Tell Yourself The Truth
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5 NLT).
If you were raised in a Christian home, you were surely taught the importance of honesty and always telling the truth. I feel that honesty and respect go hand in hand. You are not respecting someone if you are not telling them the truth.
It is sad that we often fail to extend the same courtesy to ourselves that we extend to others. When we believe negative thoughts about ourselves, we are lying to ourselves about who we are and Whose we are. I know that sometimes we just simply can’t get a negative thought out of our mind. We sometimes knowingly engage in self-defeating behavior and thoughts.
Our mind is a battlefield where the enemy sows seeds of doubt and insecurity. Romans 7:23 says, “I see a different law at work in my body—a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body.” I consider these attacks a back-handed compliment because it indicates that the devil knows you have great potential to make a positive impact on the Body of Christ. The seeds of doubt are sown to neutralize your witness and ministry.
Demonic thoughts are intended to rob us of our joy. Jesus taught us how to live not to have earthly joy but so that we may have His joy. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11, emphasis added).
During times of attack, I remind myself that serving the Lord is a conscious decision and each day I need to rebuke in His name all that is evil, including evil thoughts, and recommit myself to Him, His ministry, and His will. Evil is ever present in this fallen world. Scripture teaches us how to react to all forms of evil. “Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
I cannot emphasize enough the importance and power of memorizing Scripture and speaking it out loud during times of self-doubt. Speak the Word with confidence and claim the promise it contains! Hebrews 4:12 teaches the benefit of the Word. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
You have the power to change the way that you think. It is not easy, but it begins by claiming the familiar promise found in Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” One of the things you can do through Him is to not believe every thought in your head.
Our mind frequently lies to us. Just because you think or feel something is true doesn’t make it true. Proverbs 14:12 speaks to this truth. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” It is important to realize that your mind and your emotions often lie to you. This doesn’t mean you are anything less than human. As Christians we are certainly not immune to adversity. A large step in our spiritual growth—becoming more like Jesus—is learning to discern the true author of our thoughts and therefore know which thoughts are true and false. The Apostle Paul knew the importance of properly focusing our thoughts as evidenced by His encouragement to the church in Philippi. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
As a mature Christian you must ask yourself a few questions. Who is the author of this thought? Is this thought true? If you have any doubt about your true identity and value, then spend some time in Ephesians Chapter 1.
No matter how far you go in your spiritual walk, your old, sinful nature will keep trying to take control of your thoughts. The battle is real and constant. You have to learn to question your thoughts, not just one time but throughout your day and throughout your life!
Scripture teaches, “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Don’t you think your thoughts are included under “all things”? A big part of holding fast to “what is good” is thinking about the things listed in Philippians 4:8. Be blessed.
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for your promises to us as found in Scripture. Forgive us for failing to claim these promises and giving credence to negative self-thoughts. Help us to boldly and courageously rebuke in Your name all thoughts that do not bring honor and glory to your name. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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