I was reading a book the other day and a quote from the author really jumped out at me. The author was talking specifically about having wrong mindsets about ourselves and said, ” Just because it seems normal to you doesn’t mean that it is normal.” Wow… My brain started to work out what I might be telling myself, things that I think are normal, but in reality are completely untrue.
As I sat on the couch thinking, I looked back on things that I’ve said about myself when I feel like I’ve messed up or am not doing as good as I could. I heard myself saying things like, “I’m not a good wife” or “I need to be more like that person.” Did you know that the goal of the enemy is to drown us in so many negative thoughts about ourselves that we forget who we are in Christ?
Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
My understanding of things is shaky, my idea of normal isn’t always true. But God’s understanding is solid. He wants us to flourish with our thoughts rooted in him.
So how do we flourish with God’s understanding? How do we make God’s ways our new normal? Here are two ways that the Bible teaches us to change our thinking habits:
1.) Petitions and Praises. Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG) says this, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” If we want to change the way that we think about ourselves we need to let our petitions and praises shape our worries into prayers! This means that whatever we ask God in prayer and whatever praise we give him will show Him our concerns, our hearts cries. And when your cry is to have a healthier thought life, removing the old normal with a Godly normal, He will give you the right thoughts.
2.) Think. Philippians 4:8 (ESV) then says, “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.” The entire theme of this midweek flow is to remove the thoughts that the enemy has confused us with for so long and replace them with who God says we are. This verse is telling us that the things that we think about are the things that will settle into us. The more that we think about all of the things that Paul listed in verse 8, the clearer our new normal will become.
When I meditate and remember these two things, the enemy has no ground on my thoughts. I start to naturally think that I am a good wife and I don’t need to be anyone other than who God me. My thoughts and my normal belongs to God! I come before the Lord, asking and praying for a renewed mind and let Him pour into me the truth.
If you are struggling with negative thoughts, tell yourself these things everyday: I am blessed. I am strong. I am healthy. I am attractive. I am confident. I am valuable. I am victorious.