August 24, 2007

Beliefs: True or False

Angela L. Craig

 

I hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Angela Craig.

 

 

Today’s Truth

“…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” (Romans 12:2 NLT).

 

Friend to Friend

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think that you can do a thing or not, you are right.” Science has continually proven that Henry Ford is correct in his assessment of human belief. Our thoughts and beliefs have a powerful impact on how we live, influencing our relationships, jobs, and health.

 

Have you ever had an occasion where your emotional response to a situation was completely contrary to the reality of the circumstances? I know I have. You see, our emotional response will match what we have learned or experienced in our lives. Our perception of a situation, whether right or wrong, will override reality and dictate our response.

 

My husband (Mark) will testify that I have been known to “over-react” in many situations. For example, Mark was presented a work opportunity that would have him travel 1-3 days a week. My family’s history of divorce, separation and lack of time together triggered a fear response that was both physical and emotional. My mind immediately swirled with thoughts of a broken family, torn apart by distance and work priorities. I was convinced that my children would never see their father again as my heart started to race and I became sick to my stomach. Luckily, my husband snapped me back to reality by reminding me that we had total control over our schedule and time together and that our marriage has a strong foundation with God as the center. He had to remind me of the truth: Our marriage is not my parents’ marriage.

 

Negative thoughts have been documented to hold us back from enjoying and prospering in our relationships, jobs, and health. In fact, negative thoughts have even been proven to cause death. Discovery Health Channel’s 2003 program “Placebo: Mind Over Medicine” documented the power of negative thoughts on the body. In one story, a retired shoe salesman named Sam Londe was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, a condition that was considered 100 percent fatal regardless of treatment. It was no surprise to the medical community that Sam died within two weeks of his diagnosis. The surprise came when an autopsy of Sam’s body revealed that he did not have esophageal cancer. In fact, there was no physical evidence as to why Sam had died.

 

Death by negative belief can be physical, like in the case of Sam Londe, but it can also be emotional and spiritual. How many of us have allowed negative thoughts to determine our emotional response; thoughts of fear, abandonment, and betrayal? As a pastor, I meet too many women trapped by the negative recorded messages of “I don’t deserve” or “if you only knew what I’ve done” or “I have been so hurt, I can’t forgive”.

 

The good news is that God wants to give you and me freedom from the negative voices that haunt us. I am excited and relieved that He has given us a way to determine whether our beliefs and emotions are true or false. God promised to “transform our minds to know the truth” (Romans 12:2) when we compare our situation or perceptions to His Word. God want you to know that His plan for you is to prosper in your relationships, your job, and your body. Let get started today!

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank You that your plans for us are for good and not evil. Give us the tools and wisdom we need to re-write our thoughts and beliefs in the areas that are not compatible with Your Word. We thank you that your Word is the truth and that we can trust it to determine our path. Lord, give us the energy and desire we need to preserver in our determination to change and we thank you for loving us each step of the way.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Now it is Your Turn

1) Determine the difference between emotion and truth by comparing your feelings and beliefs to Scripture. You can look up a key word in the concordance of your Bible or use an internet resource like www.biblegateway.com. For Example, when I enter the word “fear” in the key word search on www.biblegateway.com it brings up 47 verses on the subject.

 

2) Write down and post positive Scripture around your house, in your car, and at your desk. You can even make a screen saver of Bible Verses for your computer!

 

3) Read the following word of Mahatma Gandhi remembering that positive and true thoughts are a mandate for a healthy and happy life.

 

Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values

Your values become your destiny

 

More from the girlfriends

Have you learned that you simply can’t trust your feelings? They are fickle and can change with the slightest wind. So let’s accept Angela’s challenge today and pray for each other as we surrender our thought life to God. You can find encouragement and help on the subject of a healthy thought life in Mary’s book, “Coming Out of the Dark”.

 

 

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