As she walked further on the beach and her eyes found action out in the water again. A boy and his father were cheering together as they reeled in a fish captured by just the right bait. Great news for the father and son, not so much for the fish.
The fish had reacted to his natural instinct and in an instant bound himself to a force he had to follow.
“It’s not the fish’s fault he was caught,” she said to herself. And then her thoughts went deeper. Like the fish’s instinct that drove it to take the bait and become bound, our subconscious causes us to react out of our past identity instead of our current reality as a child of God.
Reacting to the mindset ingrained from your childhood experience is not your fault. It’s an instinct created from patterns of thinking ingrained when you were young. While it’s not your fault, blaming others will not stop you from taking the bait. Your rescue comes when you remember I have redeemed you to be my child. I have provided another way so you can rise up to challenge those thoughts, take them captive, and think differently, enabling you to live differently and become the woman I created you to be.
From the time you were born into a family, you marinated in messages from your environment sent through the actions and words of those around you. Sometimes the messages were said directly and other times they were communicated through actions. As the actions of others played out before you, over time these messages created patterns in your thinking.
Some of the messages flowed from good actions: a hug, approval, a spoken word of encouragement. They told you, “You are resilient. You are capable. You are valuable.”
Other messages flowed from actions that did not align with your identity in Christ. A disappointing look or word, your parents sometimes handling situations poorly in front of you, passive aggressive comments, silent treatment, or even your boundaries being violated sexually. These actions delivered flawed messages: “You are not good enough. You must please others. You are selfish if you say no. You are responsible for making other people happy. Your interests don’t matter”
Over time the YOU ARE messages that others are sending you become your identity, and these flawed messages program you deep within your thinking. “I am not good enough. I am selfish. I am responsible for making other people happy. My interests don’t matter. I am selfish when I set boundaries.”
You may not articulate these I am statements, but like a drumbeat that sets the pace to a tune, this programming from your past provides a rhythm you move to in life. Your thoughts drive your actions more than you are aware.
It is not your fault that messages you marinated in growing up are having an impact on your life. Our thoughts impact our feelings and drive our actions. Of course, you feel insecure. Of course, you made those mistakes in life. Of course, you never tell people no. Of course, you have those self-deprecating thoughts. Of course, you sold your soul for a bite of acceptance. You and I are like the fish reacting to his hunger. Our instincts formed by the messages we marinated in growing up push us to react and take the bait, creating bondage in our life. And make no mistake about it. The enemy of our soul knows your past programming too. He works to provides just the right bait to satisfy your instinct, but that ultimately keeps you bound.
While all this is not your fault, blaming those who sent you those messages will not heal you. Blaming others over and over again keeps you in bondage as you agree with the lies. This does not help you bounce back in a broken world.
But there is a solution, and it surpasses even the greatest of self-help books. God in his great love has given us a way out. You can rise up and challenge those lies by marinating in the truth of your new identity as a child of God.
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:18–19 NLT
Challenging lies by marinating in the truth to take your thoughts captive to a new way of thinking is a lifetime process. It is not easy. But treasured one, hear this today: You are not bound to your past messages that messed up your life. You can bounce back from your broken thinking by marinating in new messages through the study of God’s Word.
This is the first step: The more you marinate in God’s message through spending time in his Word, the more you will be able to recognize what messages from others are lies that do not line up with the truth about who you are as God’s child. Renewing your mind to your authentic core identity in Christ is a lifetime process. We believe it’s so vital, we have incorporated it into the Nourish Bible Study Method. (To discover more about this topic, check out lesson 12 of the 21-Day Challenge.)
Don’t stop there: It’s not enough to recognize the lies – you must rise up and take action steps to challenge them. You must also build your self-control muscle. In my Facebook Live message this week on Wednesday, I am going to show you the action steps I use to build self-control and challenge my thoughts so I can walk in truth and live in victory by responding to my identity as God’s child rather than reacting out of my past. Join us at noon live or catch the replay later.
Nourish Scripture: 1Peter 1:14-1:21
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