Week 9 Day 57: A Stew of Toxic Thoughts
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
Ponder: I have just been convicted of the percentage of negative thought patterns that I engage with every day.
I would say this is the opposite of freedom and joy. Definitely not what the God of the Bible, my Abba, would have me engage with. He talks about "fixing my thoughts on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith," Hebrews 12:2. Then in Philippians:
"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. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4: 8, 9. N.L.T
Action: Sometimes it really does feel as if our negative thoughts have such a hold on us, surrounded by such a thick wall and there is no escape...real slavery.
There is scientific observation that refutes this lie, it is possible to create new pathways in our brains by just practicing new hopeful thought patterns. Gratitude is one way. Praising God is another. Listening out for every negative thought pattern and refusing to engage with it. "I am dead to that thought of fear or anxiety right now. I am choosing to trust the words my Savior speaks over me." You could begin by noticing the negativity and write down every time you begin to spiral. Maybe even do a rethink with Scripture.
For Example "I am feeling very rejected right now, I just shared something really vulnerable." Before this spirals into "I am worthless or I should not have....I am such an...," start speaking truth to your soul:
Prayer: "I thank you that I am completely accepted and loved by You Lord, You are enough! You say that I am better off not pleasing people, and in fact I am not really Your servant if I am trying to please people. I need help Lord in learning to capture these negative thought patterns of rejection, fear, anxiety...
Put your own negative thought patterns here....
Put your own rethink truths here....
Thank you, Abba for Your love, and for Your immeasurable grace and mercy, always drawing me back to You. Let me never run and hide from You, may I always desire to draw close to You. Amen.
Challenge: Choose a verse that relates to your negative thought pattern (google search will help you). Memorize this verse and speak it out loud as a rethink against your negative thought. I did this against anxiety for a couple of days with 2 Timothy 1:7 and it made a real difference. "I do not have a spirit of fear..." Determine in your mind to do this every day. It might take a while but it is a vital part of your recovery and freedom.