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Wednesday

Your Thoughts: The Language of Christianity, Part 3


For the past couple weeks, I've been writing about post-modernism's effect on the western conception of Christianity. We've talked about how the construction of binaries is problematic in its attempt to unravel the unity of Truth, and how these same binaries create a relationship where we come to see others in the world as different from us, moving away from the empathy and equality so prioritized in the teachings of Christ. If you missed them, you can find Part 1 and Part 2 here.

Today we're going to take these concepts and apply them on a more personal level. I think the majority of Christians would agree that truth, in order to be truth, must be absolute. And while we may slip into an "us" versus "them" mindset often, rarely is that our conscious intent.

But what of the battle going on in our own minds? What of the "you" versus "that person" relationship we create with our conception of ourselves? With what we are doing versus what we should be? With our "actual" potential versus our dreams?

1 Cor. 2:16 says believers of God have "the mind of Christ."

I truly believe that everything we are called to be, we are equipped to be in Christ.

So why are we not living that way? 

Well, as a guess, I'd say it has something to do with our perspective being off. We look to define ourselves by others around us. Even if we do have a strong sense of purpose, we go out into the world, and every day, a little bit of that is beaten out of us, until we stop believing in our calling because it's become too hard.

We believe in purpose, but we doubt our ability. We believe in change, but we doubt our role. We believe in God, but we doubt His care in our lives.

The key to changing this cycle lies in changing our thought lives. The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, 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."


I believe this command is not a passive one, that there is all-out warfare going on inside our minds. What we choose to entertain in our thoughts shapes our attitudes, our values, our hearts, the core of who we are.



Source: Uploaded by user via Charyn on Pinterest



What does your thought life look like? I'm not talking about sin here, although that also applies. I'm talking more about self-talk: the way we perceive who we are in Christ. Because if we really knew the depths of His love for us, His belief in us--that He would care enough to give His very life--how much different would our own lives look like?

How much of your time do you spend putting yourself down? Unravelling the truth God has spoken over your heart and your life? Is there something you (or others around you) have convinced yourself you absolutely cannot do or face, though you have a seed of a dream planted in your heart? How is that keeping you from the call of God upon your life?

Somewhere along the line, we've started believing that faith in God's ministry through our lives is equivalent with pride. That's a lie. There is nothing wrong with being confident in the person God has called us to be, so long as our confidence is in Him.

Putting yourself down, convincing yourself you're unworthy or unable again and again strips away the tools and gifts God has given you to fulfill your calling. This is not humility. True humility is full confidence in the proper source.

How do we escape these self-doubts? How do we know who we are in Christ? 


(NLT) Ephesians 1:9-11 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God's plan is to unite us with Christ. He is our sufficiency. In Him, we have all that we need. The earth is broken and we will have struggles. We will fight against our frail nature and will struggle with pain until He takes us home. But the beautiful thing about Christianity is this: we are truly and fully, already His.

What role do you see thoughts as having? How do thoughts, which seem so internalized, affect our behavior? Why is a proper thought life so dependent upon the existence of truth?

9 comments:

  1. My dad had those words (Watch your thoughts...) hanging on our refrigerator when I was growing up. Great post. Love it!

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    1. Thanks, Julie! :) I love that quote too! I was excited when I found that photo on Pinterest. Have a great day!

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  2. Well, yet again, you are on my wave. This was so encouraging, Ashley. And I needed to hear it, badly. Just wondering when you are going to write your own devotional book? ;)

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    1. I'll talk to my critique partner and see if she wants to write one with me... ;)

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    2. Ooh, sounds intriguing! ;)

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  3. Preach it, girl!

    I love the distinction you made between pride and confidence. To lack pride--to be humble--doesn't mean you necessarily lack confidence. But like you said, where we're placing our confidence is important. If I place my confidence in myself and my abilities, I'll always disappoint myself. Not because I'm not talented, but because I'm human and I'll inevitably fail under so much pressure toward perfection. But if I place it in God, and trust He's given me exactly the talents I need to achieve exactly the dreams he's given me...well, then, life is golden.

    PS, I just LOVE how intellectually stimulating your posts are. I'd love to talk lit with you someday. We'd have fun, I think. ;)

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    1. Well-said, girl! You are so sweet. I love what you said about humility not necessarily meaning a lack of confidence! And I'm always up for a lit convo!

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  4. Love this post, Ash! It's a good reminder for us to check our thoughts... See how they line up with who God says we are-chosen, beloved, His. It's also important to guard our tongues. The devil doesn't know our thoughts but when we voice our fears and insecurities he has a leg up. Our thoughts are very powerful rudders and often reflect the condition of our hearts. You are wise beyond your years :)

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    1. You're sweet, Amy! Thanks for stopping by and jumping in! And you make such a great point about guarding what we say! Very true. It's so easy to rattle things off and inadvertently confirm lies we've chosen to believe about ourselves.

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