"There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death." ~Proverbs 14:12 (AMP)
Welcome back friends! I hope you had a great weekend! If you didn't get a chance to read Saturday's post, I would like to encourage you to do that, since today's message is continued from that one.
I ended Saturday's message with a challenge for you. I suggested that you take the time to really think about what you're thinking about. So, how did that go for you? Was it harder than you expected? Did you find yourself thinking more negative thoughts or positive ones? Did you write those things down? When I first started doing this, I was amazed at how much negative self-talk I constantly had going on in my mind. No wonder I was struggling. Here are a few examples of negative self-talk:
1.) "They completely ignored me today. They don't like me. I'm just not good enough."
2.) "I can't do anything right. Why bother?"
3.) "Why would that person say such ugly things to me? I don't even matter."
4.) "God hasn't answered my prayer, so He must not love me."
5.) "I must be a really bad person for God to let this happen to me."
Can you relate to any of the above statements? Sadly, those statements weren't made up, they are things I have actually thought and said over the years. Even worse than thinking and saying those things is the fact that I use to believe them. I remember hearing Joyce Meyer on several occasions say, "Where the mind goes the man follows." This was exactly what had been happening to me for many years, My emotions, behavior, and attitudes were playing follow the leader with my toxic thoughts. Unfortunately, where they led me was not a place of life. I was in an endless cycle of toxic thoughts and behaviors. One of those toxic behaviors came in the form of being a people-pleaser. I was constantly seeking the approval of others to validate me and affirm me, which meant I didn't know how to say no. I didn't have healthy boundaries because I didn't even know what they were. I would let others take advantage of me because I didn't want them to get mad at me or dislike me. My thoughts and feelings told me I was worthless, so to feel important I needed other people to approve of me and affirm me. I had beat myself down so badly that even when someone would compliment me, I didn't believe them. I can't count the times over the years that my husband has lovingly told me I was beautiful, and even though I would say thank you, I didn't fully believe him because I didn't "feel" beautiful. I desperately wanted to be free of these things. I had suffered with these things far too long. It was my heart's desire to have healing and wholeness in these areas. I was so tired of the constant war going on in my mind. I wanted to have healthy thoughts and healthy relationships. I wanted to be able to love myself, so I could truly love others. I started crying out to the Lord to show me what was at the root of those toxic thought patterns. I was ready for a change, no matter what it took. Little did I know what was in store for me when I prayed that prayer.
This is where I will close for today my friends. Stay tuned for more on Wednesday when I will pick back up with my next post entitled, "I Was Blind, But Now I See." Here is a quick review of what we've talked about so far: The first step to walking in freedom from toxic thoughts is to acknowledge that we have problems in this area. We can't deal with what we don't acknowledge. Our feelings, actions, and attitudes will follow our thoughts. Try to continue to think about what you're thinking about. Keep a journal of your thoughts if that helps. And of course, ask the Lord to show you the root of those toxic thoughts if that's something you struggle with. He wants freedom for you more than you do. Until next time my friends, be blessed!
"It's easy to quit, it takes faith to go through." ~Joyce Meyer
(If you haven't read Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, I highly recommend it.)
*Scripture verses to encourage you*
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."~Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you."~Isaiah 43:2 (AMP)