The Bible teaches us that our thoughts are the determining factor which controls our actions. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Notice that carnal mindedness doesn’t just tend toward death — it is death!
No one can consistently perform differently than the way they think; therefore, we cannot change our actions without changing our thinking. It’s not just what we think about that needs changing, but we must change our thinking process. Our emotions are linked directly to how we think.
All people have a perception, or image, on the inside of them of what they are like. This image is not necessarily based on facts but on feelings. One negative experience can distort a person’s perception of themselves for a lifetime.
For instance, some people who are beautiful may think of themselves as ugly or undesirable because of unkind words spoken to them as a child. Some who achieve great success still see themselves as failures, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To a degree, psychology has correctly diagnosed this problem. Psychologists use terminology such as “self-esteem” or “identity” in relating these truths; however, today’s secular wisdom is totally inadequate to help a person change the inner self image.
First, most people shift the blame for bad self-esteem, or self-image, to someone else. It has become popular to blame others for every negative thing in our lives. People often say, “I came from a dysfunctional family,” “My problems came because I’m part of a minority group,” “It’s that woman you gave me” (Gen. 3:12). Other people are not our problem!
All of us have had negative experiences. The choice is ours whether we become bitter or better as a result of them. For every person who can claim some dysfunctional behavior because of a traumatic experience in their life, there are others who have had similar or worse things happen to them, yet they overcame their circumstances. Why? Because problems do not dictate failure; we have a choice.
Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” God Almighty gave us a choice. God doesn’t make the choice for us, and Satan can’t make it for us. We have the privilege and responsibility to choose blessing or cursing.
Placing the blame on others is denying the real problem, and it will prevent finding a solution. If other people are my problem, I’m in trouble because God did not give me the ability to control other people. The devil will always send someone across my path who knows how to hit my hot button.
If the problem is within me, then there is hope because through Christ, I can change. This is freedom. Regardless of what others do, I can prosper through Christ. Continue reading