Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Unit 3 Lesson 4, The truth will set you free!

I am going to quote this entire lesson directly from the book. I can't say it any better than the book's authors...

The false beliefs result from experiencing the trauma of sexual abuse. They begin in what happened to you during the abuse, what the abuser said to you about the abuse, and what others said and did at the time of and after the abuse. Other factors, such as the number of abusers involved and the frequency of the abuse all play a role. You need to understand that these false beliefs are learned and therefore can be unlearned. You can begin to correct these beliefs and stop their effects.

You've heard those "good news and bad news" stories. The bad news is this, every time you repeat a false belief you reinforce it. But the good news is that you can choose to repeat a different message. Thank of the negative beliefs as an old coat that has worn out and needs to be replaced, as remnants of an old garment that needs to be discarded. Think of it! You get to pick out a new coat, with a different style and flare. It may not feel like you at first but wear it a while and soon it will fit. You will adjust to it!

The Bible says the way we think in our hearts is the way we are (Provers 23:7). What we tell ourselves becomes our reality. If we believe that we are unworthy and unlovable we will only allow into our minds the information that reinforces that belief. The same is true about the way we think of others.

We can solve this problem by changing what is in our minds! We can change the way we interpret and perceive things. We can identify the source of events and people around us. Then we need to adjust our belief systems to the present by putting off the old patterns of behavior that we learned as a way of coping with the abuse. The false beliefs produce feelings and behaviors that are sabotaging our present, therefore, we must learn to speak and believe the truth about ourselves.

Romans 12:1-2, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do on conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his Good, pleasing and perfect will."

Others have taken your body and abused it. God asks us to allow Him to remove the effects of that abuse by allowing Him to renew our minds. He desires to restore us. God waits for us to offer ourselves to Him.

What does offering our "bodies as living sacrifices" imply that we are to do with our minds?

Describe what the passage says will happen as a result of being transformed by the renewing of our minds?

Since the passage says we are to offer our bodies, that suggests that we must choose to do God's will with our minds. When we seek to obey God with our minds and bodies, we will know the truth about ourselves, then we will be transformed. Renewing our mind is a process that involves the following four steps. We must:
  • Recognize the false belief
  • Reject the false belief
  • Speak the truth
  • Repeat the process until our mind is reprogrammed to believe the truth
Take some time to ask God to continue this process in you. Ask Him to give you the strength to acknowledge the false beliefs, to reject them, and continue to speak the truth until you believe and feel the truth.

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