For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.Proverbs 23:7
How do we change our pattern of thinking? How do we change our interpretation of adverse circumstances of life? Let me create a scenario for counseling purposes.
As a child, you probably witnessed your aggressive dad assault your Mom frequently and you hated him for the pain he caused and you vowed never to let that happen to you. “Men are evil and aggressive” you resolved within you that you will never get married because “men are not to be trusted”
Your dad was an absentee Father and the few times he came home, he made you so uncomfortable by mentally and physically abusing you- telling you “what a good- for nothing individual you are” you struggled through adolescent with insecurities. Now you are grown up and you have a career, you are married but despite all that, you are still burdened by fear and insecurities. Will your marriage last? You query? Will you wake up one day and your spouse has is gone? When your spouse corrects you, it hurts so deeply because everything is interpreted to you as rejection. You seek for people’s approval because of a poor self image. The negative words spoken by your dad have grown different branches; the root is deeply entrenched within your subconscious that tracing its origin is nearly impossible.
You grew up in loveless family where your parents demanded absolute obedience. You are not allowed to question or offer any suggestions. You had a dutiful Mother who did everything to perfection. High standards were set and you learnt to do things methodically. You were never to fail an exam or misbehave in any way. A boy child must not cry because it is a sign of weakness. You grew up without experiencing a hug, a peck on the cheek and true laughter. You were not trained to handle failure, not even recreation or relaxation. You were bullied by your peers and because you must put up with right attitude at all times you were unable to reciprocate. Now you are grown up, with an impressive academic record yet dissatisfied and sad. You are shy and timid and somewhat jealous of others who are free spirited. You are in a prison!
You got pregnant as a young girl and had to carry the pregnancy in shame and this has left you broken. “Nothing good can ever come out of your life again” that was your take home on that experience.
You were raped by your uncle and by your step dad! A bad situation! Your interpretation of that situation is” men are beast, I will never allow a man come near me” or “I am a dumping place for all filth” so you sleep with any man that care to ask.
As a Christian, you could be overwhelmed by the righteous demand for purity. God is holy and demands same from us. Without understanding the love of God, we can become numb and unresponsive to God as a result of constant failure to the divine statutes. Cynicism, anger and bitterness towards God is possible in the face of protracted sickness and unmet expectations. Deep within your heart, you have believed God is a Father who demands obedience, makes promises he cannot or does not desire to fulfill; and since you cannot question God, the result is hidden anger towards Him. You may be in a church, faithfully carrying out your duties but lack intimacy with God. What is keeping you is the fear of eternal judgment.
What a person thinks in his heart is a summation of his beliefs and convictions which becomes the governing philosophies of his life. Like in Proverbs 23:7. A person’s real thoughts are inward, he may say to you “eat and drink” but he does not mean it and because you can’t see his heart you believe his words. Similarly, we wear our nice clothes, sing and dance in church but our convictions are inside of us. The truth is you have a hard time believing the word of God. We are constantly renewing our resolves. One day you are determined to push forward but when reality stirs you in the face you become deflated.
” What if God disappoints?” your heart questions as the circumstances of the past begin to play back in your mind “you remember Mr. AZ who trusted God in similar situations but never had his request granted rather he died in frustration. “Remember he was a devout Christian” suddenly your resolve is broken and you become sad again, even angry with yourself because of the powerlessness and frustration you feel over your inability to control your emotions. You are reminded again how the Almighty God who is meant to protect you should permit such calamity to befall you. The fact that God cannot be questioned hurts you even more and in trying to bottle up all the emotions you feel, you sink even deeper into the abyss of hopelessness.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God is sovereign and rules over the affairs of men. He knows the end from the beginning and he is aware of the circumstances of your life. Nothing takes him by surprise. He knew your path was going to be rough; he was not confused when he placed you in your family. Tribulations, adverse conditions are part of your journey. Trust in his foreknowledge, his love and supremacy. Let the word of God form your belief and convictions. To renew your mind is to detoxify yourself of negative thoughts pattern that are contradictory to the word of God. It is to reprogram your mind with the spiritual software which is the word. Do not yield to the culture and belief system that you derive from this world, from unpleasant situations but rather detoxify yourself by removing all the toxins of negativity.
God loves you unconditionally. do not let guilt hold you down. You were made for beauty; do not concentrate on the bad situation but look to Him who is able to save you. ” our help is in the name of the Lord” For the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run in and find safety. Come under his arms of love.