In yesterday’s blog (“Marks out of 10”) I mentioned that there were one or two “tools” that I have found pastorally helpful over the years. The first “tool” is in the aforementioned blog, so read about it if you haven’t done so yet. Let me today share something else that I have found helpful. It might be useful for you to think about this for yourself, or even use it to help someone you may be concerned about.
Often I find that people’s lives are hampered by lies they carry around about themselves which become almost like “strongholds” in their thinking. They form how a person thinks of themselves, of life, of others etc. These hidden sentences really have a powerful influence upon us. But when they are lies they need to be challenged.
Let me explain one way you can do that. Going back to yesterday’s blog, the truth about every single person reading this blog itoday is that your worth as a human being is 10 out of 10. I asked yesterday if that is the mark you would give yourself? If not, then it is good to try and work out what has gone wrong. Here is how I would begin to help you if I was speaking with you face to face:
1 – Take a sheet of A4 paper and for a few days or a week, write down the sort of sentences you say to yourself about yourself. We all speak to ourselves about ourselves, mostly in our heads but sometimes even out loud. Here are some examples: “There you go again, making a mess of it.” “You idiot!” “You were foolish to think the good times would last.” “Don’t be stupid no one could ever truly love you or like you!” “You are such a waste of space.’’ “You are a disappointment.” “You are boring.” “How ugly!” “I hate you.” “You disgust me!” You will never amount to much” “You are getting above your station.” “You will never change this.” “You will never be free.” “You deserved this suffering and unhappiness because of who you are and what you did.” The list of possible examples could go on a lot longer…
2 – One you have your list on the left side of the page, take a look at each sentence and ask a very simple question: “How did that get there?” Give some time to think about that. What or who caused that thought to be there? Look especially at significant relationships. Were these words put there by someone else, by what they said or how they treated you? Why have you come to believe that sentence?
Now….pause and tell yourself a really good thought that I heard Bill Johnson mention: “I cannot afford to make room in my mind or heart for a thought about myself that isn’t the way my Heavenly Father thinks of me.” To all those in Christ the Father says, “I love you as I love Jesus. You are my son, my daughter with whom I am well pleased. You bring me great joy!” How am I going to move on from stages 1 and 2 towards truly believing that I am who “I AM” says I am, rather than believing the lies the sentences are telling me about me?
3 – Either on your own or with someone else look at what the Bible would say about the thoughts and sentences you have listed. On the right hand side of the page write down the truth of the Word of God that counters the lies on the left hand side. So for example, perhaps on the left hand side of the page you have written a sentence like, “You never deserve to be forgiven for this!” Well, on the right hand side of the page you would now write a bible verse such as the declaration from Romans Chapter 8: “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Or again, if on the left hand side of the page you have written that you are unloveable then on the right hand side of the page you would write something such as the declaration of Jesus in John 16: “The Father Himself loves you affectionately and warmly!”
Do you get the idea? Do that with each troublesome sentence, so that you have a list of Bible verses on the right hand side of the page. THAT LIST BECOMES YOUR SPIRITUAL MEDICINE. TAKE IT 3 TIMES A DAY FOR A MONTH AND THEN SEE HOW YOU ARE GETTING ON. I literally mean that 3 times a day you sit down and take time to read the truths that God will use to set you free. I promise you, strongholds will start to crumble. There is something about truth getting through that sets us free.
Charles Spurgeon suffered from depression. If I remember aright it was his grandfather who one day took him aside and encouraged Charles to take the thoughts he was thinking, dangle them before his own eyes as it were and ask one simple question: “Did this thought come from my Father in Heaven who loves me?” Charles’ grandfather said if it did not pass that test then it was a lie, one of the devil’s brats and that Charles should kick it out and give it neither head nor heart room!
Perhaps you should begin a course of spiritual medicine soon…. Perhaps there are a few brats that need kicked out your head and heart….
God bless you if you go ahead and choose to try and work with this tool…. and God bless you, even if you don’t!
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