1. The Worrier — Do you scare yourself with your thoughts?
- Are you high anxiety?
- Do you imagine the worst?
- Is your common question, “What if . . . happens?”
Get a Grip: Change the “What if’s” to “What would I do?” or “So what? I can manage.” Ask yourself what the odds are of this really happening. Are you overestimating the fear rather than putting your trust in God?
2. The Self-Critic — Do you tear yourself down?
- Do you call yourself an idiot?
- Do you constantly judge and evaluate yourself and come out pretty bruised?
Get a Grip: Write down positive statements people have made to you. Rehearse these out loud, addressing yourself. Notice when you are berating and putting yourself down and STOP! Ask yourself: what is the evidence for this? Is this always true? Make counter-statements based on truth and God’s words to you.
3. The Victim — Do you feel sorry for yourself?
- Do you think others have it better?
- Do you feel passed over, unloved and unappreciated? Do you envy others and feel life and God are unfair?
- Do you say, “I can’t. I will never be able to succeed”?
Get a Grip: Instead of rehearsing your sorrows, rehearse what you have going for you. Change your focus from what you don’t have to what God has given you. Instead of hopelessness, say what is true: “I can continue to improve my life. It’s never too late for new friendships, skills, or interests. God will guide and bless me.”
4. The Perfectionist – Is your standard so high so you set yourself up for failure?
- Do you condemn yourself when you fail?
- Is your self-talk harsh and hurtful?
- Do you feel God can’t love you, and nor would others if they knew you?
Get a Grip: Pray persistently for God to change your thinking and understanding from lies to truth: He accepts you on the basis of Christ’s merits, not your own. You are saved by grace, God’s free gift, and you don’t maintain it by being perfect. Doing good things for God is an expression of your love, not an effort to maintain your relationship with Him. Learn to transform your mind by thinking through these statements:
- It’s okay to make mistakes.
- I don’t have to always be perfect or the best
- Setbacks are part of the process and an important learning tool
I hope identifying these four types of negative thinking has been helpful. I’d encourage you to ask the Lord what other lies might have you in bondage. Remember, these aren’t from the Lord. He came to bring us freedom from this kind of mental misery so we can go through life enjoying emotional and spiritual victory. Our weapons are prayer, faith, and the Word of God. (Ephesians 6)
Meet Poppy Smith:With her fun personality and passion for communicating lifechanging truths, Poppy Smith inspires believers to thrive spiritually and personally. Poppy’s practical how-to messages (in print or in person) uses colorful examples from her own struggles and inspires many to see how change can occur.
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