May 5, 2014

a simple exercise in preaching truth to yourself

I am thankful for a faith that requires me to engage my mind and my thoughts . . . and practically apply truth in day-to-day life.

Sometimes, I just want to float through the day . . . to live based on my feelings or emotions (which is super dangerous if you are a woman :) ).

But that is no way to live, since our emotions are fickle and my mood can change in the twinkling of an eye, for no apparent reason. 

You and I must make a choice . . . a choice to either listen to our anxious thoughts and feelings, or a choice to speak the truth to ourselves. We have to be proactive and take action, not just float through the motions. We must engage with the truth of the Gospel.

As Paul David Tripp says, "No one is more influential in your life than you are. Because no one talks to you more than you do."

There is a post at desiring God on this topic, and the author states:

In our sin, we constantly find our responses to life in our fallen world to be disconnected from the theology that we confess. Anger, fear, panic, discouragement stalk our hearts and whisper in our ears a false gospel that will lure our lives away from what we say we believe.
The battleground, says Tripp, is meditation. What is it that is capturing your idle thoughts? What fear or frustration is filling your spare moments?
Will you just listen to yourself, or will you start talking? No, preaching — not letting your concerns shape you, but forming your concerns by the gospel.
Tullian Tchividjian also writes (link here):
Because we are so naturally prone to look at ourselves and our performance more than we do to Christ and his performance, we need constant reminders of the gospel. 
Day by day, what we must do practically can be experienced only as we come to a deeper understanding of what we are positionally—a deeper understanding of what’s already ours in Christ.
The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of me and my performance and more of Jesus and his performance for me. Ironically, when we focus mostly on our need to get better we actually get worse. We become neurotic and self-absorbed. Preoccupation with my effort over God’s effort for me makes me increasingly self-centered and morbidly introspective.
We can daily press deeper into the cross and apply Gospel truth to the untouched areas of our lives. To combat lies and feelings with the objective truths found in scripture. 

A friend challenged me with an exercise that has benefitted me greatly over the years. She asked me to think through and write down - "What lies are you believing right now?" Followed up by, "What scripture disproves this?" It is a practical way to confront the lies that can so easily sneak up and interject themselves into our lives.

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