Break Free of Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2011 6 Jun
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Saundra Dalton-Smith's book, Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves, (Revell, 2011).
Do you enjoy your life? Are you satisfied that you’re fulfilling God’s purposes for you?
If not, your thoughts are probably holding you back. Whatever controls your mind controls your life, since each of your thoughts leads to the attitudes and actions that you choose. You simply can’t live the way God intends for you live if you’re thinking wrong thoughts – lies you’ve picked up from society that don’t reflect biblical truth.
So break free of lies you’ve been telling yourself in your mind. Here’s how:
Overcome the perfection lie. Replace the lie “Perfection is the goal,” with the truth: “I am perfectly imperfect.” Realize that it’s noble to want to improve your life, but if you strive for perfection in your quest to improve your life, you’ll actually make your life worse because you’ll encounter frustration and unnecessary stress from trying to do what’s impossible for you to do. Accept the reality that in our fallen world, every person makes mistakes and struggles with weaknesses. Pray for the ability to forgive yourself and move on when you make mistakes, and make a habit of relying on God’s strength to learn and grow despite your weaknesses. Instead of aiming for perfection in life, aim for excellence. Simply do the best you can in every situation while trusting God to help you fulfill your potential in life.
Overcome the envy lie. Replace the lie “I would be happy too, if I had her life,” with the truth: “I am too unique for comparisons.” Although it may sometimes seem as if God is unfairly giving other people blessings that He is withholding from you, keep in mind that there’s always much you don’t know about other people’s lives, and even more that you don’t know about God’s purposes for them. Don’t waste your time and energy comparing your life to other people’s lives. God has given you unique gifts that that He hasn’t given others, and it’s up to you to discover, develop, and use those gifts to find fulfillment and contribute to the world. Ask God to give you a vision of what you can do right now to fulfill more of His unique purposes for your own life, and experience the thrill of achievement and satisfaction as a result.
Overcome the image lie. Replace the lie “If I do this, I can look like that,” with the truth: “My body, my temple, God’s choice.” Beware of claims from diets or exercise programs promising guaranteed, specific results (such as losing a certain amount of weight within a certain amount of time). God has made all bodies differently, and only He knows what it will take for you to achieve good health and physical fitness. Pray for the wisdom and motivation you need to make healthy choices with the food you eat, the sleep you get, and the exercise you pursue. Make your goal simply being healthy overall rather than gaining a specific type of body.
Overcome the balance lie. Replace the lie “Life is an all-or-none activity” with the truth: “My balanced life requires addition and subtraction.” If you’re not able to exercise or read your Bible every day, you shouldn’t give up trying to do so at all. It’s possible to fit a wide variety of healthy activities into your life if you regularly ask God to give you the right perspective on your life so you can adjust your priorities according to His will and balance your schedule to reflect those priorities. Be sure to make time in your schedule regularly for activities that bring you pleasure and enrich your life. When you do, you’ll be renewed to tackle unpleasant activities with greater strength.
Overcome the control lie. Replace the lie “Being in control is better than spontaneity” with the truth: “Spontaneity is God’s opportunity to surprise me.” Realize that any sense you have of being in control is just an illusion, since you lack the power to predict what’s going to happen in the future or to design the exact life you’d like to live. Decide right now to trust God – who actually is in control of your life – to do what’s best for you, in the right ways and at the right times. Whenever God interrupts your plans with His own, be willing to say “yes” to what He wants you to do, and you’ll experience blessings that you never could have anticipated.
Overcome the emotions lie. Replace the lie “Emotional imbalance is only for crazy women” with the truth: “My transparency opens the door for soul connections.” Healthy women can experience times of temporary emotional imbalance during crises. If you find that you’re anxious, angry, or depressed while going through a crisis, your reaction is likely a normal one. Feeling overly emotional is a sign that you need healing that you can find through spending time with Jesus in prayer and being transparent with Him. When you freely express your deepest emotions to Jesus, He will give you the peace that only He can give.
Overcome the limits lie. Replace the lie “Everything comes with conditions” with the truth: “My only limitations are the ties I allow to bind me.” Other people place conditions on you (you have to spend time with friends or you’ll lose them, you have to complete your job’s requirements regularly or you’ll be fired, etc.). But God loves you unconditionally, and His love has no limitations. So get rid of unhealthy feelings of indebtedness or unworthiness when you relate to God. Expect God to love you no matter what, and to bless you even when you don’t deserve it. Trust God to give you the grace you need to overcome limits you or others have imposed on you, so you can live in freedom.
Adapted from Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves, copyright 2011 by Saundra Dalton-Smith. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.revellbooks.com.
Saundra Dalton-Smith MD is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been practicing medicine since 1999. She treats a predominantly female population and has firsthand experience with the struggles women face trying to imitate the American dream. Dr. Dalton-Smith has been an adjunct faculty member at Baker College and Davenport University in Michigan. She lives in Alabama. You can visit her website at: http://drdaltonsmith.com/.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience.