How to Get Out of a Rut

Date: March 8, 2023

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Jeremiah 17:9-10


Craig Groeschel tells a story about the roads in Alaska where winter snow melts, creating seriously muddy ruts in summer. A road sign reads, “Choose your rut carefully. You’ll be in it for the next 60 miles.”[1]


Like those muddy roads, our minds get stuck in lifelong ruts of thinking; often, our thoughts seem involuntary. Scientists confirm that we can control only a tiny part of our conscious thoughts.[2] Lies we believe about ourselves, anxious thoughts, prideful thoughts, lustful thoughts–all roll around in our heads.


The Bible declared long ago that “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9-10), and Jesus said, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say” (Matthew 12:33). But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck with our wicked hearts, in the muddy ruts of our minds. God is all about creating clean, redeemed hearts and renewed minds. The Bible tells us that internalizing and meditating on scripture cleanses and renews us (Ephesians 5:26), because the Bible isn’t an ordinary, human book. Its words are truth (John 17:7), and they have the power of God’s Spirit. When we soak in scripture, even lifelong patterns of thinking can change.


Here’s a prayer from Psalms you can bring to a time spent with scripture today: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 KJV).


[1] Groeschel, Craig. “Crossed Wires and Circular Ruts.” Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, Zondervan Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 2021, pp. 67.


[2] Gordon, Barry. “Can We Control Our Thoughts? Why Do Thoughts Pop into My Head as I’m Trying to Fall Asleep?” Scientific American, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2013,