One of my all-time favorite movies is Pretty Woman. I prefer the TV version that has edited out a couple of crude scenes and language, but it’s pretty much a modern day Cinderella story. Julie Roberts plays a young woman (Vivian) who moves to Hollywood in search of a better life, but finds herself caught up in prostitution to pay her bills and get by. That is until Edward Lewis, a handsome, successful businessman (played by Richard Gere) picks her up and her life begins to change. Actually, they end up bringing out the best in each other, and the movie has a fairy tale ending.
One of the scenes that stick out in my mind is the one where Vivian and Edward are talking, she shares about how she got where she is, and he says some nice things about her. She replies, “The bad stuff is easier to believe.” This is a sentiment that I have heard over and over from my clients, and have found to be true in my own life. Why is it that the bad stuff people say about us seems easier to believe?
Do you have a dream that you have not pursued because you feel inadequate and the phrase “you’re not good enough” keeps popping up in your mind? Or maybe you want to pursue a relationship, but in your mind you hear voices of the past telling you that you are unlovable? You are not alone. I have never met anyone who hasn’t had to battle these kinds of thoughts. But these thoughts and beliefs do not line up with God’s view of us. God loves you and you are valuable to Him! God has a plan and a purpose for you, a future and a hope! (Jeremiah 29:11)
These toxins in your mind can keep you from pursuing the dreams that God has put in your heart, prevent you from using your God-given gifts, and cause you to stagnate in your life instead of living it to the fullest. Just like nutritional cleansing is important for cleaning the toxins out of your body, ‘detoxing’ your mind is necessary for you to function optimally and get rid of the hindrances that keep you from reaching your goals.
Here are a few steps for clearing out these toxins in your mind:
1) Study what the Bible says about you.
Meditate daily on these truths. Here are some verses to start with:
• You are a child of God. 1 John 5:1 (NLT) Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God.
• He loves you. 1 John 4:10 (NIV) This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
• He has chosen you! 1 Thessalonians 1:4 (NLT) We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.
• He has precious thought about you. Psalm 139:17 (NIV) How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
• You are worth dying for. Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
• You are so valuable to God, he keeps track of every detail about you! Luke 12: 6-7 (NIV) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
• He wants to be with you eternity! John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
• He has a good future planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
2) Fight fire with fire.
When the words and phrases that tear you down come to mind, fight back with the truth of the word of God. You may want to choose some verses that counter what your mind is telling you and write them on index cards for ready reference. The Bible says to “take every thought captive,” so get in the habit of countering every destructive thought with His truth, and you’ll find that the toxic thoughts become less and less until the truth is so etched in your mind, they won’t bother you anymore.
3) Enlist the help of a trusted friend, pastor, or coach.
Sometimes this process is hard to do on your own. Old patterns can be hard to break. If you find that you are stuck in old thought patterns, get help from someone who cares about you and can be strong when you are feeling weak. And remember that Jesus has already provided what you need for any challenge; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
What are some verses that encourage you when toxic thoughts come to mind? Please share below in the comments so that others may be encouraged as well!