Monday, October 4, 2010
An evil spirit called, "Self focus"
Once again I am handing my “blogging reins” over to someone who has guest blogged for me before, the mysterious “T”. I was suffering from some stress and anxiety, something that happens in spells. My doctor has suggested medication but so far I have chosen to pray myself through these dark periods. It's not easy but by praying, reading the Psalms through and, as it turns out, telling others I have victory over thoughts of defeat and depression. My friend wrote me the following e mail after a long conversation on the phone. I hope you all benefit from her Godly wisdom as I have.
I was glad to see you last night, and glad you worked things out in your heart and mind so that you could be there to be used as God sees fit. That is a blessing. This morning, I woke up with a thought for both of us, as I also struggle with being hard on myself and mincing over every little wrong thing I perceive I may have done….
First, the scripture says…draw near to God and he will draw near to you….this is the way to resist the devil so that he will flee from you. The next time you begin to hear the accusing voice in your head, stop and tell God you want to draw near to him right in that moment. Maybe you could find a verse of comfort to memorize that assures you of drawing near to God in just such a moment. Tell God you are feeling negative and being accused. Draw near to God the best you can…he will draw near to you.
Next, the cure for worry and self-focus is to be grateful for what God has provided. I learned to appreciate doing the dishes at my house by keeping in mind that many in the universe have no dishes, and I learned to thank God for my dishes, even when they are dirty and need cleaning (seems a constant chore at my house for some reason). The next time you go home from Leader’s meeting with accusing thoughts about yourself or others…make a list of things to be thankful for. Think about everything God did that morning to provide, protect, defend, prepare, and give to you, and ignore the voice that says you did something wrong. Gratefulness is the cure for grumbling, even when we grumble at ourselves. Break it down to even the simplest things, like thanking God we sit on chairs instead of on the ground, that we have lights and heat, that we can read and know his Word for ourselves, that God chose you to be there, and on and on and on. Do it for as long as it takes to make the voices of doubt go away. All day if need be…we have many things to be grateful for, and this is something I know you can do as I have seen you be grateful on this level many times already. It is the key to changing your focus.
I am learning this same habit, and it really helps. I was so glad for the principles of last week’s lesson…because exalting God is the way to navigate these kinds of nasty waters, and it is important to learn to do that as a daily, moment by moment habit.
I hope this helps you, and I will be thrilled to hear how you are doing with it over this year. We can catch each other up on our progress in this area when we go to Joe Muggs for coffee!
Any thoughts you can add? I’d love to know how you feel about this idea.