April 23, 2014
Our childhood experiences, our biology, and our spiritual beliefs all contribute to our present makeup and thus the life we live. In our struggle to overcome negative feelings like depression, anxiety, or anger, we need to remember that our psychological and biogenetic past cannot be changed. But listen to this crucial, and I mean crucial, life-changing principle: the way we view our past can be changed by using the power of the Holy Spirit to change our spiritual condition. That’s how our psychological and biological present and future can be altered, improved, and actually renewed, and ultimately transformed. Thank You God!
If we draw our identity from the cluster of negativity around us … feelings of anger, helplessness, insecurity, hopelessness, isolation, being overwhelmed, and perhaps even suicidal thoughts … then indeed, we will continually be sucked into a black hole of despair and lies. We can easily become trapped in a self-reinforcing belief system about ourselves: I’m worthless … there is no hope … God doesn’t care about or know me. And by the way, this is exactly where Satan would like us to be. Thankfully, our true identity is a “new creation in Christ Jesus.”
Healing can start when we recognize that our problem is not anger or childhood abuse or even “depression.” Our real problem is viewing ourselves through lenses based on misinterpretations and distortions that we’ve developed from our past experiences coupled with the world’s interpretation and teaching of who we are. This just reinforces a self-identity with ingredients of feeling worthless, inadequate, disconnected, and incompetent blended with a belief that no God exists. Or if He does, He is an uncaring and distant God with limited power over my past, pain, or both.
Just like an enemy trying to brainwash a POW, Satan’s plot as the Great Deceiver is to brainwash us. He starts the day we are born with the goal of establishing strongholds of lies and distortions in our hearts and minds. Because we are so gullible as kids, we walk easily into most of his traps. Maturity is being able to undo these lies, insert the truth, and act on the truth. We all are works in progress, because the lies start early and go deep. It would be nice if we received a lobotomy or brain transplant when we were saved. But God has a “slower but richer” route instead of the instantaneous process we desire.
Only when you let the power, love, and redemptive grace of the Christmas and Easter stories form your lenses will you learn your new identity based on the truth of God’s Word. Your life will begin to revolve around an understanding of God. Your self-identity will be based on faith and guided by the Bible’s rich instruction. Then you can begin to overcome depression, addictions, and all the psychological baggage that interferes with our perspective and functioning. Your mind and your actual brain circuitry will become renewed through a slow but powerful brain transplant that we call transformation.
Today, identify a couple lies about yourself from the old brainwashing tapes that play in your head. Instead of seeing yourself as worthless, or the opposite – the master of your life, begin to view yourself as a child of God, a shining star, His chosen and beloved. The characteristics of that new self-identity are based on faith in Christ, and can include surrendering to God’s purposes … kindness … pure love … goodness. Begin reaching for truth … courage … fortitude … and determination to keep going based on who God is, not on who we are. Whether you receive your brain transplant and renew/recircuit it, or you stay with the old injured one is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, help me to stop focusing on the swirling symptoms of anxiety, depression, or addiction that surround me like debris around a black hole. Help me instead to focus on Jesus and on what He has done for me. Help me to remember that I am a new creation in Him. I wish I could see clearly. Help me identify and wash away every lie I absorbed from my childhood. Let me slow down during the day, exercising patience and self-control, so I can see the situations You bring into my life more clearly. Please help me break my narcissistic, me-centered view and instead choose a God-centered view of my life. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One you sent to give me hope, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:11-14