Friday, February 24, 2017

What Would You Say?

Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

I can't remember if it was in a psychology class in high school or college that I first heard of daily affirmations.  I have never been one to use them and whether that's good or bad is still out for debate. The concept is simple.  Take something you want to be true, write it as a positive statement, and repeat it to yourself.  They can be actions, habits, or beliefs.  For example:  I wake up easily and ready to conquer the day, I make healthy food choices consistently, I am fun to be around.  You get the idea.

I guess for some reason I always thought they seemed kind of cheesy.  Of course you want to think good things about yourself because as we discovered yesterday, those self lies are destructive as hell, literally.  But daily affirmations?  Really?

In her book You Are Free, Rebekah Lyons has a chapter called Free to Confess.  Confession, if you are raised as I was, conjures up images of going into what amounts to a tiny little closet, telling someone behind a curtain everything you've done wrong, and praying no one outside is listening to what you are saying.  And, if you're like I was, you went in with your standard list of struggles and repeated them time after time.  But what if confession is way more than that?

In the chapter on confession, Rebekah boldly writes: "Confession can also mean declaring something emphatically, such as our faith."  She goes on to say, "When we confess something with our mouths.....we plant truth deep in our hearts.  It becomes a seed, eventually yielding a harvest."  So what would happen if we took the concept presented in psychology and applied it biblically to our lives?

Since the beginning of this year, I have been using my planner to write out a truth I have learned about God or myself.  Granted we are barely two months in, but I can say I have seen some changes beginning to take root.  My writing isn't really a prayer, but an actual declaration of combined information from my devotional, daily Bible reading, and what I already know to be true.  For example today's entry was this:

Every day I make a choice with my words to either speak positively or negatively about
myself.  That choice has an impact, yields consequences, and grows fruit.  If I wouldn't
say the things I say to myself about someone else, why on earth would I say it about me?
God sees me as precious and worthy so I should, too.

When I first started this it seemed a little bit strange.  But God does invite us to believe what He says about us and I believe it's one of the reasons He gave us the gift of His written word.  He desperately want us to know how He sees us.  The reality is, if we saw ourselves as He declares us ~ as an overcomer, conqueror, righteous, holy, redeemed, blessed, forgiven, worthy, loved, etc. ~ the ability to be His hands and feet to those who don't know Him would be multiplied exponentially.  Just imagine for a moment the impact that would have on a hurting world.

I plan to continue this practice for the year and am excited to see where I end up on December 31st. But I honestly don't think I'll stop there.  There will always be messages of negativity telling me I should be or do more, wear a certain size, own a specific phone, or have my kids in a certain number of activities.  I will always have a choice to make when it comes to what I believe.  It may not be the popular choice in many areas, but I think I'll stick with what Jesus says for the long haul.  After all, He's the one saying the amazing things about me.

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