Sitting by a fire is a comfort. As one side of the body warms it feels good to turn, warming the side that was turned away from the fire. The light of the fire ignites energy to a chilled body. By turning you can experience the reviving warmth completely.
When we get weary with worry and fears we must find comfort in turning to the light of God’s truth. Life teaches us to fear and to be defined by fear. God created us by love and created us to love. In the post Facing Fears, there is a list of fears and coping which become our identity.
These are the names the shame bully calls us; not good enough, inadequate, stupid, unwanted, judged etc. We must turn away, turn off, turn back from living in those lies. Living in those lies produces a life draining way of coping. All passions of the flesh (Ephesians 2:2-3, Colossians 3:5-9). The “prince of the power of the air” was the source of the brokenness that created the shame bully with in you.
In Renee Swope’s book, A Confident Heart, she suggests we should compare our thoughts to God’s thoughts by labeling our thoughts AM or FM. AM is a thought or doubt that is Against Me. FM is the truth that God is For Me. For example: “When a doubt comes against me saying I am not good enough (fill in the blank). I will reject lie, and I rely on the truth that God is For Me.
He says I’m fearfully and wonderfully made; all of His works are wonderful and I am one of them.(Psalm 136:14) Renee suggested to make note cards of all the AM, FM thoughts. Then place these cards to be easily viewed during your day to remind you that God is for you. (additional scriptures: Deut 31:6, Jer 29:1, Eph 2:10, John 3:16, Eph 1:4-5, Phil 4:3) This is a good way to intentionally turn to the truth of God’s unfailing love and actively allow God’s grace to fight the shame bully that routinely punctuates our thoughts.
To go another step beyond turning our thoughts to God’s truth, we can turn our identity toward His truth as well. We can turn from those pain feelings of our old identities and reactive coping to the truth of our identity as a child of God. God’s truth is the opposite of those pain feelings. He wants us to be free of the limitations dictated by the AM thinking. Below is a list of some truths. Look at the pain feelings you have identified and ask God if these are true about you. The list below may be helpful to help you discover, as you listen to God…what is true about you?
Lovable Worthy Significant Not Alone Valuable Precious Adequate Approved Wanted Respected Free Appreciated Safe Hopeful Encouraged Secure Sure Fulfilled Capable Able Powerful In Control Protected Connected Known Intimate Competent Validated Successful Prized
Trusted friends can tell you truths about yourself. They see your strengths perhaps better that you. What you allow yourself to embrace and accept as your truth is critical. If you choose to reject these truths you will remain stuck in your old pattern of thinking that most likely began in childhood. Only you can “reparent” this limited thinking and retrain your brain to feel and act differently.
“We can trust that if we act according to our knowledge, then our feelings will catch up. Eventually, we will even discover that our feelings are shaped by our knowledge. This is an important spiritual truth in a world where feelings have become so dominant in our lives.” ~ Henri Nouwen in Spiritual Homecoming
Embracing the knowledge of the truth can have a profound influence on how we think, which impacts change the way we feel and transforms the way we live under the influence of God’s truth.
In Jeff Lucas’s book Faith in the Fog he stresses that;
“What we believe about WHO God is determines how we live”
Our truth is bond up in the essences of our God, the divine creator. God, WHO IS the purveyor of the unconditional, unfailing love we crave and a salve for our wounds. When our lives are punctuated with the compassion of God’s loving truth and trustworthiness, our actions begin to portray a loved, safe heart. These actions are described in the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5: 22-23) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Below are a list of new actions as we begin to live in our truth. Take a moment to study these new actions and consider how you might respond differently in life situations, You Can Be….
Encouraging Kind Gentle Forgiving Curious Humble Respectful Supportive Optimistic Accepting Patient Listen to understand Positive Safe Settled Self-aware Joyful Hopeful Open Known Engaging Accepting of Imperfection Responsible Reliable Self-Controlled Connected Intimate Faithful Problem Solving Forthcoming Responsible
Our lives are revived, energized and completed as we turn to the truth of our identity as an accepted and loved child of God. To turn from the cold dark fear to the warm light giving truth takes intentionality. We must reprogram our natural brains with a divine truth.