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Mind the Gap – #2

A few years ago I was going through a devotional with some

high school girls I was mentoring. I can’t remember the book, but I can remember

the chapter that changed my thought life.

As Christians we’re taught to “take every thought captive to

make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5) so we can get really good at

recognizing the lies that we tell ourselves. And for us singles in the crowd,

we’re especially aware of what they are.

  • God

    has forgotten about me.

  • I’m not _______________ enough to get married.
  • I’ve

    messed up so badly, who would want me?

Sometimes when it comes to my

thought life, recognizing and calling out the lies isn’t so much the problem.

Here’s where that chapter comes in: Recognizing the lies is

only half the battle. In the absence of the lies you have to fill your mind

with truth. When I learn to

identify false ideas about who God is, I can’t just leave that space in my mind

blank. If I do, it will get filled again with more lies. I have to fill up

that space with truth — truth about what the Bible has to say about God’s

character, His promises and His heart toward His children.

For some reason the second half of the equation had never registered for me. So now when I find myself thinking something untrue, I

call it the lie that it is and then find Scripture that validates the truth.

Here’s what it might look like.

Another bouquet of roses gets delivered to the reception

desk at my work. (You didn’t think I’d fail to mention Feb. 14 on the

Boundless blog, did you?) Spending Thursday as a single, I start to think, Of course I don’t have anyone to send me

flowers. There’s obviously something fundamentally wrong with me, and I must be

unmarriable  . . . or even

undateable, for that matter. I might as well succomb to my fate

as the Single Girl and stop hoping that marriage and motherhood is part of

God’s plan for my life.

Clearly, these are all lies

that I’ve believed at one time or another. So after I’ve called these what they

are, I’ll replace them with some of these truths from Scripture.

  • “The Lord your

    God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He

    will take great delight in you;

    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

    but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

  • “And the God of all

    grace, who called you to his eternal

    glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will

    himself restore you and make you strong, firm and

    steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).

  • “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and

    loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up

    all who are bowed down. The eye of all look to you, and you give them their

    food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every

    living thing” (Psalm 145:13-16).

  • “By faith Abraham, even though he was past

    age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he

    considered him faithful who had made the promise” (Hebrews 11:11).

If I find my thoughts consistently going to one

kind of false belief, I’ll make it a point to study Scripture for truths that counteract that belief.

In college I read the Psalms and circled the word good every time it

described God, because I started to look at my circumstances and doubt God’s

goodness to me. I often go back to Deuteronomy and Hebrews to be reminded of

the Lord’s faithfulness to the Israelites and to remember His hand of provision

at work in the lives of the great men and women whose faith was of great worth.

Sometimes music can help me fill in the gap once

I grab hold of the lies. Shane and Shane, Jeff Johnson Band, Audrey Assad, Gungor,

and Rich Mullins are a few that come to mind.  

How do you

recognize lies, and what helps you replace that gap with truth?

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