Yesterday I shared with you all the thought battle I was struggling with. We all have days like what I was dealing with yesterday. Though the specific thoughts vary, the intensity and stress caused by them are the same. I briefly mentioned a couple of the methods, or weapons, I use to fight negative thoughts. If you need help in this area there are many Christian books written on the power of overcoming negative thoughts. Two of them I personally recommend are Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick.
What’s funny is that today I didn’t feel like I had one negative thought. I am sure I did, but for whatever reason they didn’t seem to “stick”. Here are some fascinating statistics on thoughts. We have around 50,000-70,000 thoughts in a day. That is roughly 35 to 48 per minute. Of those 50,0000 thoughts 98% of them are the same thoughts we had the previous day. That is a lot of stimulus and a lot of noise to process. We have so many thoughts that we don’t even realize we are having them. I believe that is part of why the negative thoughts can creep in unchecked and go unnoticed until they suddenly cause havoc on us.
Here is the most alarming statistic: of those 50,000-70,000 thoughts we have per day, 80% of them are negative! It’s a wonder we even make it out of bed in the morning! Recognizing this natural tendency will hopefully inspire you to pay attention to your thoughts and deal with the negative ones.
Negative thoughts stem from a variety of emotions. They show up as fear, worry, anxiety, and depression. The try to tell you who you are (or are not), what you can and can’t be, and what you can and can’t do. They constantly remind you of your weaknesses why those weaknesses will never let you be anything more than you are right now at this moment. They are debilitating and will prevent you from running your race if you listen to them.
Where do these thoughts come from? They come from a variety of sources. They come from adults in our lives that spoke limitations over us. They come from bad teachers, bullies, family members. They are simple words that stick and then replay over and over again and follow us in adulthood. They come from all of the forms of media that give us a million and one reasons all day long as to why we are not good enough and what we are in need of. They come from our own insecurities as we look around and compare ourselves to everyone else.
They also come from the enemy of our faith. He is a thief and a liar. It says in John 8:44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
When you look at all of the strategies of the devil they really boil down to just one strategy. He lies. He perverts the truth and tries to fill us with doubt. He tries to steer us away from what is important by tempting us with things that will take us away from God’s best for us. He promises us these distractions and temptations will bring rewards, relief from pain, or success. He tries to get us to believe that God is disappointed in us, mad at us, or simply done with us. He tells us we are not good enough and that grace has limits. Unfortunately, many of us listen and fail to see these negative thoughts for what they are: lies. From the father of lies. Intended for no other reason than to take us away from God.
The next time you catch yourself entertaining negative thoughts I want you to picture your worst enemy telling them to you. Picture that middle school meanie you grew up with. Picture her telling you that lie to your face right now. Picture her standing there in her braces, bad haircut and blue mascara. Maybe then you will realize it is time to let that lie go. Laugh at it and dismiss it. Just like you would if the middle school meanie that taunted you years ago was to show up on your doorstep today.
It says in 1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour>.
His roar are the negative thoughts he puts into your mind. If left unchecked he will devour you and your dreams. Don’t let him. Instead answer him with a simple “Liar, Liar” and get back to being your awesome self!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for speaking to my heart in a tender and loving voice. Help me to catch the lies in my head. Thank you for protecting me from roar of the enemy. Thank you for your promise of unfailing, never ending love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Love, Grace, and a Day of Truth For Us All,