I love it when you know God is telling you something. You know because the same message keeps popping up everywhere you go. I guess unbelievers would dismiss it as “coincidence”, but believers know that nothing is ever a coincidence.
I am in a Bible study right now that is reading John & Stasi Eldridge’s Captivating. It’s all about what God created the female soul to be like, exposing the wounds that prevent each of us from fully embracing our feminine identity in Christ, and allowing the Lord to heal said wounds. I’ll just tell you it is not a fun study. It is hard to consider all the ways your earthly father unknowingly (and knowingly, in some cases) hurt you as a little girl, all the ways your mom failed to model a Christlike woman for you, and all the ways others emotionally hurt you as you grew up. Because children don’t have the life experience and proper perspective to understand why people act the way they do, children begin to assume bad things happen to them because of them. It is their fault. And Satan preys on this misunderstanding to get kids to believe other lies about themselves (they aren’t smart/pretty/good enough, they are of no value, they don’t deserve love, etc.). When kids grow up, these lies have become truth to them, and it deeply impacts the rest of their lives.
I am only in week 4 of the study. Up to now, all I’ve done is identify my specific wounds and the lies I’ve believed as a result of the wounds. This week we will begin to study how to let Christ come in and heal our hearts. And I have a feeling that will include deciding to conciously replace the lies with truth – the Truth – the Word of God.
Lo and behold, that’s exactly what my Sunday School lesson was on today. We are exploring the idea that mind over matter really can work, and, beyond that, is necessary for living a Christlike life. It’s another way of saying speaking truth to ourselves when we find ourselves believing a lie. For example, one thing most of us struggle with is feeling stuck in sin. No matter how hard we try to avoid a particular sin, we always fall back into it. We feel a hopelessness about ever “defeating” that sin. When we find ourselves depressed about this, we need to consciously decide to speak truth in a mind over matter type of way. Like, “No! I am a new creation in Christ – I am no longer a slave to (insert sin here). Christ has given me the victory, and I am not going back there!” It sounds a bit like a pep rally for yourself, but, to be honest, I think that’s what we need! We need to actually believe what the scriptures say about ourselves, and we need to believe it most when we are in the throes of damaging thinking, which cripples our actions as well.
It’s going to be hard for me to get into the habit of thinking this way, but I’d like to.