Our daughter Sarah was in college and told me of a young lady she met in the dorm that was shy and reclusive. Sarah took an interest in her and discovered she had a very low self-concept. Sarah learned she had been told by her father on more than one occasion that she would never be like her older brother. Her dad is not a Christian, but he had effectively “discipled” his daughter to not believe in herself.
All of us have doubts about ourselves at times. We struggle with our past record of failure and achievement. We tend to be affected by the comments of family members, friends, employers, etc. For some, the negative record in our minds is still very loud.
Read Proverbs 23:7.
Jesus says we need to build our lives (i.e., actions and thoughts) on the strength, clarity, and power of the Word of God. Part of the healthy habits all followers of Jesus need to cultivate is to learn to win the battle of the mind. Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever things are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely, think on such things.”
How can we deal with and overcome destructive thoughts?
- Step into a battle you expect to win. Read Psalm 121:3, James 4:7. The key to remember is fiery darts will always come, but in and through Jesus, we are victorious.
- Use your greatest weapon – the Word of God. Read Ephesians 6:10-18, and recognize the authority you have (v 17) as a child of God. Follow Jesus’ example when facing temptation, doubt, uncertainty, and quote and depend on the Word of God.
- Remove all provision for defeat. Read Romans 13:14, 1 Corinthians 15:33, and 1 Peter 2:11. If you make provision for the flesh, you give temptation an opportunity, you stir up unnecessary emotions, and they will eventually conquer your will.
- Learn to walk in the fear of God. Read Proverbs 5:21, 15:3, and 16:6. The respect and reverence of the Lord is a moment-by-moment awareness that God is watching and weighing your thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
- Make a covenant with your eyes. Read Job 31:1, then memorize Psalm 119:37.
- Resist the curiosity of sin. Read Romans 6:19-20. We do not learn the details of evil by participating in them, but by the discernment of the Spirit (1 John 4:1). We honor (and obey) Jesus by walking in the Spirit and not satisfying the lust of the flesh.
- Stay close to Calvary. Read Matthew 6:13, 26:41, 1 Corinthians 10:13. We often fail to obey Jesus by praying our way out of temptation and staying close to Him.
Walk wisely. Jesus showed us how to win the battle of our thought life by using the Word of God. Let us work daily to be a pure and holy people for the glory of God.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz