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.

Hi Sharon,

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.




  1. Hey Sharon! My thing is more LOW self-esteem than it is depression although I sometimes do get to that point. When I do, I remember Philippians 4:8 which says Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    I also remember that our God is a healer and that Worry and doubt (which is part of worry) is not of God. Satan puts these thoughts in our heads to keep us from praising God and giving Him glory. He (Satan) likes it when we start looking at how big our problems are instead of how big our God is. God is bigger than any problem.

    Remember the old chiche "GOD DON'T MAKE NO JUNK" (horrific grammar, but so TRUE!) Therefore, I Rebuke all the doubt, worry and negativity in Sharon's mind and heart in the POWERFUL NAME OF JESUS. Amen.

    Also another point to remember. If you think something in your mind, it automatically goes to your heart, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Satan cannot read minds, what he can do is act on what you say out loud. Don't give him anymore ammunition than he already has. Put on your whole armor of God and deflect Satan's fiery darts. That's where all the negativity is from.

    I hope at least some of this will help you. I know that I tend to go on and on,but I don't mean to. I just love to remind people of God's beautiful Word. Sometimes when we are "in a slump" we as I said tend to forget how much God loves us and that there is nothing so big he cannot handle, including our inner most problems.

    God Bless,

  2. Indeed, selfishness (as opposed to the instinct for self preservation) is the root of much evil and a formidable barrier to life's ultimate goal of selfless love. Another antidote I have found efective and practical in my life to selfishness is service to others. There are many needy and deserving people around us who will respond gratefully to kindness; and this small, intangible reward can do wonders to transform selfishness into selflessness.

  3. Karl You are so right!! The best antidote I have found for depression is to get off myself and focus on others. Thanks so much for the reminder!

  4. Wow! PJ! Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter! And I wholeheartedly agree with you. I believe that Satan sends out demons to sit on our shoulders and whisper in our ears. We must not give an audience to it.
    The scripture you gave me is scripture that God has put in my heart. He has reminded me through you that I must always focus on that which is pure, lovely, admirable, true, honorable, excellent and praiseworthy.
    Thanks for the great response!

  5. Hi Sharon, Thanks for stopping by my little blog. I would totally be flattered if you ripped off some of my ideas! I too love to read and I work at a bookstore and thought that if I write down my thoughts on the books I read I could better help people find books they'd love. I hope we can find stuff for your son to read! ;)

  6. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. My sister worked at a bookstore for a couple of years. At first she thought it was a waste of her college degree. Then she realized that a bookstore was a wonderful resource for someone with a Master's in English Literature. I benefited too because I'd spend hours browsing when I came by to visit her. It's probably why I have such an enormous collection of books at home.


I welcome comments from anyone with a mutual interest in the subjects I written about.