October 9, 2017

Do you ever worry about what people think of you? I’ve become aware that I unconsciously make up stories in my mind about what other people think of me. Do you ever do that? Then, I argue my case against their accusations (that they didn’t make but I’m convinced that they thought). Where did these ideas about what other people think of me come from? Why would I assume their thoughts about me are negative? This has become my M.O. and it’s absolutely not God’s intention for my life!

I’ve realized that maybe I have stories playing in my head about myself because that’s how I think of other people. What I mean is that often times I’m a victim of my own judgements about other people. For example; if I do something that I deem as irresponsible, like showing up late for work, I assume my boss thinks negative things about me. Why does my mind immediately jump to the assumption that I’m being judged negatively? Well, maybe it’s because if I saw someone show up late then I would judge them! Yikes.

Secret Garden Of Our Souls

Most of what we think is unknown to us; it’s below the conscious level—it’s the great mystery of the soul. Although we’re not consciously aware of many of our thoughts, they do manifest themselves in our attitudes, actions and passions (negative or positive). Although we don’t always know what is happening in the hidden garden of our unconscious soul, what’s growing there is either a manifestation of our reaction to life, or the proactive efforts we make to plant God-seeds in our lives. Check out this Facebook Live devotional I did a while back for more about the importance of a healthy thought life:

 

 

In a nutshell:

  • Most of what happens inside of my soul is unconscious to me, but when I encounter a trial it reveals my character and is a sign of what’s growing deep inside of me.
  • I may not be conscious of what’s in my secret garden, but I actually planted the seeds there. When I’ve made a judgement about someone, I may forget the judgement but it remains on the harddrive of my soul. I have to forgive and repent from that judgement.
  • The same is true for the way I think about myself. We’re unconsciously storing seeds in the garden of our soul. We have to choose to proactively plant good seeds in that place instead.
  • Thankfulness is the door to destiny. Psalm 100 says you enter his gates with thanksgiving. Thankfulness is how we get into God space.
  • Write 40 things down that you’re thankful for. It may be easy to get ten but you’ll have to dig down into the unconscious part of your soul to get 40.
  • Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” In other words, we need to proactively manage our thoughts because they will become manifestations in our lives.
  • So much of life isn’t about what happens to you but about the stories you make up about what happens to you. The same it true for relationships—so much of life isn’t about your relationships, but about the stories you make up regarding what people think of you.
  • If you think well of other people, you will expect them to think well of you. That way, if a time comes when they don’t think well of you, you’ll be surprised. I’d rather be surprised than live a life that’s not real and only made up in my head.

Cultivating Thankfulness Produces Peace

Today let’s take some time to meditate on these verses from Philippians 4:4-9 (emphasis added):

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Activation For The Week

Like I said, thankfulness is the key for sowing good seeds in the secret garden of your soul. So today I want you to take some time to write down 40 things that you’re thankful for. Keep writing until you reach 40 (this may be stretching but it will be worth it.) Every day following this week I want you to write down 5 more things you’re thankful for on that list. To get you started here are some prompts:

  • Relationships
  • Tangible provision
  • Little things that make your day better
  • Physical health
  • Recent breakthroughs
  • Testimonies you’ve heard recently
  • Natural beauty around you
  • Things you love about your city

Let’s cultivate thankfulness so we can live our lives to the fullest and put aside judgements of ourselves and others! What are you thankful for today? Do you struggle with judging yourself or others? I’d love to hear what you’re thinking in the comments!

Topics: All TopicsFreedomIdentity


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