Connecting faith to life: 'Delete' the negative thoughts from your mindNot long ago, I noticed I was receiving more spam in my email than I had before, so I asked someone about it. That person suggested that I clean out my spam folder regularly. He said that the more I do so, the less spam I will receive. He was right.
By: Kari van Wakeren, Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Alexandria Echo Press
Not long ago, I noticed I was receiving more spam in my email than I had before, so I asked someone about it.
That person suggested that I clean out my spam folder regularly. He said that the more I do so, the less spam I will receive. He was right. I’ve noticed that the more regularly I clean out my spam folder, the less spam I find there.
I got to thinking that the same technique is necessary when dealing with our inner critic…the old tapes that try to keep playing over and over in your mind.
These are the thoughts that tell you things like you aren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or strong enough, or...the list goes on.
I would argue that anytime you have a thought where the words “not” and “enough” follow each other, as in the examples above, chances are good that whatever comes next is not of God.
I believe this is true because Scripture tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from above. (James 1:17) And God spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
Of course, as many of you know, it can be difficult to push stop on the play button of our old tapes. It takes diligence, persistence and patience, but it can be done. And the best way to do it is to stop them in their tracks.
Imagine clicking the “delete forever” button like you do with the items in your spam folder or pushing the “stop” button like you would on your tape deck if you still had one around.
The more you do so, the less frequently the negative thoughts will occur.
Also try to replace these thoughts with more productive and healthy ones. As you push your mental stop button or hit delete, you could say something like, “God, I claim my thoughts for you,” or, “I am a beloved child of God.” Because the truth is, God knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) And God doesn’t make mistakes.
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Kari van Wakeren is a pastor at First Lutheran Church, Alexandria. Contact her at email@example.com. She blogs at hiccupsandsomersaults.blogspot.com.
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