So. If you read the title, and came here for an easy answer, I apologize straight away.
There are so many ways to process the events of our lives.
These events may be physical, mental, and/or spiritual.
Many times these events and their repercussions stay hidden deep inside.
If we do choose to address them, admittedly, we choose to work on the parts that seem “easiest”.
This generally means a little here and a little there.
Eventually, the hard stuff is what’s left.
What is the hard stuff?
It’s the stuff that makes up the “Soundtrack of our lives”.
It’s the stuff that has buried itself deep in our consciousness.
Being a “Soundtrack”, means that it can readily get played over and over.
What we believe about ourselves is often the thing that has been repeated to us over time.
Repetition is an amazing teacher.
So what of this “Soundtrack”?
Is it positive, or is it negative?
Do we even realize the harm it is doing?
For me at least, I came to the point where I was faced with doing a “deep dive”.
An →“Excavation” if you will, to get to the heart of the issue.
My belief in the Holy Bible gave me a jumping off point.
In Ephesians 4:22-23 (ESV) to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.
And in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
In the simplest of terms, what these verses are telling us that it is possible to change the way we think.
My “Soundtrack” was full of what every person I had ever come in contact with said, or thought about me, both positive and negative.
Unfortunately, the negatives are much stickier than the positives.
I’m told that it takes seven positives to overcome a negative.
So how does one go about renewing those thoughts, or “taking them captive”?
Scripture has an answer for that as well.
Philippians 4:8 (ESV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
That’s a tall order.
To tell the truth, I had read all of these verses before, but it seems like onlywhen I was truly ready to put them in place, did they come alive to me!
Believe me friend, it took all the intentionality I could muster to change those thoughts!
Here is some of what I thought followed by what God was thinking about me.
“You’re no good” – God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
“Use your head for something besides a hat rack.” – Blessed is the one who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (I’ll need my head for that!)
“You’re so dumb.” God says I have the mind of Christ.
“You’re so bad, God will never forgive you!” He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins.
“What tribe you from? Blackfoot?” – How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news.
Blackfoot, bigfoot, gunboats, monkey toes – He drew me out of the pit, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
(There is a foot verse for any foot joke there is!)
Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” – “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
The only way that we can overcome, is to change the way we speak about ourselves.
We need to believe what God says, and to repeat it to ourselves again and again.
Remember that repetition is a great teacher.
After some time, I began to believe God said too; and my symptoms began to fade.
I keep adding the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy statements to my tally of positives.
I believe God’s thoughts more and more, and am exceedingly more capable of living a most grateful and joyful life.
I know I have considered the question over and over my entire lifetime.
I know that I had many aspirations; a teacher, a writer, a ballerina, a jockey, a barrel racer, a truck driver, a mom.
The list goes on, but I don’t recall ever being encouraged to be anything but a →“Good girl”.
When people are asked, “Who are you?” they will frequently answer with what they do.
Like the list above, it can vary from day to day.
But there came a time in my life when I found out that the answer to the question was very different.
I had been looking at it from through the wrong lenses.
The Holy Bible says in Galatians 4:6 (ESV) Because you are sons, God hassent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Abba = Daddy)
And Psalm 100:3 (ESV) says; Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Then, there is my life verse, a life verse of many;
Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV) 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully andwonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformedsubstance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
*We are His
*We are His sons
*We are created by Him
*We are fearfully and wonderfully made
*We are known by Him
This all sounds very different than the traditional answer we come up with.
Beginning to think of who we are in this manner takes some doing.
When I first began to change my answer, over and over, I had to remind myself that I was “a Kings kid”.
This thinking did not come readily, due to my personal history.
I had to learn that it wasn’t something I did, it was something I was.
It didn’t have anything to do with my job title, or even the events that occurred in my life.
It wasn’t connected to the guilt or the shame that tried to remain prevalent in my mind.
What it was, and still is, and forever will be,
is my relationship to God my Father.
Deuteronomy 31:8B He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
A quote from a friend of mine reminds me that “We are human beings, not human doings.”
Her quote, makes me want to BE with God.
It’s not what we do, or what has been done to us.
It’s about what we think of God.
This makes all the difference.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.“
A. W. Tozer
I hope you’ll join me next time when we talk about; Process.