What Record Are YOU Listening To?
In my last post, I shared how believing lies can stop you from moving ahead. But maybe the lie you’re believing has been with you for so long that you actually believe it’s true and don’t even question its validity. I have had a few of those lies in my life; sometimes they rear their ugly heads to try to stop me from moving forward, but I know how to recognize them when they start to play. I have realized that the recording in my head is not my own thoughts, it’s the attack of the enemy seeking to distract, derail, and destroy me. I have learned to stop those thoughts in their tracks, hold them captive, and make them obedient to the truth found in the Bible (2 Cor. 10:5). I have learned to fight the battle in my mind by constantly renewing it with the word of God and I hope that you too will be able to renew your mind and banish the enemy’s attacks using the tools I’m sharing with you today.
In my first post in this series, Spring Clean Your Mind, I shared a story about the music teacher who made me second guess my ability as a singer. Truth be told, she was the only teacher I ever had who made me wonder about my talent. However, I chose to focus on the negative from her instead of the positive from others. She played into a narrative that I had been listening to for a long time. I didn’t know how to stop and consider that what was playing in my head just wasn’t true, that it was actually lies from the pit of hell aimed at destroying me and pulling me away from God’s best for my life. I didn’t have the spiritual maturity to follow Paul’s guidance from 2 Corinthians 10; frankly I don’t even recall hearing that verse used in that way until I was an adult. But it’s one I share with my daughter now, and I pray that you share it with your children because the devil doesn’t wait until our kids are adults, he’s on the prowl for destruction from day one.
It Starts Before We Even Realize It
When I was a kid, I loved to sing (no surprise there, lol). We were always listening to music and I sang along to everything. Not everyone in my family was as joyful as I was about it and I remember hearing family members make comments about me always singing, but not in a good way. There was never any encouragement for me to sing and I began to feel like they didn’t like my singing, so the record that started playing in my head was “you’re not really a good singer”, “you don’t have talent”, “no one wants to listen to you”, and different forms of a negative narrative that attacked not only my talent, but also my value and worth in the eyes of people who mattered. That recording has been playing for decades, and every time there’s a setback or disappointment, it picks right up with “you see, you’re not really good, why are you even trying, who do you think you are?” It has spilled over into my parenting, “you’re not a good mother, you’re ruining your kids life”; into my career “you can’t build a business, why are you trying”…I could keep going, but I think you get the picture.
What I’ve learned over time and in being transparent with my own insecurities and working with others is this: there is a pre-recorded program inside our heads that is constantly in attack mode, ready to diminish our worth, question our ability, second guess whether we are a good person, a good mother, a good friend, a good wife, you fill in the blank for whatever it is for you. And I thought about all the times I’ve allowed these thoughts into my head and listened to them as if they have the right to be there. I thought about the negative things that played in my head as a child, and I realize that I had been lulled into thinking those thoughts were my own – they’re not. They’re a calculated attack from the enemy and somehow I had gotten to the place where I accepted those lies as true, as my own thoughts about myself, and when I heard them, I let the record play instead of turning it off, smashing it to pieces or changing the station. It is not Biblical to allow those negative thoughts to take up space in our minds, the Bible says when our mind is filled with doubts, God comforts us and brings us joy (Ps. 94:19). So when a negative thought about our worth plays in our heads, we need to stop and ask – is this true or has the enemy’s attack been allowed to become truth? Another question to consider, is it godly? You see, God doesn’t use shame or embarrassment to speak to us, the enemy does. And it’s time to change the station.
It’s Not Just My Battle, It’s Hers Too. What About You?
My youngest daughter has taught me so much about life, patience, and slowing down – raising a child with different abilities will do that. She recently got in trouble for continuing to do something after I told her to stop, and I told her she was being disrespectful and I am disappointed when she doesn’t listen. She was really upset and said, “I feel like I’m not your daughter, and that you don’t want me here anymore.” I reassured her that that wasn’t true, and that just because she felt a certain way didn’t mean it was real. While we were talking, it dawned on me that she is dealing with that same attack many of us face every single day of our lives; just like that negative record started for me in childhood, she was forming her own negative narrative that she wasn’t loved or accepted, thanks to the lies of the enemy.
My daughter has been truly blessed with the ability at her young age to say there’s something playing in my head making me feel bad and I need help to get rid of it. I wasn’t that brave to share my feelings when I was a child, but I am thankful that she is so we can fight this together and she can have peace that comes from transforming your mind. If you, like my daughter, need to get freedom from something playing in your mind that’s destroying your peace and keeping you from moving ahead with your life, I would encourage you today to find a trusted friend, spiritual advisor, coach, counselor or even a parent to sit down and talk about what you’re allowing to feed your mind. Get it out in the open, shed some light on it and let them help you get perspective on what’s true; because make no mistake about it, whenever we are in this place, it is spiritual warfare and it’s a battle for your mind. 1 Peter 5:7 says the devil roams about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, and if he can attack your mind, then he can attack you in all areas of your life. That is why Romans 12:2 says that we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so let’s get wise let’s fight this battle by renewing our minds with the power of God every single day.
So What Does GOD Say About Us?
When a negative thought about our self worth plays in our heads, let’s stop and consider the source. Here’s the best way to really get to the heart of the thoughts in our heads – place them directly against what God says about us in His word. Below you’ll find just a few of the examples that I’ve heard from others and experienced myself, but this is far from complete. I would encourage you to read the verses and place them against whatever negative thoughts you’re fighting against, write down the ones that speak to your situation – keep them handy in your phone, write them on post it notes on your mirror, put them on your refrigerator – do whatever you can to put these word in your heart and combat the lies of the enemy.
Lie: No one cares about you.
God’s word: You are loved and chosen (John 3:16; Isaiah 43:1; Romans 8:38; 1 John 3:1).
Lie: You can’t do anything.
God’s word: You can do all things through faith and with Christ (Matt 17:20; Phil 4:13).
Lie: Your life has no meaning or purpose.
God’s word: He has a good plan for your life if you follow Him (Jer 29:11; Ps 139:13-16; Ps 73:23).
Lie: You will never change.
God’s word: Your old ways died at the cross, and you have been given a new life through the power of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:6-14; Col 3:1-15).
Lie: You are afraid of… (fill in the blank).
God’s word: God doesn’t give a spirit of fear, He gives a spirit of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7; Heb 13:6; Psalm 118:6).
Lie: You are weak, you can’t handle the pressure or stress in your life.
God’s word: When I am weak, God is my strength; I can take my burdens to Him and He will give me rest (Psalm 118:14; Isaiah 40:29-31; Matt. 11:28-30; 2 Cor 12:9-10).
Here are a few ways to question what you’re hearing. I would suggest you spend some time really considering these questions, then read the Bible verses above and below for encouragement.
- Where did that thought come from?
- How long have I been listening to and believing it?
- Is it true?
- Is it Godly conviction or the enemy’s condemnation (shame, embarrassment)?
- Have I spoken this thought to Godly people I trust? What has been their reaction?
- If I share this thought with the encouraging people in my life, what do I think they would say?
- If I stop this thought from playing in my head, what would be different? Would I feel different?
Let these verses speak truth into your life (download the verses here).
“May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.”
Psalms 104:34 NLT
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
Psalms 139:23 NLT
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 NLT
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
Isaiah 26:3 NLT
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:8 NLT
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Ephesians 3:19-20 NLT
Finally, here’s a prayer to help you focus on renewing your mind through the power of God.
Dear Jesus, I know that you came so that I might have life, and have it to the full, and I declare that over myself and my home today. I declare that your peace, which passes all understanding, is mine. I take every thought captive and make it obedient to you Jesus. I know that at the sound of your name, the enemy has to leave, and I declare that he has no hold on me. I will focus on you and not on the world around me, I trust in your strength to keep me, and through your power I will win this battle. In Your Name, Amen.