Identifying and Changing Wrong Beliefs About Yourself
We should be constantly improving. James tell us that the implanted Word will change our thought patterns and emotional responses. Hebrews 4 tells us that the Word is so powerful that it is able to divide soul from spirit.
The Word goes down deep into our human nature and sorts out what is flesh and what is spirit. The Word is so powerful that it actually goes down into the very thoughts that give us consciousness. These are the thoughts that make us behave the way we do and cause us to act and react almost automatically in many situations.
We all have thoughts that are so deep within us that we’re not able to recognize them. These are the thoughts that form our belief system. These thoughts are formed by our interaction with our parents and families and form the drive that makes us act the way we do.
Here’s the deal. If there is a disconnect between what you read in the Word and what you do at home and in your close relationships, then there is a root of thinking that must be dealt with in your life. All of us have these kinds of roots that must come out! These are trans-generational sins that we must allow the Holy Spirit and loving friends to reveal to us. We usually don’t see them ourselves.
Here’s a quote from my friend Chip Judd: God wants to identify, challenge, and change any patterns of thought, belief, or behavior that are contrary to His will. Many of these patterns are so much a part of us that we can’t see them without the revelation of God’s Spirit and the help of other loving Christians.
Here’s a brief glimpse at what I mean. I’ll give you some stats on what kind of children both loving and harsh parents produce and you may see what I mean in your own life.
Harsh, Perfectionistic, Neglectful, and Condemning Parents Produce Children Who:
1. Are plagued by insecurity, guilt, fear, anger, loneliness, and withdrawal (self protective walls around them).
2. Have high, rigid, unattainable standards.
3. Have a feeling that they do not measure up.
4. Are driven to accomplish goals and to please others in order to win the love and acceptance that they crave.
5. Think that something is wrong with them (children tend to believe that parents are always right).
6. Condemn themselves for not being worthy of love. They either deny their need for love or they try to secure love by performance.
7. Struggle with their perception of God. They just can’t do enough to please Him. They often feel that God is distant and condemning. 1
On the other hand, Loving, compassionate, protective, affirming, and disciplining parents produce children who:
1. Feel loved, valued, and secured.
2. Are able to try new things without threat of condemnation if they fail.
3. Are able to take appropriate social and business risks without fear of failure (they are self-confident).
4. Are able to enjoy relationships without fearing intimacy. (If you were not loved by your parents – to you intimacy may hurt).
5. Are emotionally, relationally, and spiritually healthy.
6. Believe that God is caring and affirming. 1
If you have the fruit, then you have the root. If you’re able to relate well with others; if you’re able to reveal your heart; if you’re able to receive admonishment from others without feeling hurt and betrayed by them, then you probably came from a family that loved you with some measure of unconditional love.
But, if you’re easily offended; if you can’t receive constructive criticism from others without thinking that they totally reject you; if you often feel isolated and alone, then there are root thoughts in you formed from problems in your home as a child. They are buried deep in your soul and hinder your current relationships. The Father wants to wash them away with the water of the Word and with His unconditional love and forgiveness. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss how this works!
1. Adapted from From Breaking the Cycle of Hurtful Family Experiences by Rapha Publishing (Nashville: Lifeway Press Books, 1994) pages 13-27