Dear Ladies, You are Astoundingly Beautiful Part 3
Dear Ladies, You are Astoundingly Beautiful,
Thank you so much for reading Part 3 of the Dear Ladies, You are Astoundingly Beautiful post series. In Part 1 we talked about the three reasons that, I believe from personal experience, women tend to not consider themselves beautiful, both in spirit and appearance. In Part 2 we talked about our own unique God-given personalities. Now, for Part 3 we will talk about developing some truthful and Spirit-filled Words to Live By.
This post was inspired by the Life.Church message and YouVersion Bible plan of the same name, Words to Live By. As discussed in Part 1, there may be many reasons such as hurtful words, the culture and media, and the enemy which cause us to believe negative and destructive lies about ourselves. Many of us inflict ourselves with harmful and damaging inner dialog.
In the Life.Church message the key point was that
"Our lives move in the direction of our strongest thoughts" (2017).
From my experience, this is absolutely true. Throughout my biggest times of trail during my eating disorder, all my negative thoughts compounded and greatly affected my life and everything in it, I was headed in a downward spiral. My inner dialog used to say I was unattractive, overweight, unlovable, unworthy, and not valuable. So, what does your inner dialog say about you and "How do you feel about the direction your thoughts are taking you?" (Life.Church 2017). Is it taking you in the negative and destructive direction my inner dialog used to take me? If so, you, like I did and am still, you can overcome this. God can help you change your thinking.
The application of the Life.Church message and this post is that we must replace our harmful and damaging inner dialog with inner dialog based on spiritual truths.
Romans 8:5-6 AMP says "Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]."
If our thoughts are not controlled by the Holy Spirit but by the lies of the enemy and our sinful nature, it will lead to "all the miseries arising from sin." Yet, if we turn our thoughts to God's truth, we will have life and peace of the soul "both now and forever."
Therefore, we can and must counteract our negative, destructive, and untruthful thoughts with Spirit led thoughts.
This can be done with God's help; He can help us transform the way we think. Consider Romans 12:2 NLT
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think."
You see that?
God can "transform you" by "changing the way you think."
Yes, this may be hard. There are so many sinful and detrimental influences we face every day! But we do not have to fear because we fight with spiritual weapons and "they have divine power to demolish strongholds" ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4. When harmful influences or any of the reasons discussed in Part 1, hurtful words, the culture and media, or the enemy try to infiltrate your mind with negative and destructive thoughts about your beauty and value, you can put on the Armor of God ~ Ephesians 6:14-18.
- You have the belt of truth, the Bible the Word of God. ~ Ephesians 6:14
- You have the breastplate of righteousness guarding your heart against the enemy's attacks. ~ Ephesians 6:14
- Your feet stand ready with the gospel of peace ~ Ephesians 6:15
- You have the shield of faith which holds you to God's promises ~ Ephesians 6:16
- You have the helmet of salvation leading you to become a fully devoted follower of Christ and providing the promise of eternal life with Him ~ Ephesians 6:17
- You have the sword of the Spirit the Word of God your offensive weapon against the enemy ~ Ephesians 6:17
- And you have the power of prayer making all requests known ~ Ephesians 6:18
Further, working with the Armor of God, "we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" ~2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV. Or as the NLT reads "… We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5.
This verse was very fundamental during my eating disorder therapy.
So how can everything we discussed play out practically in our lives? The YouVersion Words to Live By Bible plan provides steps.
First, contemplate "What negative thoughts are dominating your thinking?" (2017). The source of these negative thoughts could be from anywhere; they could be from the causes discussed in Part 1. Honestly, this step may be hard and painful, but it is important.
Next, prayerfully contemplate "What spiritual truths will demolish your strongholds?" (2017). Use your Armor of God and think about the spiritual truths found in the Bible that are contrary to your negative thoughts.
It may be easy for you to have space to think about, write down, sketch out, or diagram these two steps in separate areas. It may be easier for you to write them down side by side, negative thoughts in one column and spiritual truths in another. Or, maybe it would be beneficial for you to do a mixture of both. There is no need to rush, take you time doing this.
I am going to be really vulnerable here and tell you my responses to these steps.
What negative thoughts have dominated my thinking?
- I am not worthy or valuable.
- I am not "as much" as other women.
- I am nothing special.
- There are many things I want and need that I do not have.
- I am full or worry and stress.
- I am a horrible person with a bad heart.
- I want earthly approval.
- Sometimes I am selfish with my time.
- I am not doing enough as a mother.
What spiritual truths will demolish these strongholds?
- I am the daughter of the King of all kings.
- I will not compare myself to other women. God made us all beautifully unique.
- I am a masterpiece.
- "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." ~ Ephesians 2:10
- I am content in Christ alone.
- I am joyful.
- "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23
- Through Christ, I am strong, gentle, fierce, and compassionate.
- I can be patient and kind because the Holy Spirit helps me. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- I am not a people-pleaser because I answer to God first and seek to please Him.
- I am a spiritual contributor, not a spiritual consumer.
- Every child is a gift from God.
- "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward." ~ Psalms 127:3
This concept is new to me, but I am encouraged by it and have decided to make these statements my daily Words to Live By. These statements relate directly to the areas in my life in which I struggle, the areas I worry and stress about. But I have the Armor of God, and with the help of Christ, I can renew my mind with Spirit-filled thoughts.
So what are your Words to Live By? Come up with your own Words to Live By statements that are filled with God's truths that will transform your inner dialog. If you have trouble finding your Words to Live By check out this site, that is where I found my statements.
As Pastor Craig says,
"The more you say it, the more you will renew your mind" (2017).
Declare your Words to Live By daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and throughout life so that you will internalize the statements, be renewed, and have thoughts in-tune with God's truths. Some ways to incorporate these into your daily life is by setting daily reminders for your statements, times for you to stop and say them. Or, create Words to Live By cards and keep them with you wherever you go.
Also, if you sign up for the Yours Truly, LeNae monthly newsletter and become a member, you can download a PDF worksheet which includes spaces to complete the above steps and blank Words to Live By cards.
I hope you found this post useful. Big thanks to Life.Church for providing the fantastic material I used for this post. Here are two additional blog posts which I think you will find useful in counteracting negative thoughts.
Yours Truly, LeNae
P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to my exclusive monthly newsletter and access the Resource Library wich includes free downloads. Sign up and download the free Words to Live By worksheet and cards. Also, let's be dear friends! Follow me on all my social media. Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear from you.
Life.Church. Words to Live By. Accessed April 21, 2017. https://www.life.church/watch/words-to-live-by/words-to-live-by/
Image from Ivory Mix