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Who’s Messing With Your Self Worth?

The Cognitive Triangle

The Cognitive Triangle

First we entertain a thought. That thought will cause certain related feelings. Thus, behavior is based on our thoughts and feelings.  p.16, FD

     Several years ago and over a two year period of time, I suffered from a serious bout of depression. I remember battling suicidal thoughts and deep sadness to the point that my prayers became a desperate cry for God to hold on to me because I had no strength left to hold on to Him.  I survived that dark time in my life but that’s about it. It wouldn’t be until several years later as God initiated my training in fiery dart recognition that I would be able to recognize the bondage that defined my existence during those two years. 

Here’s what happened to me and I see this same overused but deadly effective tactic of Satan’s still being used today!

     Refer to the diagram above. In my case I was a people pleaser. If I felt significant people in my life approved of me, then life was good and I felt good about myself. On the other hand, if there was strife or conflict in these relationships life was not good and I became convinced I had little reason to feel good about myself. Self approval you see was strongly connected to what others thought of me. (Or what I thought they thought!)

Do you see the pattern?

     First this negative thought (fiery dart remember) would plant itself into my head producing some very negative feelings or emotions. Never mind that these negative thoughts had no basis in Truth! The poison of these fiery darts seeped into my thinking producing destructive attitudes and behavior. 

     The purpose of these fiery darts, you see, was to diminish any sense of self worth that I might still possess. I was an easy target because it was way too important for me to have the good opinion of those significant people in my life. As relationships with these people deteriorated, so did my self worth.

I wonder if I have touched a nerve? 

     Are you sad seemingly all the time? Are you convinced you don’t measure up and that significant persons in your life don’t approve of you? Does the dangerous thought that your family would be better off without you ever sneak into your mind? Please hold on, for I have glorious news for you in my next post. In the meantime hold on to the following verse,

For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Christians at the polls: or not! Point No. 1

OR, No Vote; no voice!
OR, No Vote is No Voice!

Here’s a run down of the 5 most used excuses for not voting

(or should I say  ‘excuses for giving up one’s voice)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGfXr88iYE

 1. Christians shouldn’t get involved in politics

2. I don’t like any of the candidates. The one I like isn’t even running. 

3. Our country is in a big mess. My vote isn’t going to change that. 

4. My one vote doesn’t matter. 

5. I can’t get to the poles on election day. 

 

The Fiery Darts of Excuse No. 1:

     Because of the spiritual, moral, and financial decline of our country (especially in Her leadership), it is not too difficult a task for Satan to convince us that this is something we should want no part of. 

     Remember, Satan’s aim is to silence our voice, remove our influence. And this is precisely what is behind the planting of  thoughts such as Point No. 1!

     How is it then that such fiery dart thinking has found root in the mind of Christians? This excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, may offer some insight:

By tempting us [that is Christians] to spend little time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished if we give in to that temptation. In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth begins to define our thinking. FD, pp. 23-24

THEREFORE,

     As more and more Christians allow the ‘world’s concept of truth to define their thinking’ instead of the unchanging word of God, then our beloved country’s destiny looks bleak indeed.  

 HOWEVER, 

SCRIPTURES ADMONISH US TO CHOOSE THOSE WHO WILL BE LEADERS OVER US:

 Appoint for yourselves wise, understanding, and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will make them your leaders. Deuteronomy 1:13 (HCSB)

     The idea is to choose wise, understanding, and respected people who will make choices based on the principles our country was founded upon. If Christians go to the polls often enough and in greater numbers, over time our leadership will begin to reflect those principles. Then, there will be Hope for America!

Next time, Point No. 2

Do my problems define who I am?

Do we want to be defined by our problems?  

Do we want our problems to define us?  Do we want to be known as someone who has suffered defeat b/c of an avalanche of problems?  As someone who is always under their problems?  As someone who just moves from one set of problems to another?  As someone who just can’t seem to get a grip!

OF COURSE NOT! ! ! ! ! 

All right, I believe you.  But I have to ask.  If we don’t want our problems to define us, then why are we so consistent at turning our focus  towards our problems?  Why is it we allow fiery dart thinking as it relates to our problems, rule our attitudes and actions? (you know what happened to Peter when he went to focusing on the waves instead of Jesus – Matthew 14:25-31, read it if you’re curious)

Know what, I really don’t understand that myself.  Unless, of course, we can attribute negative thinking to that ole’ sin nature.  Our Bible heroes struggled with this also, I think.

 For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?   Roman 7:18-24

We NEED to be rescued from ourselves!

Yes we do!  We need a power that will help us turn from focusing on the negative (you know, that menacing fiery dart thinking that plagues us all)!  Well, guess what?  There is such a power!  Read on:

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”  Roman 7:25

Here’s the deal!  Jesus’s death on the cross delivers us (that’s anyone who takes Jesus’s death personally).  Now we are in a position of power!  Now we have a choice!  God’s law (which is grace) can rule our thinking and define us, OR the law of sin can rule our thinking and define us.

So, when we are being pulled under for the 3rd time with fiery dart thinking, we can grab hold of the rescue line Jesus throws us.  It’s called ‘grace’.

And the grace of it is that we don’t have to keep thinking those negative thoughts.  That fiery dart thinking does not have to rule our thinking.  Because of God’s grace we have the Bible.  Because of the Bible we have the source to call upon that’s going to rescue us.  Philippines 4:8, points us to the secret of victory over fiery dart thinking (the kind of victory that keeps us from sinking).

 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.

It’s quite simple actually.  The more noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy thoughts we think, the less room there is for fiery dart thinking.

A WORD OF CAUTION!

Often, without realizing it, we cooperate more with Satan’s fiery darts than we do with the wisdom of The Word.  This happens when we fail to educate ourselves about fiery darts.(That’s why I hope you will read my book – so you can be educated about all of this!)  If we don’t recognize the negative thinking as a fiery dart then we will succumb to it’s manipulation.  This excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, p. 79, makes my point.

 3. Acknowledge it (the negative thought) as a fiery dart, if the purpose is to pull you down in any way.  Then, personalize this prayer based on Isaiah 54:17, “May this weapon formed against me not prevail.” (Keep in mind that conviction brings restoration, a fiery dart brings condemnation.)

What I am saying is that if we don’t acknowledge the negative thinking as a fiery dart then we won’t resist it as we should.  Thus we will be allowing ourselves to be manipulated by such thoughts and it will be that fiery dart thinking that will define us (if we aren’t careful)!