“We followed the directions word for word and it still doesn’t work, Honey,” I said. “I’m tired of trying this over and over.”
“Me, too. I’m taking a break,” responded my husband Richard. We worked all day installing a new financial program onto our home office computer. Several hours earlier, when we thought we were finished, we discovered a large discrepancy in our checking account reconciliation. Repeatedly we read the instructions and tried to implement them, but nothing changed. We were stumped and exhausted.
I scanned the screen for the umpteenth time. And then, I saw it! “Richard, come quickly,” I shouted. “Look what happened.” Our problem? We had informed the computer that we owned $5000 more than we did. When we corrected the misinformation and told the computer the truth, the checkbook balanced and the new program worked.
For years I fed myself misinformation about life, God, others and even myself. I didn’t realize my mental and emotional diet included this faulty thinking. After all, I followed God, prayed, served others, studied the Bible, and believed Jesus was who He said he was: Truth, Life, and the Way to God.
Yet after constant nibbling on my half-truths and conditioned misconceptions, I emerged perplexed and worn out trying to understand why my life (relationships, career/work, emotional health, and spirituality) didn’t work the way I wanted it to work.
Although it feels unfamiliar and uncomfortable, I’ve identified some of my confusing lies and have begun to replace them with the truth. (It remains an imperfect process, yet I’m committed to it even when it seems futile and dispassionate.) The change doesn’t take place as instantly as with my computer, but replacing misbeliefs with current reality and the truth does bring progressive transformation. I’ve seen it in myself and my coaching clients. And it can happen in you, too!
Perhaps you’re wondering what a misbelief or half-truth might look like. Here’s a few examples:
- If people or God get to know me they won’t like me.
- Taking care of myself is selfish and a waste of time.
- Relaxation is for wimps.
- Feelings are sinful.
- Anger is bad and wrong and I must avoid admitting displeasure at all costs.
- I have to control circumstances and relationships so God will be honored in every thing I do.
- When someone does something that hurts me, I must keep my mouth shut. (Or maybe you think you must let them “have it” immediately!)