What is your label?
If we gain control of our minds, we gain control of our lives. My friend, a practising psychologist, was telling me that so many people have an unchecked monologue running through their heads, often the result of a critical parent, that they are unworthy, unlovable and useless. As a result they put negative labels on themselves and on everything happening around them.
It was Viktor Frankl who endured horrific trials in a concentration camp who perceived good in his Nazi guards and evil in his fellow inmates. Even in the midst of such suffering he was able to rise above the abuse and horror and objectively look for the good in unexpected places (and, conversely, perceive the evil where it was unanticipated).
If we learn to think like Jesus there will be no negative labels. We won’t look critically or suspiciously at ourselves or people . Consider how Jesus freely mixed with the outcasts of first century society. No instilled cultural of religious mores dictated His thinking and behaviour – He chose to allow the Father’s deep and generous heart drive His love and compassion for His fellow man.
Consider Paul who was in lockdown in a prison facing certain death yet who experienced deep joy within himself. It wasn’t the situation itself that Paul focussed on, it was what he thought about that situation.
We can look at our circumstances or we can look to Jesus. We can actually have joy in every circumstance of life. We can fill our minds with good and positive thoughts. In short, you can choose to believe whatever you like about yourself!
God says that you are worthy of love and that He sent His only Son to die for you. He chose you before the foundation of the world. He has made you a part of His family. You can choose to believe that or not.
Today, think about these words of Paul, a man who suffered tremendously for what he believed yet remained joyful to the end of his life.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39 NLT).