I’ve said it before but since it hasn’t changed, I’ll say it again.
I find Psychology extremely fascinating.
Getting to the root of wrong mindsets is the key to living a life of freedom in Christ, in my opinion.
If the mind is the battleground between good and evil, then isn’t it important that we untangle the webs of lies that the devil has planted there?
Have you ever considered that the way you feel, the way you think, the things you believe in general and about yourself might actually be incorrect?
Is it possible that you are viewing the world not as it is, but as your life and the people in it have taught you to view it?
A couple weeks ago, in a class we’re doing, Steven Dasilvo shared part of his testimony…
He was actively involved in his church, served in a lot of positions and was living a passionate Christian life.
Yet, when God challenged him to say that he (Steven) is good, he couldn’t do it.
He literally couldn’t say that he himself was good.
As he wrestled through this, he realized that he thought of himself as good only when he was serving, but when he wasn’t serving (and not doing good) he didn’t think of himself as a good person.
As I listened to his story I thought back to a quote I read earlier this year. ‘Busyness is a false sense of importance.’
This phrase stuck with me and I felt like it applied to me somehow but I wasn’t sure how or why.
Here and now, though, is where the pieces all came together.
I love to ‘accomplish things.’
Like market… setting up the showcase with lots of fresh foods on Thursday mornings was so satisfying to me. #Accomplishment.
Cleaning everything up Saturday nights, washing all those pans that were now empty was equally satisfying. #Accomplishment.
Counting money, paying bills on Monday And taking the cash to the bank on Tuesday was also satisfying. #Accomplishment.
I thought of myself as a ‘good’ person when I was accomplishing things.
Can you guess what my biggest challenge is?
Being just a stay at home mom.
Sure it has its moments of accomplishment, like when I actually get the whole house cleaned in one day, or cook an exotic meal or do something fun with the kids.
Overall, though it can be a pretty mundane thing. Projects half finished because of interruptions due the kids having needs. #Unaccomplished.
Ending days feeling like I snapped at them more then I loved. #Unaccomplished.
Unfortunately, my children don’t rant and rave about our great customer service or our delicious food. They do enjoy letting me know though if they disapprove.😬 #Unaccomplished.
Do you see the problem yet?🤨
If I only feel good about myself when I’m accomplishing something, that leaves an awful lot of time when I don’t feel good about myself.
Also, how will I do the things well that do not make me feel accomplished?
In order to solve this problem, I need to be able to see myself as a good person no matter what I’m doing or not doing.
I’ve learned that easiest way to change the strongholds or lies in my thinking, is to get to the root of the problem.
So, over the last two weeks I’ve prayed about this and pondered over why I find my identity, in my doing.
Today it finally clicked.
Growing up, I often felt like I wasn’t good enough. I asked too many questions, I had the wrong personality and it felt no matter how hard I tried I still managed to do it wrong.
I tried so hard to be good, to do the right things, to be the right person, to simply be good.
Can you guess when I managed to feel good about myself?
When I was accomplishing things.
When I was doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning up or changing diapers. These were the times when I was affirmed and therefore they became the times I felt like a good person.
The devil used this experience to plant the lie in my mind that I am only a good person when I’m accomplishing things.
This lie, followed me into adulthood and has to some degree dictated my actions and I have been absolutely oblivious to it.
I share all that to challenge you to think about the things you do or don’t do simply because of how they make you feel.
What lies do you believe? What is your identity planted in?
Do you feel like you’re not a good person even though you’ve fully surrendered your life to Jesus?
Do you feel like you need to prove yourself to the whole world or maybe it’s just to your family, your friends or just a random Person here or there?
Ask yourself why. Why? Think about it. Think about it alot.
If you are a born again, Jesus following Christian, who is secure in your identity in Christ there won’t be a single person out there who can make you doubt wether or not you’re a good person.
(BTW this is not the same as justifying your sins. If you have things in your life that need repenting of, please do not use this as a way to justify your actions. This isn’t about how others make you feel, this is about taking a good, hard look at yourself.)
Once you’ve identified something you do to feel good about yourself, I challenge you to not stop there. Pray about it, ask God to take you to the root of it.
Don’t stop till you understand why you believe this and what incident in your life allowed this lie to be planted.
This is the place, where you now have the ability to change that wrong mindset.
- Renounce the lie. Do it verbally. Declare the words out loud: ‘I am a good person because I’ve been washed in the blood of the lamb. I am not defined by the things I accomplish.’ (Use your own words though, whatever it is you struggle with.)🙃 Declaring something verbally breaks the chains holding you captive,
- Confess it. Bring it into the light. Tell someone. James 5:16 says: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Confessing to someone else and having them pray with you also breaks the chains holding you captive. Keeping silent on something gives the devil power, but he loses that power when you bring it into the light.
- Change the way you think. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,(A)and we take captive every thought to make it obedient(B) to Christ. Do this literally. When those old thought patterns surface, silence them immediately and allow only the things that God says to be true to have a place in your mind. ‘I am a good person because I’ve been washed in the blood of the lamb…
It’s amazing really. Our life experiences teach us to believe things that aren’t always true.
However, through the power of Holy Spirit all things can be made new. God can and will change all your wrong mindsets if you simply bring them to him.
Carrying these strongholds of the mind is more exhausting then we realize, and digging back through your past in order to get rid of them can be a painful process, but on the other side of the pain, the scars and the ugliness lies a freedom of mind that is exhilarating!
Again, I’m challenging you today to not be content with mediocre freedom. Because Jesus didn’t die on the cross to set us kinda free.
He died to set us fully, completely and totally free!
Why would we reject this gift he has so freely given to us?
Today is a good day to start pursuing the complete freedom he has made available to us.
Be blessed and be free!