Have you ever had times where someone told you some things you didn't want to hear? You know what I mean, that thing called "constructive criticism." How did you take what was being said? Did you get upset or offended? Did you think they were judging you? If you reacted in any of these ways, please know you're not alone. I struggled in these areas for most of my life. Instead of taking the time to stop and listen to what was being said to me, I would put up a wall as soon as I thought they were saying something to correct me; even if it was not meant to come across in a judgmental way. It was an automatic response for me because of the self-worth and rejection issues I struggled with all my life. It took me many years to finally figure out why I was reacting the way I was. I'm happy to say that I've gotten much better in how I respond to things like that over the last few years now, but I have not by any means arrived in this area. I'm still learning. The rejection and abuse I went through as a child made it very hard for me to hear "constructive criticism" over the years. I would get hurt and offended because my way of processing things was messed up. I would revert back to those old feelings I suffered as a child even though I was no longer in the situation that caused all the hurt and pain. I was stuck in old ways of thinking. I had a huge wall around my heart. It was kinda like a defense mechanism that I was using to try to protect myself from further hurt. The sad thing is this defense mechanism was distorting my view of the truth. I was seeing and hearing things based on my own negative thought patterns.
I believe God knew how important it would be for us to get rid of all that garbage (stinkin' thinking) and to change the way we think; particularly in the areas where we have self-worth and rejection issues. He said in Romans 12:2 for us to renew our minds and to completely change the way we think. It's amazing how messed up our thoughts can get when we see things through the eyes of rejection. We may feel angry, bitter, or even think we're worthless. Our negative thought patterns can hinder every relationship we have, even the one we have with God. I finally got to the point where I knew God had so much more for me and He didn't want me to be in bondage to those toxic thoughts. I had to learn to think about what I was thinking about. That sounds
funny doesn't it? How do you think about what you're thinking about? We CAN change all those toxic thought patterns. One way to do that is to ask ourselves some questions before allowing those negative thoughts to take over, again. We can use Philippians 4:8 as a way to figure out if our way of thinking is in line with what God says. God tells us to think on things that are pure and lovely, things that are true and of good report, things that are noble and right. What are you thinking about? Over the next couple of posts I will elaborate more on what helped me to change my negative thought patterns. I would however, like to ask you to take a few days to really think about what you're thinking about. Maybe you could write down your thoughts to keep track of what you're actually thinking. You may be surprised. Please feel free to share any areas where you may be struggling with your thoughts, or if you would like prayer for those things.
The next post coming up on Monday is called, "You Are What You Think." Until then, be blessed my friends!
Romans 12:2- Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (AMP)
Philippians 4:8- For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of
reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and
gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything
worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things
[fix your minds on them]. (AMP)