This is the fifth part of a six-part series that investigates eight major ways that ungodly beliefs are formed in our lives. Part five shows how ungodly beliefs are formed through word curses spoken by others and our own thoughts.
Word Curses by Others
Word curses are by no means limited to our family members. There are many other people in our lives that can make an impact on us through their words. I will share another story from my life that shows how one simple statement can impact a person for years.
I am a new believer. I am excited about sharing Jesus. Every Friday and Saturday evening members of our church in Glendale, AZ would go to the parks and streets and invite people to an event we held at the church.
We call it the New Wine Cellar. We invite Christian rock bands to play to the crowd that we assembled each weekend. During the break one of five guys training for the ministry would preach the message. Then the band would finish out the evening.
I am telling a leader in our church all about it. I am so excited about everything that the Lord is doing. I was out sharing the gospel and preaching the word of God.
The leader looks at me and says, “What do you know? You’re just a new believer.”
When he said those words, it was as if a knife were thrust into my heart. I literally felt something impact my heart spiritually. Something happened to me.
I soon began to see what was happening. After that event, every time I got in front of a person of leadership I began to be nervous and think that if I said anything to them they would tell me I did not know what I was talking about.
I would get so nervous that I would stammer sometimes and sweat like crazy. I felt inadequate every time I was before anyone in authority. This went on for many years.
I am in my senior year of Bible College and was elected Student Body President. That meant I would have to have regular meetings in the College President’s office. I would go in there and sweat, stammer, and hope I did not have to say too much. I was very uncomfortable.
One evening we were having an event I was sponsoring on campus. A prophet preacher was speaking and ministering to those who were present. He looked at me and said that I was being intimidated by a spirit and that was going to change today. He rebuked the spirit and I was set free.
From that time on I was a different person. I was back to normal. I could walk right into the President’s office and talk to him like I was talking to anyone else. The impact of that leader’s words were broken from my life and I was able to do my duties with no problems.
All I know is that words do have power. The great news is that we do not have to accept the words that are spoken over us. We can reject and rebuke them and refuse to be influenced by anything that is not from God.
If this were to happen to me today, it would be a different situation. I would take instant authority rather than be tormented for years.
Our Own Thoughts
Many of the ungodly beliefs that we have do not come from other people, they come from us. In one sense we are our own worst enemies. We go through life and interpret what takes place around us and gain insights into life. The problem is that many times these insights are not based on the truth of the word of God.
You will find that many of the core ungodly thoughts that affect your life were formed during your childhood and early teens. Situations and life in general look very different through the eyes of a child.
When you were a child you did not have the rational skills needed to understand the world. That is why when we start looking at some of the ungodly beliefs we have they seem so small and miniscule. Certainly for adults, but not so for kids.
It is so easy for kids to misinterpret life if they do not have someone speaking truth into their lives. So the ungodly belief just grows and becomes second nature to us. We don’t even consciously think about the ungodly beliefs but they affect the way we see and respond to the world around us.
There is a great quote made by an unknown author that shows us how important our belief system is. It shows that a belief acted upon will lead from one stage to another and ultimately impact our destiny. Maybe you have heard this before:
“If you accept a belief you reap a thought. If you sow a thought you reap an attitude. If you sow an attitude you reap an action. If you sow an action you reap a habit. If you sow a habit you reap a character. If you sow a character you reap a destiny.” ~Anonymous
- Accept a belief - You don’t have to accept every thought that comes to your mind. If you think it, that does not make it right. This is where everything starts. If you accept the truth it leads one way. If you accept a lie it leads another way. Once you accept something as true (even if it is not) you move on to the next stage.
- Reap a thought - Notice the use of an agricultural metaphor the author uses. If you accept a belief it will bear fruit. You will get what you sow whether good or bad. Once you have a belief you begin to think on it. We love to put things into categories to keep our lives neat. We begin to look at life and think about how our belief applies to it. All these thoughts sow into the next stage.
- Reap an attitude - An attitude is how we feel about things. Attitudes can be positive or negative. It matters what we think about. Our thought life fuels our attitudes and emotions. Our thoughts also move us to the next stage.
- Reap an action - Actions flow out of our thoughts. We act on what we believe to be true. Ungodly beliefs and attitudes will always lead us away from the blessing that God wants us to experience. There may be some short-term benefits experienced by acting on an ungodly belief, but it will never lead to long-term godly benefits.
- Reap a habit - The more we do an action the deeper ingrained it becomes in us. If we do it long enough, it becomes a habit. Once a habit is formed the thing we do becomes second nature. We’ve done it so many times before that we don’t even think when we do it. It is automatic.
- Reap a character - Character speaks of who we are deep down inside. It is the culmination of our actions and habits. Character can be good or bad or even a mixture of both. A character based on ungodly beliefs, actions, and habits will never experience the life God desires us to possess,
- Reap a Destiny - There can be no doubt that the Bible does tell us we will reap what we sow. Galatians 6:7-8 informs us: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” What we base our lives upon will determine the harvest we reap.
If you’re like me, you speak to yourself a lot. There is a lot of self talk that takes place as you go through your day. Not all the self talk is positive. Sometimes we think and say things about ourselves or others that are not true.
I already told about some of my ungodly beliefs (click here to read that post) that almost lead to me wanting to leave the ministry. I had talked myself into believing that If I was gone good things would happen at church. It would be better for everyone if I left.
I want to challenge you to start thinking about the things you say to yourself. Are the words you are speaking about yourself and your abilities life giving or death producing? Do the things you say about yourself line up with what the word of God says about you? If not, it may be time to take action and deal with the words you speak.
Grab a pocket notebook or start a note on your phone. Ask the Lord to help you remember every time you speak words to yourself. Mark them down in your notebook. If you think the same thought over and over, put a mark by that saying every time you say it. You may be surprised how many things you say to yourself in one day.
I’ll give you an example of the kind of thing to mark down. Not all things are ungodly beliefs. It depends on where the comment is directed. If it is directed toward yourself or someone else, then we need to keep track of it. If it is a general statement about something you did, no need to keep track.
Here are some examples:
- You make a mistake and say to yourself, “I’m so stupid”. Mark this down, because you are attacking yourself and speaking something that is not true.
- You make a mistake and say “That was stupid.” Don’t mark that down you are not attacking yourself. You are simply saying that the thing you did was stupid. Big difference.
- You make a mistake and say to yourself, “I’m such a loser. I can never do anything right.” Make sure that you make this two separate lies. They attack who you are as a person and your ability to things.
- You make a mistake and say, “I sure messed that up. I didn’t do that right.” No need to mark that down. You did make a mistake and that is okay. Everyone makes mistakes.
Keep your notebook handy because in a later post I will walk you through the process of dealing with ungodly beliefs. But before we do that, we need to lay down some more fundamental truths about ungodly beliefs and God’s answer to dealing with them.
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