I tend to digest really negative thoughts about myself. Whatever mean-spirited words jump into my head, I welcome and believe them. Words like, “You’ll never amount to anything,” or “Who do you think you are to do ______,” or “No one gives a rip about you.”
Am I alone here? Have you ever had thoughts like this?
In order to find impossible joy, we have to take those thoughts captive. Why? Because they hurt you. They are not God’s words to you. They’re the voice of the evil one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. (See John 10:10). Why give them power? Why let them take you down the sadness road?
Sometimes it’s hard to know what freedom looks like, to be free in your thoughts, to no longer be held captive by the negativity.
Here are several ways you can practice and experience freedom in this area:
- When you mess up, offer yourself grace, the same grace you offer others when they wrong you.
- Silence the angry words directed your way by simply saying, “Jesus loves me.”
- Live in a deeper level of freedom and joy because you no longer believe in your unworthiness.
- Have more moments in life when you feel genuine elation, rejoicing in the outrageous grace of Jesus.
- Forgive others as you revel in the sheer volume of how much God has forgiven you.
- Believe God has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west, then joyfully live accordingly.
- Quiet the static in your head, replacing it by the affectionate words of the Almighty.
[Tweet ““Why do we love everyone else, offering grace and forgiveness aplenty, but can’t extend the same grace to ourselves? #Everythingbook”]
Here’s something practical you can do this year to combat the angry voices in your head. Get ten 3 x 5 cards. On one side, write a lie you believe about yourself. Then on the other side, write a Scripture that combats that lie. (My thanks to my friend Anne Mateer for encouraging me to do this. It changed my life.)
Lie: I am unworthy of God’s affection.
Truth: Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It’s time to go on a crabby thought diet. It will alter the way you see yourself and God, and it will bring true, deep joy to your life.
Prayer: Jesus, forgive me for listening to all those mean voices in my head. I have often thought You were the one who spoke those condemning words to me. Help me to renew my mind by thinking instead about Your word to me. Help me realize You love me and believe the best about me. Because of Jesus, I am worthy. I want to believe that. Help me. Amen.
This is an ongoing Thursday series based on the book Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. It’s the book I wrote that details how exactly we can grow in our relationship with Jesus in a life-altering, hope-fueling way. It’s everything I know about discipleship and growth.