“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 (RSV)
So – we need to tell ourselves the truth about ourselves, grounded in humility and fortified by persistent courage. So of course we must pray continually for help: help from the Spirit of Truth to guide our thoughts. Why is that so crucial? Because our whole way of thinking has been highjacked and deformed by sin – our own, and the sin of those around us.
We think our problem is eating too much, or drinking too much, or spending too much money, or gossiping all the time, or playing with an illicit relationship, or – you name it. But those habits, those addictions, are not the root of the problem; they’re only the “fruit” of the problem. We need God’s wisdom and light to really see what’s underneath it.
Here are a couple of principles that might help guide your “truth journaling”, as well as the necessary prayer for insight:
- Whatever you are tempted by is a counterfeit of a real, healthy desire that lurks underneath. Your job is to find out what that desire is: What am I really wanting? What’s the real desire that is hiding below the surface? (Examples: A wish to be seen, valued and acknowledged? A desire for comfort and nurturing? A wish for closeness and intimacy?)
- Whatever you discover underneath the surface, the problem is that you are (deep down inside yourself) believing that you cannot get what you want legitimately, and so you are trying to get it any way you can.
- Why is this happening? Simple: you are believing a lie about yourself and about God. It started in the garden of Eden and it continues to the present day, for the “father of lies” (John 8:44), the enemy of our souls, works purely by deception. Jesus disarmed him, but as long as we believe the lies, he still has power. Counter those lies with liberating Truth and he has no power. Pray for the light to really see what lie is binding and enslaving you, for Jesus longs to be the Truth that liberates your mind and heart.
To be continued…