Becoming like little children who are creative and counter-intuitive, without self-consciousness –unafraid of what others may think of us – is key for genuine spiritual growth. We can’t truly walk in faith unless we care only what God thinks about us and unless we have a willingness to look foolish and be the unique person God created us to be. In fact, the more we grow up spiritually, the more we resemble a child, the more nonconforming we become, and the more passionate we become, because we are becoming more like Christ who Himself was extremely passionate and an extreme nonconformist for that day.
Did you know that if you are tired of the story you have been living, you have it within your power to create a new one? I discussed in the last post of the “Though Patrol” series the first step in the process of change and that is you must recognize authorship of your story and take ownership of it. Without a recognition that you yourself have responsibility for life, you will not be able to successfully assess your thoughts, behavior and the results of your behavior to determine what you can and should change. Today, we will look at the role our assumptions and motivations play in creating our life stories.
In the Bible, God tells us that we can call things that be not as though they are. What is He talking about here? He is saying if you have things in your life that are not in alignment with God’s will for you and you want to change, then begin to use your imagination and envision that change and speak it into being. Do not get me wrong here. This is not a magical formula, but a process involving godly meditation and speaking a godly desire aloud, that must be persevered until the desired result is being experienced in your life. The thing is, as you envision the change and speak it, you will begin to believe it. You are simply going through the process of changing your thoughts to line up with the life God has said He desires for you. As the thoughts you are now meditating on change, so does your behavior begin to change which results in bringing the new belief to pass. Scripture says that what you believe opens or closes possibilities for your life. Your beliefs and assumptions about yourself, others, life and God have a tremendous impact on your behavior, performance and how you achieve your life or business goals. Ultimately, they construct your storylines, opening or closing the possibilities which influence your performance.
Another Scripture that comes to mind is Mark 11:24: Therefore I say unto you, What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. God is saying whatever you believe you can be, have, or do when you ask Him for it is a possibility for you to experience in your life. Your beliefs and assumptions will manifest themselves in the decisions you make, the things you say and the things you do. On the other hand, whatever you do not believe limits the possibility for that to be a storyline of your life. In other words, there are empowering beliefs and there are limiting beliefs. Let’s take a look at what an empowering belief might look like.
- I will carry through the decisions that I make.
- I have the ability and the perseverance to achieve my goals.
- I am a positive person and those around me learn to respond positively to me.
A limiting belief would look like this.
- No one ever supports me in what I want to do.
- I am not good enough to earn that amount of money.
- I am unworthy of good things.
Let’s look at the first example above of a limiting belief. Immediately, we recognize these statements are in contradiction with what scripture says about us or commands us to think. Philippians 4:8 is a good example: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. When you believe no one ever supports you, your behavior will become such that it will cause people to be unsupportive towards you. On the otherhand, looking at the third example above of an empowering belief, your behavior will line up with the belief and you will have people responding to you in a positive way.
Romans 12:2 tells us that we are to be transformed by renewing our minds. Whatever beliefs you renew your mind to will become the storylines of your new life story. Your thoughts will transform your behavior and your behavior will transform your life. We are able to know someone’s beliefs and values by looking at their behavior because behavior is a result of what we believe.
So it is important to acknowledge that you have been constructing and are able to construct what you experience. You are the one responsible for your own choices and those choices have created your storyline. If you continue making the same choices you will continue creating the same storylines. If you begin making different choices, you will begin to write a new life story.
God says in Deuteronomy “I set before you life and death.” Then He goes on and commands us to “Choose life”. We make the choice as to what we are going to believe, feel and do. When we choose empowering beliefs we are choosing beliefs that lead to successful behavior which will result in a successful life and career.
As a Christian Life Coach, I help my clients to assess their story lines and determine the underlying assumptions and self concepts they were created from. I also help them learn to take their thoughts captive and analyze them as to whether they are thoughts that are empowering or limiting and then discard those that are not going to further the new story they desire to create. It is also important to examine one’s emotions to determine the assumption or thought it is attached to and whether that assumption is relevant to one’s present life. If not, the assumption can be changed and the feeling can be converted to an intention.
You can take control of your thoughts and feelings and create a new life experience. Join me next week for Part 3 of the series on “Thought Patrol.”
Examples of Scriptures which speak of our belief system – our faith:
Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Matthew 21:21-22 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
2 Corinthians 4:13-14 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.