We all have stories that we think repeatedly about ourselves and our abilities. Even people with high self-esteem or confidence, still experience plenty of ongoing negative thoughts…about the things we’re not good at, the things we don’t think we’re capable of, and the things we’ve come to accept as “facts”. I used to wrestle with my beliefs about the origin of thoughts like these.
Some Christians believe that every negative thought they think is whispered by the enemy. But this negates the responsibility we each have for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. God created us with brilliant brains that are constantly searching for ways to keep us more than just “functioning”; it keeps us safe, comfortable, and operating as efficiently as possible.
As the control center of the body, the brain regulates your heart and lungs whether at rest or fighting for your life. If you get as much as a paper cut, it immediately begins the coagulation process and increases temperatures in the wounded area to fight off possible infection. I think it stands to reason that if God allows us to live in bodies that can be hurt physically, they can also be harmed mentally. By their own doing, by the environment, or by the society we live in. And if God gave us a body capable of healing itself, wouldn’t He also create a brain to heal itself as well?
Humans are the only creatures capable of meta-cognition, meaning we can think about what we’re thinking about. Neuroscience is now proving that the brain can change itself, heal itself, and even affect our DNA! Furthermore, we’re learning that neuro-sculpting allows us to change what we think, how we feel, and therefore how we act.
Of course, changing our behaviors and habits then create new results for and in our lives. We have a God who gave us free will– the ability to choose how we live our lives, which includes our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Whether we live connected to Him or deny His existence.
So, what then is the role of the enemy? Scriptures say he’s like a prowling lion who’d like nothing more than to keep you from a relationship with and peace in Christ. But he’d also love to keep you quiet and small so that you don’t find that peace and don’t live out the purpose He has for you.
Too often, Christians project attributes of God onto the enemy. While God is all-knowing, all-powerful, hearing and knowing our every thought, the enemy is not capable of those things. That doesn’t mean he won’t feed on our negative beliefs or whisper lies to affirm those we already tell ourselves regularly. (Since what you think shows up in your actions, it’s not hard to see what someone believes without hearing their thoughts.)
So, what do you believe? I love an old quote that says: Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says “Oh crap! She’s up.” It makes the stubborn, driven woman in me laugh. It makes me envision the joy of frustrating him because I refuse to buy the junk he’s peddling. I see the thoughts I think that aren’t helpful. I hear the negative chatter of my mind and the lies of the enemy. I don’t always know which is which, but it does not matter. I know neither one comes from my Creator, who made me with the abilities, hopes, passions, and dreams. And I know I need to keep my thoughts on truth.
So, what if you dropped that story you keep telling yourself?
You know- the one you’ve been reciting for years.
The story that you shouldn’t follow that dream because it’s self-serving, rather than planted in your heart by God.
The myth that it’s not possible for you to love your spouse again.
The tale that you’re a terrible mother.
The lies that you can’t do it… you’re not smart enough… you don’t know how… so why even bother?
You think your story is true.
Your brain thinks it’s a fact.
The enemy works so hard to get you to believe it.
But it’s really, it’s just fiction.
Just because you’ve seen “evidence” to support your story doesn’t mean it’s true.
God created a brilliant brain that searches for ways to keep us safe, comfortable, and efficient. And the enemy uses it as a tool to keep us quiet and small. But your soul and the Author of your story know better.
So give yourself permission to drop that old predictable story.
Give your brain a fresh premiere with a script that leaves you in awe of the Great Author.
Talk back to the enemy and to yourself.
Lean into the courageous woman you were created to be.
Need help managing your mind and getting control of your thoughts? This is the work we do together in Rising Soul!