To View the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oriyDA724_k
Welcome to episode 75 of the Hope Rescue Podcast. We are continuing our series on mental health this week, and if you are interested in hearing all our episodes on mental health and anxiety make sure to watch episodes 70-74 as well. We wanted to start by reminding our listeners that our podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or medication. In this series, we are sharing practical biblical tips and tools to help our listeners take control of their anxiety and ultimately their lives.
Last week in episode 74 we discussed that it’s never too late to change. People often define themselves by their past mistakes and regrets, but as believers, we don’t have to believe that lie. We are made new in Christ, and when we actually start believing what God says about us, we can be changed from the inside out. This week we are continuing that discussion but talking more in-depth about how to permanently change your thinking.
Tim explains that counselors often come to the same conclusion to help a person change: reinforced strategic thinking. They may call it something else, but reinforced strategic thinking is the process of disciplining your thoughts to think of biblical truth instead of lies about yourself. In episode 70, we talked about TNT’s or triggered negative thoughts, which is when someone says or does something that triggers you to react in an unhealthy way. Reinforced strategic thinking is a strategy that inhibits TNT’s from taking over and making you react in a destructive manner.
Tim shares that for many years, he was a lazy thinker or a non-strategic thinker. Whatever thoughts came into his mind he became subject to, and he didn't realize he could control his own thoughts. Kimberly says, "Circumstances are not always in our control, but the way we respond is." Sometimes when a crisis is happening in our lives, even if it is small, it can prevent us from seeing and appreciating the beauty around us. Tim shares that in 2008 during the financial crisis, he gave into fear because the thought of losing everything consumed his thoughts. Not only did the fearful thoughts prevent him from enjoying and appreciating life, his negativity also affected those closest to him. Tim says, “The longer we live with negative thoughts consuming our lives, the more damage we do to our mental health.”
What do you say to yourself when you are left alone with your thoughts? What races through your mind when someone triggers something from your past? What do you believe to be true about your life? We have to refine our thinking from believing lies to embracing truth. When truth is resident in your mind, it will transform your thinking.
Most of us have a tendency to be negative regarding a particular issue. Maybe it’s finances or possibly romance. We must find strategic and specific truths to apply to that particular area. Your spouse may need to apply a different truth than you, and that’s okay. That is why they are called “strategic” thoughts. Identify the triggers in your life that cause you to spiral down a negative rabbit hole, and apply specific biblical truth to that area of your life. For example, Tim shares that he used to fearfully anticipate the future, but once he identified that consistent negative thought, he memorized Isaiah 41:10 and began repeating it in his mind when the overwhelming negative thoughts would arise. Isaiah 41:10 says, "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Tim explains that when we have specific biblical truth resident in our minds, it helps us to strategically be thankful for the provisions that the Lord brings daily. He lists multiple verses from scripture that he has memorized in times of negativity, such as Psalm 23, Psalm 19:12-14, and Philippians 4. He found scriptures that were strategic to the areas of weakness in his life.
Colossians 3:16-17 says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The word of God dwelling in us changes the way we think and causes us to consistently praise God with a thankful heart. Identify what areas of your life you tend to lean in a negative direction, and start replacing the negative thoughts with strategic truth from scripture.
"Circumstances are not always in our control, but the way we respond is." -Kimberly
“The longer we live with negative thoughts consuming our lives, the more damage we do to our mental health.” -Tim
Isaiah 41:10 says, "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 19:12-14 "Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 3:16-17 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”