I knew they were there, but I tried to deny them.
They controlled how I felt when I woke up in the morning, and when I went to sleep. They dictated how I reacted to a situation, and often steered conversations into a ditch. They often caused me to feel easily offended, hurt or angry whether it was truly justified or not. They would constantly remind me of not only my past sin, but my current shortcomings, and keep me feeling inferior to those around me.
They have power. They can control our our actions, and even our happiness, but we don’t have to let them have negative power over our lives.
I eventually had to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with myself. And my thoughts. Over a period of several months, I had allowed frustrations, hurt, anger and resentments build up in my heart and they had slowly squashed my ability to think positively. Not that I was necessarily being negative outwardly, but I was thinking negatively inwardly – about myself, about situations, and about people who had hurt me or my family in some way.
And my thoughts constantly convinced me that I had every right to feel that way.
Then I began reading my sweet friend Suzie Eller’s new book The Mended Heart: God’s Healing For Your Broken Places, and it was as if her words broke through the hardness in my thought life, and helped all that negativity lose its power over my heart.
In Chapter 8, titled ‘As The Heart Thinks’, Suzie talks about a playground. Not where your body plays, but where your mind plays. A playground where she spent countless hours, entertaining her thoughts and letting her thoughts entertain her. And she admitted that the best part was that she always the playground hero, with nobody to prove any differently.
But then she explains how she sensed God calling her to leave that playground, to a place of grace and well being. A place where life isn’t always fun or fair, but where we can allow God to have power over our hearts and our thoughts.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.” I love what Suzie wrote in reference to this verse: “My playground was in direct contradiction to God’s plan for my thought life. It controlled me, when I should have been in control of it. It wasn’t alcohol or pills, but it was just as unhealthy emotionally and spiritually.”
What a great reminder that our thoughts have power – but only if we allow them to. We can choose to invite God into our thought life, pray for our thoughts to be held captive by Him, and ask for His strength to break free from the stronghold of negative thinking. This stronghold – which can rob us of peace, fuel negativity, hurt, and keep us focused on the wrong things – are not somewhere we want to play. I am so thankful for the words God gave Suzie to share and how they helped remind me that with God’s help, I can embrace a new way to think every day – even if my circumstances remain the same.
Maybe it’s not your thoughts that are causing your heart to feel broken or making you feel distant from God, but rather a mistake from your past, or abuse from another. Maybe it’s the way someone has treated or heartache from betrayal. Maybe it’s a feeling of hopelessness when life seems too hard.
No matter what ails your heart, if it needs mending, Suzie’s book can help you start the healing process with her real and transparent stories, and her real life biblical teaching, and help you embark on a journey to becoming whole again.
Winner to be announced Monday May 5th!
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