Are Your Misbeliefs Locking You Up?
“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:
“Are your parents divorced?” asks Laura L. Smith, author of the recently released teen novel, Angry.
If so, it wouldn’t surprise Smith who shares that for one out of two families, divorce is a stark reality. “Divorce leaves scars,” says Smith—and no doubt she knows that personally, since she herself in a child of divorce.
In Angry, the main character Emma experiences the nauseating emotions of horrified shock, guilt and raw anger in the weeks after she learns of her father’s affair and her parent’s decision to dissolve their marriage. She feels alone and she wonders where God is.
Angry, the third book in Smith’s Christian teen fiction series, highlights the heated tug of war that teens experience as their life spirals out of control. According to the current divorce statistics, a teen you love is either facing the anger herself or has a friend who is.
If you’re the parent (grandparent, teacher, mentor) of a young teenage girl, this short book (155 pages) will help you start a meaningful discussion about the painful reality of divorce. And about how God cares no matter what you’re going through.
You can purchase Angry, a NavPress release, at your local bookstore or at your favorite online book seller. Youth leaders will be pleased to know that there is a FREE downloadable discussion guide at the NavPress website. Visit Laura at www.laurasmithauthor.com or see her on Facebook.
Thanks, Laura, for sharing the story of Emma and her high school friends–and for allowing me to post this book review on my blog.
How about you? How have anger and divorce intersected in your life (or in the life of a teen you know) and what seemed to help the most?
What’s happening when we endeavor to mend someone else’s problems and then feel anxious that the other person doesn’t comply with our solutions—or isn’t grateful? Perhaps it’s our blurred divine distinctions.
Becoming clear about who God is (hey, we can’t be intimate with someone we don’t allow ourselves to know) and who we are liberates us to enjoy our lives. It releases us from needing to have all the answers; allows others to trust God instead of looking to us for solutions. And frees us to develop satisfying relationships with loved ones, God and ourselves. It’s what we craved all along.
Often as our Creator reveals one of his God-Names (and attributes) in scripture, it is when one of His children is experiencing an imperfect dilemma or human limitation.
For example, the name Jehovah-Jireh (God the Provider) is introduced to Bible readers during an intense father/son story when Abraham is about to sacrifice his only child Isaac and God supplies the substitute animal. God is established as El Roi (the God Who Sees) when culturally insignificant Hagar (Sarah’s and Abraham’s verbally and emotionally abused maid) runs away and God “sees” and reaches out to this broken-hearted young woman.
I could go on, but these two illustrations seem to indicate that God wants us to partner with him and trust his sufficiency in the midst of our humanness and imperfection. God is God and I am not. And by the way, neither are you. Yet we are made in God’s likeness, blessed with capabilities, dignity, and the capacity for healthy relationships with one another and with Him.
Divine distinction (understanding the difference between who God is and who you are) isn’t about what youshould do, but about what you can be, because of Jesus. Good-bye to Hyper-vigilance! Prepare for joy.
Have you ever come face-to-face with the reality that God is God and you are not? What happened?
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.