. Just think about it—the Bible says death and life are in the power of what you say every day. It’s so easy to open your mouth and speak, but it releases so much power—supernatural power. That’s why the Bible tells us time and again to watch our words because we’ll have whatever we say (Mark 11:23).
Well, science has finally caught up with the Bible! Scientific research proves that your words have power. Words are an influencer of your thoughts and impact your brain composition. Dr. Leaf puts it this way: “The power of thought is connected to the power of the spoken word.” In other words, it starts with our thoughts and then what we’re thinking comes out in the form of words.
Think grumbling and negative words are harmless? Consider what Dr. Leaf has to say: “Negativity keeps the mind locked and causes neurodegeneration in the brain!” Your words affect your physical body, your health, your brain, your mood—your life!
How can we make a change?
- Supernatural word and thought replacement. You know all those ugly words you learned in childhood and from the world? You start by replacing them with the Word of God. Don’t allow yourself to just default to old ways of speaking. If you have a family full of grumblers, gossips, critics or even bigots, you don’t have to jump on that bandwagon. You can make a change. You can choose to speak positive words every day. Remember, you have to think something before you say it! So, if you keep your mind renewed, your words will stay in alignment with God’s Word.
- Choose life-giving words! Leaf explains that words are electromagnetic forces that cause real and lasting change both in the ears of the listener and the one who says them. And they really can cause pain. Experts have found that loving words help heal and rewire this pain. Speak the Word only over yourself, your family and anyone with whom you come in contact. Be known as an encourager—then, you will encourage yourself. It’s a scientific fact!
Biblical Principle No. 3: Walking in Love
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” –1 Corinthians 13:3 (NKJV)
Walking in love can sometimes feel challenging—but it shouldn’t! Dr. Leaf explains why: “We are wired for love. We learnfear.” God tells us we are made in His image (Genesis 1:26) with a sound mind that operates in power and love (2 Timothy 1:7).
Science proves we are wired for love in the body’s physical response to thinking and choosing thoughts that are outside of love. Research shows that nearly all mental and physical illnesses are a result of a negative thought life—a life outside the operation of love.
Dr. Leaf shares why: “When you focus on loving yourself and loving others, God designed your immune system to respond by increasing its protective function to fight disease.” We are designed to love!
Here are some practical tips on accessing our God-given design for walking in love:
- Make a quality decision to walk in love. Dr. Leaf’s research has uncovered the fact that every single person can choose how he or she responds to life’s circumstances. We can’t always control what has happens to us, but we can control our reaction. Moving into anger, shame or bitterness is a choice that causes damage to our brains, minds, bodies and spirits. On the other hand, choosing love strengthens the composition of our brains, the health of our bodies, and the happiness of our emotions. We can rewire our brains by renewing our minds and accessing the power of love to do that. God has known this from the beginning!
- Give relationships priority. More people die annually from the lack of love (loneliness) than any other disease known to mankind. Our energy grows as we connect with each other, so pursuing fellowship is important to our health! We are designed for relationship. We manifest love with each other through our relationships.
Biblical Principle No. 4: Forgive
“Forgive, if you have anything against anyone.” –Mark 11:25 (ESV)
God has called us to forgive others, just as He has forgiven us. We know that, as a command, this is a nonnegotiable. It’s God’s best for us, and spiritual blessings are associated with staying free of unforgiveness. But are there other reasons—for our natural benefit—that God has commanded us to forgive?
The answer is found in the physical response of the brain and body to unforgiveness. According to Dr. Leaf’s research, when we refuse to forgive, we actually create gift-blockers in our brain—disabling our ability to think clearly and operate at the full capacity God intended.
Dr. Leaf explains that there is a quantum physics principle called entanglement, which means everything affects everything else. On a scientific level, it is the law of relationship. God made us for relationship, and He reveals it in the sciences. When you track that back to the brain, if there is a trauma or a wrong committed toward you, it sends a negative signal to your brain that can only be reversed through the act of forgiveness.
When you choose to not forgive, you keep toxicity in your brain, and you keep yourself scientifically entangled with that person who has harmed you. Here’s how: In quantum physics, there is no space-time dimension. In other words, just as God and His power are not bound by space and time, there are certain elements of energy that are not bound by space or time either. Science has proven what the Bible has told us is true—thoughts and words are energy that affect matter. So when you refuse to forgive someone, you maintain this quantum connection to them, and when they think or speak negative words against you, it affects you because that negative energy is translated to your mind.
But when we forgive, we bring it from the nonconscious mind to the conscious mind as we cast it out and over to the Lord—this closes the door to any connection with that person. When you choose to forgive someone, you go free from the consequences of any negative thoughts or words directed toward you.
The bottom line is: We’re not designed to hold on to the wrongs done to us. God designed us to give everything to Him and allow Him to be our avenger. When we hold on to hurts and wrongs done, we are taking on something our brains, minds and spirits were not designed to handle, which is why it is so toxic.
When a person decides to hold on to anger, anxiety, bitterness or unforgiveness, it significantly increases that person’s vulnerability to disease and has been found to shorten his or her life span. This is science showing us what the Bible has always said—worry, fear and unforgiveness are harmful to our health! Walking in a spirit of forgiveness is healthy for your mind, body and spirit.
Find out what happens to your brain when you forgive with Kenneth Copeland and Dr. Caroline Leaf!
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