Truth is never dependent upon opinion. Believing something is true does not make it so, which is why it is important that we seek, and accept, the truth about ourselves.
Some people appear to see only the good in themselves. On the other hand, there are scores of people so steeped in negative self-images that they are continuously digging their own pit of despair.
One of the most effective tools used by the evil one to hurl me into depression was negative self-talk. Critical thoughts about myself and other people, was useless and dangerous. I remember a God-sent therapist handing me a sheet of paper, one time. She gave me a list of positive affirmations along with instructions that I was to say these statements to myself repeatedly, each day, until I had replaced negative thoughts with positive affirmations.
Saying nice things to, and about, myself was one of the hardest things I had ever done. The only thing that was more difficult than speaking positive statements was stopping the cycle of negative notions. I remember hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me as I was, once again, beating myself up mentally, “If you would not say that to another person, then do not say it to yourself…” Along with the Spirit’s prompting, came the knowledge that I was a child of God. He is my Father, my heavenly Dad, and to allow the evil one to feed me lies such as, “You are nothing. You are a failure. You will never be good enough. No one wants you…” was opposite of the truth found in God’s Holy Word.
Sometimes the only way to deal with a lie is to slap-it-up-side-the-head with the truth. The Bible tells me:
- God loves me and gives me eternal life (John 3:16)
- God has poured out his love into my heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5)
- The Lord has given me all the armor I need to fight against the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:10-19)
- I am to cast all my anxiety on the Lord because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)
- When I humble myself under God’s mighty hand, in His time, after I have suffered a little while, He will Himself lift me up, restore me and make me strong and steadfast (1 Peter 5:6, 10)
Indeed, God has lifted me out of the pit of depression. In His time, the Lord restored me and is now, making me strong and steadfast by teaching me how to walk according to the truth found in His Word.
The eighth step in my ten steps toward freedom was to realize the difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit helps me. The evil one hurts me.
1. The Holy Spirit is not harsh or demanding, but speaks gently with sweet conviction into my heart, which leads me to confess my sin and helps me overcome bad habits that are not good for me, or pleasing to God.
2. The evil one wants only to heap condemnation upon my head so that I will feel as though I am drowning in a sea of my own imperfections.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/msojka/4302699567/">Martin Sojka .. www.VisualEscap.es</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>