October 28, 2010

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Thoughts are powerful. They've clearly affected my marriage and my mothering. But I have struggled and wrestled with thoughts about myself more than anything else.

I wonder how many times a day we feed our insecurities?
I'm fat. No one likes me. I'm not good at anything. What I just said was really stupid. 

Or worse, we accept lies as truth.
God doesn't love me. His grace can't be true for me--look at what I've done. 

Listening to and believing my own thoughts have caused me so much harm. I gave over years of my life to self-condemnation, guilt, depression, and pride because of these thoughts.

One day, the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me with the truth of God's grace and love toward me. And so began a process of literally changing my mind. I began thinking about what I was thinking about. Did those thoughts line up with Scripture? If not, I refused to think them and then replaced them with truth.

Was it easy? No. Is it easy now? No, but it's getting easier. It continues to be a wrestling match with myself, especially in my struggle to understand that I don't have to earn God's love. The Bible says in Galatians 5:1, "For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery." To me, "stand firm" implies that it's something we must be adamant about with ourselves (and others).

Don't believe everything you think.

Believe what God--who cannot lie--says about you if you are in Christ:

I am the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Matthew 5:13-14
I am God's child. John 1:12
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. John 15:16
I am God's gift to Christ. John 17:9
I am an heir of God, a joint heir with Christ. Romans 8:17
The Spirit makes intercession for me according to God. Romans 8:26
God called me. Romans 8:30
It is beyond imagination what God has prepared for me. 1 Cor 2:9
I am already full, already rich. 1 Cor 4:8
I am a member of Christ's body. 1 Cor 12:27
I am God's co-worker. 2 Cor 6:1, 1 Cor 3:9
I am a saint. Ephesians 1:1
I am God's workmanship. Ephesians 2:10
He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that I ask or think. Eph 3:20
I am a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20, Eph 2:6
The Lord has lavished so much love on me that I can be called His child. 1 John 3:1-3
I am loved, so much that Jesus died for me. Galatians 2:20
I am Christ's friend. John 15:15
I belong to God. John 17:9
I have been justified. Romans 5:1
I have been bought with a price. I belong to God. 1 Cor 6:20
I am a sweet smelling fragrance to God. 2 Cor 2:15
I have been made righteous. 2 Cor 5:21
I have been adopted as God's child. Eph 1:5
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. Eph 2:18
I may approach God with boldness and confidence. Eph 3:10-12
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Col 1:14
I am complete in Christ. Col 2:10
I may cast all my cares on Him because He cares for me. 1 Peter 5:7
I have received the gift of God's grace. Rom 5:17
God's grace has immeasurably exceeded my sin. Rom 5:20
I have eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord. Rom 6:23
All things work together for my good. Rom 8:28
I cannot be separated from the love of God. Rom 8:35
I am free forever from condemnation. Rom 8:1
In Christ, I have been made alive. 1 Cor 15:22
My sufficiency is from God. 2 Cor 3:5
God's grace is all I need for sufficiency. 2 Cor 12:9
I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge, guaranteeing my inheritance to come. Eph 1:13-14
I don't have to be anxious about anything. Philippians 4:6
I am hidden with Christ in God.  Col 3:3
God's unchanging nature is an anchor to my soul both sure and steadfast. Heb 4:16
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. 1 John 5:18

We are not worthy of this. But God, who sees Christ when He looks at us, has done it for us.

Now we must beat our thoughts into submission to the truth.
Once we do, we'll experience gratitude and joy at the unimaginable gift we've been given.