What words do you allow to take up space in your mind? Words that recant the pain of the past, or words that express gladness for the days to come? Words that bring peace and confidence in God, or words that stir resentment and bitterness?
Dr. Edith Eger is a Holocaust survivor who became a highly esteemed psychologist and brought emotional healing to many veterans suffering with PTSD. When she was sixteen years old, she was thrown into a cattle truck along with her mother, father, and older sister and taken to Auschwitz. Her mother told her, “We don’t know what’s going to happen. Just remember, no one can take away from you what you’ve put in your mind.”
Good or bad, that statement is true.
Edith and her sister remained prisoners. Her parents were led away to their deaths. Over and over again in the days to come the guards would tell her, “Today is the day you die.” Every time the guards spoke those words, Edith purposely thought in her mind Today is the day I am set free.
It was in Auschwitz that she realized, “Every day, we could choose to pay attention to what we’d lost or what we still had.” She still had her sister. She still had her memories. She still had her hope.
Edith also realized she could choose what she focused on and what she accepted as truth. She understood what many Christians still do not know: your thoughts are powerful—powerful to imprison you or powerful to set you free.
Know that we’re not talking mind control or mind-over-matter. We’re saying that when people speak death over your life, through cruel comments or hurtful accusations, you do not have to receive and believe those words. You can choose not to believe, just as easily as you can choose to believe. God has given you a mind to fight back. You have the mind of Christ!
The Word of God compels us to think about what we allow in our minds.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Eventually, Edith and her sister were rescued by American soldiers. She was pulled from the brink of death, discovered among a pile of dead bodies by a soldier who saw her hand move. After months and months of torment, she and her sister were finally free.
If you find yourself believing hurtful or negative words spoken over you, know that you do not have to remain in that prison. Jesus Christ has given you the key that will set you and other captives free:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Truths to Remember
You are valuable (Matthew 10:29-31) Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
You are His child. (Romans 8:15) For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
You are chosen. (1 Peter 2:9) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
You are His Keepsake! (John 10:27-29) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
You are spiritually blessed! (Ephesians 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ …
You are accepted. (Ephesians 1:5-6) …having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
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