“If what we believe doesn’t reflect the truth, then what we feel doesn’t reflect reality.” ~ Dr. Neil Anderson
Many years ago a woman, I’ll call Joanna, came to me because of her struggle with anger. Her husband got the brunt of her rants. As we dug deeper, I learned her father and grandfather had abused her and passively let others take advantage of her. Her primary male role models, men who should have protected her, taught her men were not to be trusted.
I knew Joanna’s husband. He was a good man. And her description of their conflicts confirmed it. I gently pointed out that her conclusion that all men were bad couldn’t be true. Jesus is male. My male husband and son are both good men. She also had a sweet son.
Her father and grandfather had been horrible role models. But living in a rainy climate for part of our lives doesn’t mean the whole world is wet. Having a bad experience doesn’t mean life stinks. Having a rotten father and grandfather doesn’t mean all men can’t be trusted.
Joanna was not so easily convinced. Everywhere she went she spotted raunchy behaving men. She’d go out with her friends and none of them saw the male jerk across the restaurant, but she noticed. These cads reinforced her erroneous view of men.
I explained to Joanna that the Bible says we are in a spiritual battle. Our spiritual enemy plants lies in our minds. He knows our weak spots. He kicks us where it hurts. He schemes to destroy us by reinforcing his lies.
When she saw how her past wounds had sensitized her in this area and how the enemy was using her injury to feed her lies, the truth began to dawn. Some men, like some women, were selfish and mean. But some were generous and kind. Her husband fell into the latter category. The truth set Joanna free from her displaced anger and healed her relationship with her husband.
What nagging thoughts sabotage your relationships or success? Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NASB). Believing lies, whether about our identity, our future, or someone else, destroys us.
Could you use some help identifying your misbeliefs and experiencing refreshing faith? My study Give Yourself a Break: Discover the Secrets to God’s Rest spotlights ten different areas that steal our rest and joy. This summer, we’re offering small groups for women on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Click here to learn more. Please note the address change for Monday nights.
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Debbie W. Wilson
Linking to: #WordswithWinter