I have come to realize what Jesus meant when he said, "The truth will make you free" (John 8:32). Along with freeing us from sin, I believe he meant to proclaim freedom from negative thoughts and their effects on our bodies. The physical improvement John experienced when he learned to tell himself the freeing truth has been given to many others too-including people with disorders like heart disease and cancer, and so-called incurable conditions like HIV infection. Strength and health can return for you too, even if you've been told there is no hope. If replacing negative thoughts with the truth does not bring you a rapid cure as it did in John's case, it can help you on the road to a healthier inner life, which will restore your life from within-no matter what your outer circumstances may be. On the other hand, you don't have to have a terrifying illness to make physical progress with the truth!

Perhaps you feel like a magnet for colds. Are you pestered every few weeks by a runny nose, a hacking cough, or plugged-up airways? Maybe you have a habit of coming down with everything that's "going around." Are you thinking of making "strep throat" your new middle name? Do you live with thyroid problems, blood sugar out of whack, stomach or intestinal disorders, ulcers? Are your emotions out of sync? Your symptoms or diagnosed diseases should not be neglected or handled without high-quality professional assistance. But as you may have discovered already, pills, salves, injections, and surgery alone are not enough. You can learn a new way to cooperate with your own healing. And that means discovering how to fill your mind with beliefs and thoughts that have tremendous therapeutic power.

Many people think they are slaves to their feelings. Others don't know it, but they are slaves just the same.

What you need is the courage and the will to change some habits-including perhaps your diet and exercise routine, rest and relaxation cycles, work and play habits. But the essence of the program I will outline throughout this book involves changing some of your beliefs, attitudes, and thought patterns and thus the inner climate they create. It is possible that some of your thoughts are making you susceptible to illness, or standing in the way of healing.

Thoughts and beliefs can make you sick. And thoughts can prevent optimal health. Especially thoughts that produce inner climates of anger, fear, discouragement, bitterness, jealousy, frustration, discontent, or resentment. That is because these negative patterns actually work to depress physiological processes, including the body's immune response. And that is a formula for disaster.

Thoughts Can Make People Sick
One goal of this program is to help you discover negative thought patterns that may be contributing to overall suppression of immune response, and to help you take a good look at behaviors and habits that may be working against you as well.

If you harbor the kinds of thoughts listed below, you are contributing to inner conditions that promote poor health-thoughts you can replace with ideas that affirm the goodness, love, and power of God:

  • My case is hopeless.

  • I might as well give up because the doctors can't help me.

  • I can't help hating or resenting someone.

  • I have nothing to look forward to but pain, suffering, and death.

  • There is nothing I can do about the stress in my life.

  • I cannot tolerate any type of frustration.

  • My problems are overwhelming.

  • Always expect the worst.

The following are some examples of behaviors and habits that might be harming you. Some are practices or routines you need to change if you want to be healthy: