17 April 2009

New read...

I just started reading a new book, "Telling Yourself The Truth" by William Backus & Marie Chapman. I've only read five chapters so far but I am finding much Truth within it. Truth that needs to override the lies I tell myself. I just finished the chapter on Misbelief in Anger.  Although I consider myself no longer an "angry" person, I found many false principles that I used to tell myself- an automatic response to my anger.

This book reveals that "most of what happens in your life happens because of the way you think " and that this book can show you how "to identify your own misbeliefs and replace them with truth" (God's truth).  I know in my own life I have a hard time truly believing God's truth for myself. I can believe it for others, but have difficulty applying it personally.  For instance, "I am precious in God's sight".  My misbeliefs are quick to counter God's truth and often cripple my mind.  This negative self-talk creates a barrier between me and my Heavenly Father. 

"The constant repeating of misbeliefs is what sustains and perpetuates angry resentment.  Constant repeating of truth generates peace and health."
Jesus experienced anger and we can see from His example, the way you express it can be in a loving manner.  My own expressions of anger were not so loving... they didn't ever include yelling and throwing things, but they did have violent tendencies- I would punch holes in walls or hit a wall that I wouldn't be able to penetrate!  My knuckles are thankful that I don't do that anymore!  There are healthy ways to express anger.  I was fearful of telling people what hurt me or offended me because they always responded defensively toward me, but in doing so it will prevent me from becoming bitter or resentful and preserve rather than destroy the relationship.  Thankfully my communication skills have matured and so has my walk with God.  I think as difficult as it may be for some (like me) to go to the other person and admit your anger, it is what Jesus teaches us to do.  [In no way are we supposed to blow up at people, but share our hurts/anger with them.] 

This chapter has taught me: 
"There is no necessary connection between the  behavior of another person and your anger.  It doesn't matter how unfairly, unjustly or thoughtlessly someone has behaved toward you, you are angry because of your own self-talk.  I make myself angry.  Other people cannot force you to remain in a stew over their behavior.  This is something you do yourself.  To take it one step further, you make yourself angry by what you tell yourself."
By telling myself what "ought" to be (or how I "ought" to be treated) versus what actually "is" will only fuel my anger and I will continue to blame others for my feelings/thoughts and not take ownership of them, therefore I'm unable to correct the misbeliefs that I have conjured up in my head.  The book suggests that each time you find yourself in a situation where someone aggravates you or hurts you, pay attention to what's going on in your mind.  What are you telling yourself?

I'll be updating this blog as I read more chapters that touch me...



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