“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8-9 msg
“The battle you wage against your human nature is an invisible one that will be won or lost in the mind. Minute by minute, hour by hour, in the hidden workshop of your mind, you are constructing thoughts of good or evil, depression or joy, success or failure. You are writing your own life story as a human being with each subtle and soundless thought you think.” Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle
“I’m a bad mom.”
“I’m not successful or productive.”
“I can’t do this.”
These are the words I hear sometimes in my mind. Do you hear them too?
Quite often, I struggle with toxic thoughts about myself that cause me to respond to my kids out of frustration and irritation. I lose my patience with them when they are just simply being kids, and then I feel worse. My children suffer and are not seeing the best version of me as a mommy because I am believing lies! Why do we believe these lies about ourselves? The truth is that the enemy of our souls wants to plant this constant negative thought chatter in our minds. Satan is crafty and manipulative, and he relishes in our weakness. But guess what, mama? Jesus is stronger, and His authority will triumph in our mothering!
In trying to stop this cycle, I have turned to Scripture to find the truth. The Word of God is filled with so much encouragement, strength, and power. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” and James 1:19 says, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” These Scriptures have become unwavering truths for me and are now in my arsenal to wield against Satan.
I have found the practice of turning my worries and fears into prayers also helps exchange these lies with truths. For example, when I worry about my children getting hurt, I’ll say, “Lord, please protect and watch over them. Send Your angels to guard and guide them.” Or when I worry about my husband, I’ll pray, “Lord, be with my husband as he works. Give him confidence in You to follow Your will and feel Your Spirit’s presence around him. Strengthen him to rely on You and show him You are his provider and how much You love him.” This takes control from the enemy and passes my burdens over to our Lord and Savior (Psalm 55:22; Matthew 11:28-30).
Our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil is ready and waiting to tempt you and bring you down that rabbit hole of bad thoughts again and again! Remember, though, he is not very creative and tends to use the same triggers over and over. He will also plant thoughts in your own mind, in first-person, trying to make you think it is actually your own thoughts. What a lie indeed. Any thought we have that doesn’t line up with the Word is from Satan. We have to constantly remember the Word of God and hide it deep in our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:6-8).
God knew in our humanness that we would struggle with our thoughts. He gave us many Scriptures to help us battle them—we are not meant to fight this battle alone! Here are five key verses that speak directly to our minds and thought life:
- “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
- “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- “Be made new in the attitude of your minds” (Ephesians 4:23).
- “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 nkjv).
- “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
This practice of fixing our minds on things from above is not something we tend to do naturally—it takes prayer, discipline, obedience, and continued practice. By filling our mind with God’s Word we can begin responding with truth from Scripture. Oh, how this will change our daily interactions, responses, and moods!
Blessings and Love,
Faith-Filled Idea: Replace Lies with Truth
What lies are you believing? A great way to redirect our thoughts is to find Scriptures that negate the negative ones. Keep these verses in places you’ll see often and reflect on them so they become ingrained in your mind. Reference the chart on page 183 in the “HELPful Resources” section, and then write your own “Replacing Lies with Truth” chart. Go through this exercise while prayerfully asking God to reveal His truth to you.
Also, please visit joychallengeformoms.com, where you can take “The 40-Day Joy Challenge for Moms.” This is a simple and fun online program based on God’s Word that helps produce better habits, stronger relationships, and greater joy in less than nine minutes per day.