Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Replacing Lies with the Truth

When I was in grad school, I discovered my preferred theory of therapy was a combination of Narrative Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Replace negative thinking with positive thinking. Retell your story from a more positive perspective.

At first, I was pulled into the post-modern idea that there is no absolute truth. Truth is defined by man. If society defines a behavior as good, then it is good. And likewise for evil or abnormalities (I'm not saying "evil" and "abnormal" are always the same thing). But as I continued trying to live life and help others in counseling sessions (as an intern) to live their lives with postmodern thought as the assumption, I realized there was no way for us to "get well" because society kept changing what they defined as good and evil, not to mention that everywhere you go around the world there are millions of different definitions of what is good and what is evil. My conclusion was that there must be an absolute truth by which to live.

Since I grew up in the church, I recognized pretty quickly that I needed God's Word to help me and help my clients replace negative thinking with the Absolute Truth and retell our stories with the underlying understanding of God's sovereignty throughout history. Societies around the world have simply distorted what God gave from the beginning of time as the Truth. The Logos line distorted has become the mythos line (Dr. Thom). I have found that this is so completely evident in so many ways in South Asia.

I have recently been reading "Lies Women Believe: and the Truth That Sets Them Free" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's been beneficial at the very least to help me identify lies that can lead me spiraling down.

Here is a list of lies I found myself believing just last week:
  • I can't make it in South Asia.
  • I can't submit to my husband if he's going to make me do things I don't want to do like live somewhere I don't want to live.
  • My kids are being deprived because we live in South Asia.
  • Since I'm not thriving this can't be where the Lord wants us.
  • It would be easier and I would be happier if we just stayed in America.
  • I can't reach out to people in South Asia because it's too hard in that culture.
Here is how I've replaced those lies with Truth:
  • "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
  • "Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." (Ephesians 5:22)
  • "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." (Matthew 19:29)
  • "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good." (Romans 8:28)
  • "Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!...Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place." (1 Chronicles 16:11, 27)
  • "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
What about you? What lies are you believing?

5 comments:

  1. Great post, Shannon. Daily I work on replacing those lies in my life, sometimes regarding marriage, sometimes re: who I am as a person, sometimes re: my role as mom. And on and on.

    I keep the truth on index cards and review them in my quiet time. It is through the renewing of our minds that we find the good, perfect, and acceptable will of God for our lives (Romans 12:2)

    Love this post!

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  2. I love how honest and open you are. Its inspiring.

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  3. since moving to dc i find myself believing that unless i have certain degrees or jobs then i am an underachiever.

    i often struggle to submit to my husband the way i should. he is not as much of a planner so i worry that things won't happen unless i take control.

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  4. wow! i would be believing all those lies too. god is doing an amazing work in you. thanks for leaving your comment. now i want to follow your journey in india.

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  5. Thanks, gals. I'm so thankful that my transparency can inspire conversation about Christ.

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Join the conversation, glorify the Lord, proclaim his goodness. I'd love it if you did.

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