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Unhealthy Thinking

Unhealthy Thinking

You Don’t Like Me

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7

Thought for the Day: Toxic thoughts leave no room for truth to flourish. And in the absence of truth, lies reign.

Have you ever had thoughts of insecurity so strangling you thought you might choke? Thoughts like…

You are not liked.
Who are you to think you could do that?
Why did you say that? Everyone thinks you’re annoying.
Your kids just illustrated every inadequacy you have as a mom. You are invisible.

If you’ve never had words like these run rampant through your thoughts, lift your hands up in sheer praise.

For the rest of us, let’s go there today. Because, honestly, we unglued girls need to go there. To the inner places of secret thoughts and harsh self-condemnations. If there were one gift I wish I could give every woman on the planet, it would be the ability to silence the destructive words we allow to fall hard on our souls.

Toxic thoughts leave no room for truth to flourish. And in the absence of truth, lies reign.

The other day I was discussing something with my husband, and I said, “I know you think I’m being annoying and overly protective about this but…”

Art stopped me and said, “How do you know that’s what I’m thinking? Please don’t hold me liable for saying things that are really only thoughts in your mind.”

Sheer brilliance.

He’s so right. He hadn’t said those things. I was assuming he was thinking them and operating as if those toxic thoughts were reality. I think we girls do this way too often. People aren’t thinking about us and assessing us nearly as much as we think they are. Honestly, they don’t have time. Because they are probably spending too much time thinking about and assessing themselves. Do you see the crazy in all this? I do.

That’s why we’ve got to hold our thoughts to a higher standard. How dare they be allowed to simply parade about as if they are true and manipulate us into feeling insecure, inadequate, and misunderstood!

Oh, how much trouble we invite into our lives when our thoughts are based on assumptions.

So here are three questions we’d do well to ask ourselves when thoughts are dragging us down.

1. Did someone actually say this or am I making assumptions about what they’re thinking?

If they actually said it, then I need to deal with it. If I’m assuming it, that’s unfair to them and damaging to me. Philippians 4:6 invites me to choose prayer over worry in every situation. Instead of allowing my thoughts to overtake me, whether in assumptions or despair, I can ask God to shine His truth into my situation.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — NASB

2. Am I actively immersing myself in truth?

The more I read God’s truths and let truth fill my mind, the less time I’ll spend contemplating untruths. Philippians 4:7 holds a promise for me when I turn to God and allow His truth to fill me: my heart is protected by peace.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — NASB

3. Are there situations or relationships that feed my insecurities?

If so, maybe I need to take a break from these for a season.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. — Philippians 4:8

Good gracious, I know this is tough stuff. I know these issues can be more complicated than three simple questions. But it’s a good place to start holding our thoughts accountable.

After all, how a woman thinks is often how she lives.

I think we need to read that one again, don’t you? How a woman thinks is often how she lives. May we think on and live out truth — and only truth — today.

Dear Lord, fix my heart and mind on You today so that I will experience Your peace. Help me recognize and control unhealthy thoughts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.

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Your Turn

Maybe you, like me, need to grow in your ability to silence the destructive words we allow to fall hard on our souls. We can be so harsh on ourselves in our minds and make assumptions that others agree without them ever saying a word! Let’s take Lysa’s words of wisdom to heart today and step into the peace Jesus offers. We want to live with joy and purpose and not get saddled with unhealthy thinking, right? Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full