Reflections of Grace 127: Mistaken Thinking

Reflections of Grace 127: Mistaken Thinking August 8, 2016

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As a young believer coming into a new group of believers, I was so shy.   I kept to myself though I longed to join other young couples and make friends.  I would watch them gather together and keep myself apart from them because I felt so inferior.  I had nothing to offer them, I thought.  I just have to look good and they will think I am together.  

It didn’t work. 

I mistakenly thought they didn’t like me.  This was because I always believed I was flawed because I was abused as a child.  Then one day one of the young mothers told me that she would like to be my friend, but that I was giving off the persona that I was better than them.

What?  

All the time I was dying to make friends, they thought I was snooty because of my little act of sufficiency.    This was eye opening to me.   I decided that no matter how I felt on the inside, I would “put on” who I wanted to be.   I started going up to people and acting very friendly and welcome them to church, as if I was the director of customer service.  I would stand in the foyer and greet people as if I was appointed the job, which I wasn’t.   People started lighting up when they would see me and I made many friends.    I found out from many of them that they had previously been afraid to approach me.

Years later I found myself working frantically for God to be more acceptable to Him.   I became addicted to “ministry” to cover my own lack of self esteem.   I had learned to paint the picture of being a worthy person very well.  The busier I became in helping people, the more accolades of praise and admiration they would lavish me with.  Their words filled the deep holes in my soul that I so needed to feel important—temporarily, just as any addiction does. 

I didn’t understand Grace. 

I didn’t really know Jesus intimately.  Oh, I knew He had redeemed me and I was going to Heaven.  But I didn’t know He loved me exactly as I am and wanted to fill those deep holes with only Him.  I was slowly sinking into a loss I was not prepared for.

Image: Jonathan Pothecary
Image: Jonathan Pothecary

I was caught up in legalism.   I thought if I worked hard enough God would find me acceptable. 

Where did that come from?   Was it correct thinking?  

I appeared righteous and spiritual, but inside I was ultimately failing to accomplish God’s purposes because my life was based on outward performance instead of inward change.  Being a victim of incest at an early age, I always thought that I was less than everyone else.   I was miserable around people because I just knew they could see my flaws, thus, the constant working to prove myself worthy.

  • Quite often, from earliest childhood mostly, we are taught something born out of someone else’s insecurity, prejudice, ignorance, or our very own victimizations.  These things form the way we think about ourselves.  It is amazing how we can go a lifetime believing lies and living them as truth, based only on our past injuries.
  • Mistaken thinking can interfere with the plan God has for you on this earth.  It can keep you down.  It can keep you stuck in a strong hold that will blind you to God’s plan for you.  We need to unlearn the things we have believed all of our lives in order to get unstuck in areas we just can’t seem to move forward in.

What are some areas you have mistakenly believed and walked in most of your life, or maybe, all of your life?   Here are some examples:

  • I am unworthy of love.
  • God loves me only if I am productive.
  • I need to rescue people in order for them to like me.
  • I am an island.
  • Manipulation works.
  • Don’t trust anyone.
  • I can’t.
  • I am a victim for the rest of my life.
  • Never give up control.
  • People are cruel
  • Self esteem is based on good looks, riches, popularity, or power.
  • I have to be perfect.
  • I can fix people.
  • I must always play it safe.

God desires for you to know who you really are, and realize how deeply He loves, accepts, and appreciates you, so that you can live out the fullness of what all He has ordained you to be. God’s Word tells us that without being rooted and grounded in the love (and acceptance) of God, we cannot experience the fullness of God in our lives.

ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REVEAL TO YOU THE AREAS OF MISTAKEN THINKING THAT IS NOT OF GOD.

You will be amazed when you ask God to do this and be willing from the heart to listen to Him how quickly he will show you where your thinking is off.

IN WHATEVER AREA YOU KNOW YOUR THINKING IS OFF, SEARCH THE BIBLE FOR WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT YOU AND HOW VALUED YOU REALLY ARE.  MEMORIZE IT AND WHEN YOU GO BACK TO YOUR OLD WAY OF THINKING, IMMEDIATELY PULL OUT YOUR TRUTH INSTEAD!

  • Begin to say those Scriptures whenever you are tempted to think in your old ways.    For instance, in thinking you are an island unto yourself and the only one you need in life.  The Word says to not forsake the gathering of believers together for we need each other.  It is when we isolate that the enemy comes in to deceive us. 
  • We were created for community, not isolation.  We need each other!

DEVELOP YOUR INTIMACY WITH A VERY REAL, PERSONABLE JESUS! 

We are who we spend the most time with.  When you really know Jesus in every sense of the word, you become more like Him.  You begin to think like Him!!  Your old misconceptions will change.

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