Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

We learned in the last two posts that our thoughts control our destiny, and we can control our thoughts. Please read my previous two posts if you haven’t already. In this post, I want to share more specifically how to control your thoughts. In the post called ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, I explained how I tend to let my thinking go to extremes of anger, and then to worry.  I use the Bible for my inspiration because it is the authority for how to have success in everything, especially how we should think, which affects everything in our lives. How we think dictates how well we relate to people.

To break my negative thought cycle, I change it by practicing the Scripture to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  To rejoice always is to choose to focus your thoughts continually on things that make you glad, happy, or delighted. Next, praying without ceasing is to turn every thought into a prayer. If you think about someone, pray for them. If you are upset about something, ask God to help you or whatever you need God to do, then think of something praiseworthy. Rejoice in the fact that God is faithful and nothing is impossible with Him. Then give thanks or show gratitude in everything, which does not leave anything out. Imagine, if you rejoice, pray, and be thankful all the time, you would never be depressed, miserable, angry, etc.  When I focus my thoughts on these three things, I do not feel miserable, so I don’t act miserably and make others miserable.  Breaking negative thought cycles takes work and discipline, but it is well worth it.

The Apostle Paul also taught the Philippians how to safeguard their minds. In Philippians 4:4-8 he lays out four ways to create a healthy thought life.

  1. Have an attitude of praise and gratitude. “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4 NIV) – To rejoice in the Lord always is to worship the Lord and all He is with thanksgiving. Philippians 3:1 also states, Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. …it is a safeguard for you.” A safeguard is a protective stipulation. Rejoicing protects our minds from destructive thoughts of anger, malice, envy, worry, fear, etc. Things to rejoice and be glad for, and be thankful for, can be found in Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers, I encourage you to add this page to your favorite list and visit this page daily.
  2. Let prayer occupy your thoughts all the time, especially during times of emotional stress. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Also, Ephesians 6:18 states, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions (all the time) with all kinds of prayers and requests.” How do we pray in the Spirit all the time?  It is our spirit with the Holy Spirit in us that prays through our minds to God. Read Four Realities of the Spirit World to understand the interactions of the spirit world. Prayer is a way to productively channel your emotional energy. If you tend to worry or be angry, then read the following posts to learn how to be free to choose different thoughts and break the cycle: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds
  3. Choose where you let your thoughts dwell. You have control of your thoughts, so use that control to your benefit and the benefit of others.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble (honorable), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8 NIV emphasis added) – Be proactive about your thought life! Choose to think true and positive thoughts described in this verse. Write down an example for each type of thought that would pertain to your life. For example:
  • True thoughts are based on what you read in the Bible, so focus on scriptural truths about yourself, others, God, and the world around you.  My short book on this website has over 100 true thoughts to think on.
  • Noble or honorable thoughts could be thoughts about what you can do to help others or to show kindness to a crabby person, or show love to someone who is difficult to love, etc.
  • Right thoughts could be thoughts about what is good and what you like about a person or something. For example, I have to walk a ½ mile to my office building from where I park.  When the weather is crappy, it is hard to have right thoughts.  Right thoughts are to think of the good exercise I am getting that I wouldn’t get otherwise, the fresh air I am breathing to detoxify my lungs and body, more time to pray, etc.
  • Pure thoughts could be thinking good about people and not judgmental thoughts. Choose to think pure thoughts about the opposite sex, instead of obscene thoughts. Choose to view movies and TV shows or read material that generate pure thoughts. In Psalms 101:3a, King David said, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” Make this verse your priority to protect your mind from wicked and evil words and images, so your thoughts remain pure.
  • Lovely thoughts could be thinking about someone you love or thinking about how much God loves you that He would send His son to die and atone for our sin. And how His son, Jesus, would willingly do this for ungrateful people who reject Him.
  • Admirable thoughts could be thoughts that marvel at God’s creation, goodness, and mercy. Or, think about things that are done excellently, like a beautiful garden or some other good works.
  1. Your thoughts determine the beliefs and attitudes of your heart. When you practice thinking the thoughts listed above your mind is at peace, and you will be at peace with others and life. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NIV) – This verse is conditional and is based on following the previous principles of thinking. So, when you rejoice, pray, be thankful, and think good thoughts, you are inviting God into your thought life and valuing yourself and others.

Thoughts come from all directions, but most thoughts come from the words we read and hear. I wrote two posts about the power of our words.

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Has this ever happened to you?  My son finished his fourth year of college out of five and it is not cool to talk to his mom.  I find out from my husband that he received two awards, one was for having the highest GPA in Architectural Engineering.  So, I took offense and I thought, well, why didn’t he tell me when I asked what has been happening in his life.  Why wasn’t I invited to the awards ceremony?  Who was invited instead of me?  My thoughts kept going like a fire.  I could not sleep; I woke up depressed.  All my muscles were tense with anxiety.  I had the unhealthy belief that my son did not love me.  I believed he will shut me out of his life, and I will never see my grandchildren.  Poo Hoo.  This example is only a smattering of how my thoughts quickly got out of control.

I know that all thoughts are within my control.  So I told myself to STOP thinking those wrong thoughts and taking an offense.  I talked to myself and acknowledged that I was disappointed because my expectations were not met, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of our relationship.   The Bible teaches us to forgive, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and be thankful in everything.  I refocused my thoughts on good thoughts and what I can be thankful for.  I prayed and asked God to take my anxious thoughts and unhealthy beliefs from me and the resulting stress energy.

I decided to text my son to let him know I was disappointed about not being invited to the awards ceremony and how proud I was of his achievement.  He called me right away and told me to get over myself and stop my pity party because the awards ceremony was not open to family and friends.  I had a good laugh at myself.  By that time I was over my obsessing because I accepted that those we love will disappoint us, and we will disappoint them.

So, where did those wrong thoughts originate?  I asked God to show me where those thoughts flowed from.  He showed me that I was feeling insecure about my relationship with my son, and my insecure feelings generated my wrong thinking and unhealthy beliefs.   Could an unseen evil spirt have planted the thoughts that make me feel insecure?  What is generating your thoughts?  Hurt feelings, insecurity, dissapointments, unmet expectations, etc.  My short book on my website helps you to discover the sources of wrong thinking.  1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

I know the topic of thoughts is vast and mind-boggling, but my research is specific to the influence of unseen spiritual forces that affect our thinking.  Thinking about what controls our thinking and how our thoughts influence us is hard enough, now I have added the unseen spirit world.  The Bible records many instances of how the devil influences people’s thinking.  I use Biblical accounts because the Bible was written by God, as He influenced men’s minds to record His words.  Therefore, the Bible is the authority on spiritual and relational issues.  To learn more about who God is and the unseen spirit forces around us, read my post called, Four Realities of the Spirit World.

The following Biblical account is the first example of planted thoughts, which most of you already know or have heard of it.  God created Adam and Eve in a garden and told them not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden.  Satan (evil spirit) takes the form of a serpent and climbs the forbidden tree.  He causes Eve to doubt what God told her is the truth about dying.  The devil tempted her to eat the forbidden fruit by enticing her to desire it and then persuaded her that if she eats it, she will be like God, knowing good and evil (see Genesis 3:4).  This thought appealed to her pride.  Interesting, the devil’s sin was pride because he also wanted to be independent of God, which broke his relationship with God.  The wrong thought then caused Eve to look at the fruit and desire to eat it.  Her desire then compelled her to sin and eat the fruit.  This process shows how unseen wrong thinking led to disobedience and separation from God.

Temptations also create thoughts of offense, which then generate unhealthy, false beliefs.  Satan’s temptation may have caused Eve to think and believe:  “How could a loving God keep such a beautiful piece of fruit from me?” and “Why should Adam and I not know good from evil and be like God?”

??  What were Eve’s mistakes? 

Her first mistake was to reason with the serpent (the devil).  Her second mistake was to consider disobeying God.  The third mistake was to entertain the wrong thought and be enticed to look at and desire the fruit.  And the ultimate mistake was to give into her fleshly desire and disobey God’s good and just command.  The devil still uses the same temptation of living independent of God on all of humanity.

Until we recognize our thoughts and rule over them, they will continually control our beliefs, feelings, behavior, and destiny.  We daily face temptations that appeal to our self-centered desires to live independent of God.  Satan has not changed his tactics since tempting Eve.  All unseen battles begin as a thought that is within our control.  The girls in the prison system were told that if they withstand temptation for seven seconds, they can overcome the temptation.  I encourage them to replace the wrong thought creating the desire for the harmful activity with a healthy thought based on Scriptural truth.

??  How do our thoughts dictate our actions?

My mind used to be controlled by thoughts of fear, which would cause my adrenaline to go up.  Before I could stop it, I was in a panic—over nothing—except thoughts that needed to be taken captive.  And because of all the conflicts from my past, I realized I was constantly in a flight or fight mode, which created stress in my body.  I would sometimes imagine a confrontation with someone that would never happen.  I would get all upset and angry because of wrong thoughts, which needed to be taken captive and loosed from my mind.

To learn more about dealing with unhealthy beliefs read: Identify and Replace False Beliefs.

 

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

Let’s explore the reasons people break off a relationship, quite a job, or divorce. When we know a cause then we can find a solution. I was the kind of person that was upset about everything though I wanted peace. I was quick to get angry. Why? After many years of research and thinking deeply about causes, I figured out the solution. After trying the solution I can testify it works.  I chose the picture above as an example of what is destroying relationships today and why,

Think back to a time you were upset about something. Why were you upset? What caused you to get upset?  Does the picture of this post upset you?  In this post I want to challenge you to think deeply about what causes arguments and strife. It is helpful to journal your thoughts concerning causes for strife in your relationships.

Let’s begin our exploration with the following understanding. Most of us are self-centered people, and we live and work with self-centered people, who want our own way.  And, we don’t know how to love well. Would you agree?

Whatever the reasons for strife, it always comes down to someone becoming offended, then getting upset. An offense is a resentment, hurt feeling, or displeasure from unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, being ignored or not getting what they want.  Becoming offended can happen many times a day, especially when you have to share the road with other drivers or space with another person or watching the news. So, be mindful of the times you are annoyed, angry, miffed, irritated, frustrated, etc. Why? Really think about why. Why do you think you got offended?

A major cause of strife is pride. Pride caused me to be offended most of the time.  I would think the following thoughts: “How dare someone (fill in the blank).”  “They had no right to do that.”  “Who do they think they are?”  If you were honest as to why you get upset, you too would recognize a pride issue.  Please read my post on pride to learn more: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

Another cause for strife is when someone says something hurtful that creates an offense in our hearts. Often words hurt our pride. A person’s words reveal the condition of their heart.  Therefore, the person saying the hurtful words is also hurting from offenses they have stored in their hearts. Read the following posts for a better understanding:  WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words  and WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy

Another cause for strife is unrealistic expectations. For example, I became upset with my husband because he did not take care of me when I was sick like his father takes care of his mother. This is an unrealistic expectation because my husband is not like his father, and it is not reasonable for me to expect him to be. Once I realized why I was offended, then I could deal with it rationally. But before I rationally thought through why I was irritated with my husband, I said a hurtful things to him. My hurtful words caused him to become offended, then he said hurtful things back. Do you see how this situation could escalate quickly and dissolve the relationship?

Unresolved negative issues also causes strife. For example, I became offended by the words on an anniversary card my wonderful husband gave me.  The card reminded me of an unresolved painful issue with my first husband.  Unfortunately, I allowed the offense to get into my heart and control my feelings, and I became miserable and said hurtful things.  When I dealt with the negative issue with my first husband that caused me to be offended, then I could resolve my offense and live in peace. To become free from the control of our past negative heart issues and painful memories, I invite you to visit my website and read my short book: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

As soon as we recognize we do not have peace, we should ask if we are offended.  When we become offended, we enter the fight-or-flight mode. The fight-or-flight stress response stimulates the lower brain and we enter survival mode. Survival mode stops us from thinking rationally about the situation, which is why relationships dissolve quickly. You know you are in survival mode when you become upset when a goal or expectation is not met.  If you see yourself losing control of your emotions, walk back your emotions and ask, why am I upset? Why is this important to me? What is my part in this disagreement or unexpected negative situation? What solution do I need for a win/win? What am I willing or not willing to do?  Consider if the concern causing you to lose peace is within your circle of influence.  If it is not, then let it go or pray about it.  These are only suggested questions to help you think rationally and not reactively. 

Think about the last argument you were in or the last time you were frustrated. Using the definition of an offense, which is a resentment, hurt feeling, or displeasure from (fill in the blank), can you identify what you or the other person was offended about? As you may have already figured out, being offended is the single most destructive force in any relationship. But, once you discover the cause of the offense then you can work to solve it. My book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website identifies many causes for offense and the solution. I encourage you to read it so you can have stronger relationships.

Follow these seven actions for a great relationship; eight for SUPER GREAT!

1) Always stay in forgiveness and do not hold grudges. Expect that your partner/spouse/friend will let you down and may not meet your expectations from time to time. Being offended blocks love, kindness, peace, joy, and patience.
2) Be thankful for strengths and abilities and focus on these. It is easy to focus on what you don’t like and tell them about it.
3) Be committed. Genuine commitment is to be wholly focused on what is best and what will strengthen the relationship.
4) Communicate complete thoughts.  Don’t assume the other person heard you or understands. Have a respectful discussion to help you convey your meaning and expectations.  Don’t mind read and make assumptions.  Seek to understand what the other person is thinking without being critical.
5) Resolve conflicts using the “pen method.” The person holding the pen explains their perspective and logic. Then hand the pen to the other person, and they reflect on what they heard you say and explains their perspective and rationale. Go back and forth until you come to a win/win for both people.
6) Create a relationship vision or mission statement. Ask yourself and each other this question: “How do I want our relationship to be in 5, 10, 15, or 30 years. Write out a plan to accomplish your vision or mission.
7) Work through past issues, so your reactions and expectations are not controlled by your past.
8) Make the Lord and the Word of God a priority in your life and relationships.  The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so if you want to be wise, then God needs to be your source.

If you ever get a chance, go to a Mark Gungor marriage seminar called “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”  My husband and I went to one of Mark’s seminars and he is funny and to the point. https://markgungor.com/.  On this website is a test that determines what motivates you the most.  He calls it the Flag Page, because it determines what country you are from: Control, Perfect, Peace, or Fun.  Finding out what motivates me is very helpful to understand why I do what I do.  It was also very helpful to know what motivates my husband.

I also encourage you to read about the adapted summary of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. Healthy Thinking and Behaving from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

HOW MEMORIES INFLUENCE OUR THINKING, EMOTIONS, AND BEHAVIOR

Dr. Caroline Leaf researches how the brain works and she wrote the book, “Switch on Your Brain.”  She discovered what we consciously think and what we say and do comes from the information and memory images in the unconscious mind that has been accumulating since our birth. These memories form the perceptual base through which we see life and react to stressful situations.  She explained how we can change our thinking, and ultimately our reactions to stress.  Check out her lectures on YouTube.

Dr. Penfield also did years of extensive research on the brain and memory.  He knew the whole nervous system uses a slight amount of electrical current to transmit sensory information to the brain.  The brain, in turn, uses that current to record and store the data.  He experimented by stimulating the memory areas of the brain with small amounts of electricity and discovered that every experience we have ever had is recorded in minute detail by the brain.  Whether or not we can consciously recall them, they are still stored in our memories including the feelings that go along with the stored experiences.  We not only remember what we felt, but we tend to feel the same way as adults when we go through a similar experience. Dr. Bruce Lipton is a Cellular Biologist, and his research shows that over 90% of what affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions can be attributed to subconscious memories stored in the cells of our bodies. Southwestern Medical School calls them cellular memories.

The following story is my experience of how an unconscious memory affected my relationship with a friend.  I often got angry with the kindest person ever, who said nothing mean or unkind, so why would I get angry, so I asked God to show me why.  The word “irresponsibility” came to my mind. I asked Him to show me why this would cause me to be angry. I waited for a little while until God brought up the repressed painful memories of my father’s irresponsibility I had taken offense to.  My friend’s irresponsibility triggered my unseen hurts and anger of my father’s irresponsibility. I went through the forgiveness process for each of the painful memories God brought up from my subconscious. Then, I verbally loosed and put off the offenses from my heart and the negative energies associated with the painful memories. Next, I sought God’s forgiveness for my anger toward my friend. When I completed this process, I was no longer angry with anyone who acted irresponsibly.  To learn more about forgiveness, see the post: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE. To learn how to hear from God, read my book I posted on my website.

I was addicted to anger, and it controlled me.  Little by little, with God’s help, I worked through my painful memories and broke many strongholds in my life. If you have anger problems, please read the following post: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds.  Dr. Leaf emphasizes the importance of changing toxic memories to effect a change in our lives.  My book, called “Hope for Complete Healing” is my testimony of how I have changed my toxic memories and transformed my thoughts, emotions, and behavior.

The sooner we realize how painful memories affect our present beliefs, decisions, and behaviors the sooner we will seek to transform these memories.  Only God can help us find subconscious memories that keep us from being healthy and whole. God created us and loves us, and He intimately knows everything about us (see Psalm 139). The concept of God may not be part of your thinking or belief,  but ask Him to show Himself to you.  I know He is an Almighty Spirit, who always was, always will be, and is the creator of Universe and mankind. He also wants to be in a loving relationship with us through His Son Jesus Christ, who died to pay the penalty of our sins.  If you are offended by God, which we all have been if we are honest, then seek His forgiveness and healing of that hurt.  There is so much more I could say, so I encourage you to read my web page called Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers and look up the verses I reference.

I was healed of many painful memories that controlled my reaction to stressful situations.  Visit my website to learn more about how our memories control our lives and how to transform them. https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

So why is pride a destructive force? Pride is more than feeling good when we accomplish something great.  Arrogant or conceited pride keeps us from loving others well.  Second, pride prevents us from seeing the sin of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.  Last, pride justifies self-centered behavior that erodes relationships.  Not only is pride destructive, but God hates pride and will oppose anyone who is prideful, which is explained at the end of this post.  So, if we don’t want God opposing us, then we need to seriously seek to get rid of pride.

You see, pride caused Lucifer, the most beautiful angel, to be thrown out of heaven and to the earth with a 1/3 of the angels who were also prideful.  Lucifer is renamed Satan or the devil, which means destroyer (see Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelations 9:11; and John 10:10a) and the fallen angels are now called demons.  So, pride is the one unseen battle for our minds that satan will tempt us with again and again because he knows pride is destructive.

Every person has pride problems because the sinful human nature is self-centered, wanting only to please itself.  Also, a self-centered person does not desire to seek God or to do His will.  On the other hand, Christianity is about being Christ-like and other-centered.

Read over the following definition of pride and humility and sincerely ask God to show you what your pride issues are. Be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  When you discover your pride issue, ask God for forgiveness and to take the specific pride issue from you, and then to give you His humility and love for others.  When I asked God to take the spirit of pride out of my heart and mind, I felt a huge difference when it left.  Keep in mind, pride will always creep back in, so be watchful.

Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, also known as exaggerated self-esteem or arrogance.  Prideful people think they are better than other people and will display contempt toward those who don’t value them or their abilities.  Prideful people will show disdain, contempt, or scorn for others who they think is beneath them or who disagrees with them.  They are judgemental and condemning of others and do not show mercy.

Pridefulness is exposed by what we say, especially when we speak more favorably of ourselves. For example, I would demean my husband by saying I was a harder worker than him; this is pride.  And, I pridefully believed I did things better, and others should recognize it and praise me.   Pride is evident when we try to control everything because we think we can do things better.  Also, getting angry when something does not go your way shows an impatient spirit, controlled by pride. Prideful people are also insecure and judgmental.  We display our pride in different ways, and it does not matter what form it takes, it still is a destructive sin.

A humble person exhibits acts of selflessness, kindness, patience, and gentleness.  They are not self-asserting or boastful but are more concerned about others.  Humble people are meek and not inclined to anger or resentment from insults and offenses.  Meekness shows incredible strength.  Humble people are merciful, polite, and respectful.  People like being around those who are humble because they feel loved and safe, and never judged.

After learning these truths, I now take my angry, impatient, and controlling thoughts captive and walk them back by consciously stopping the reactive thought and thinking a truthful thought.   The truth is that I can live in peace with everyone as far as it depends on me.  In the New International Version, Hebrews 12:14 states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord.”    I also put into my mind and heart the truths that humility is realizing that everything I have, including my abilities, is a gift from God (Deut. 8:17-18).  And I don’t think of myself more highly than others, but in humility, I will regard others as more important than myself (see Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3).  The more we transform our thinking with truth found in the Word of God (see Romans 12:2) and are renewed by the Holy Spirit, the more like God we will be (see Ephesians 4:23), which is loving, patient, kind, peaceful, faithful, humble, full of joy, and self-controlled.  To learn how I became free to live a transformed and renewed life and how you can be free to live a new reality, visit my website: https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/.

To get a better understanding of what God thinks of pride, read the following Scriptures and write out your reflections to help you internalize these truths.


2 Chronicles 26:16 states, “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God ….”

     ??  Why would we be unfaithful to God when be become strong?

     ??  How do you think pride destroys us?

     ??  Think about a time when pride brought destruction in your life or someone else’s life.


2 Chronicles 32:25 states, “… for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him ….”

     ??  Why would a proud heart deserve the wrath of God?


Psalms 10:4 states, “In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”

     ??  Why doesn’t a  proud person seek God? 

     ??  And why would a proud man say, “There is no God.?”


Psalms 31:23 states, “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

     ??  What is the difference between the faithful and the proud person?

     ??  How do you think God preserves faithful people, and repays prideful people?


Psalms 59:12 states, “For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be trapped in their pride.  For the cursing and lies that they utter,

     ??  How do the words of the proud trap them?

     ??  How is lying a sign of pride?


Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

     ??  Why would the humble be wise, and the proud be disgraced?


Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

     ??  Why would pride bring destruction?  Give an example.

     ??  What would cause a haughty person to fall?


Proverbs 21:24 states, “’Scoffer’ is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.”

     ??  Why do the arrogant scoff (an expression of mocking contempt, scorn; jeer)?


Proverbs 29:23 states, “One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”

     ??  How does pride bring a person low and how do the lowly obtain honor?


Ecclesiastes 7:8 states, “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

     ??  Why is a patient spirit better than a proud spirit?

     ??  Why is a proud person not patient?


Obadiah 1:3a states, “The pride (arrogance) of your heart has deceived you, …”

     ??  Why does pride deceive us?


Romans 11:20, 23 states, “That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud (conceited), but fear. 23) And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

     ??  How does standing fast in our faith and fearing God keep us from becoming prideful?


James 4:6 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (Also see 1 Peter 5:5.)

     ??  Why does God oppose the proud?


Understand, God hates pride.  Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil (evil behavior) and perverted speech I hate.”  Also, look-up the seven things God hates; Proverbs 6:16-19.   Not only does God hate pride and arrogance, but He also hates evil behavior, which is morally bad and depraved.  He also hates perverted speech, which is speech that deviates from what is good or true,  i.e., lying.  To be sure, a proud heart will not humbly submit to God or others and do what is right.

??  Would it be better to remain prideful or to humble ourselves and submit to God.  Why?

Read my other posts about Pride: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and Freedom from Impatience and Strongholds of Injustice and Unfairness

Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory

Many of the women I minister to feel there is no hope for overcoming their situations. And sadly, I often meet women who are put in jail right after having a baby that tested hot for drugs. Equally sad are the women whose children have been taken away from them, which drives them to use drugs and alcohol to escape that emotional pain. These women feel defeated and hopeless. When I asked them why they use, 99% of them say it is to avoid feeling emotional pain. They know the drugs and alcohol takes them further away from the life they desire. But, they feel they have no inner strength to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. Their hearts are full of emotional pain from unloving acts from those who should have loved them. Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a love hunger that they are trying to satisfy with everything but the true source of love.

You may not have a drug or alcohol problem, but if you are honest, you also have some mechanism for escaping inner pain (e.g., binge eating, shopping, watching TV/movies, workaholism, etc.) For example, I was a workaholic, and my accomplishments helped me feel good, which concealed the pain in my heart. I also felt helpless to control my anger when I was offended. As a result, I believed I was unlovable and worthless. I have good news; with God’s help, I was able to transform my unhealthy beliefs and wrong thoughts with His truth.  Read about my transformation here.

The following five facts have helped the women in jail have hope to achieve lasting peace, love, and victory.  I pray they help you as well:

1. Know the source of offenses that steal your peace, love, and sense of worth.

a) Taking an offense to something is when you feel resentment for something done or said which often causes hurt feelings or displeasure. These resentments build up in our hearts throughout our lives.

b) The demonic powers around us are destructive forces in our lives. In Ephesians 6:12 it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Also see Eph. 2:2; 2Cor. 4:4.

c) The Bible says that the devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). The lies we believe cause us to be offended, which results in resentment and hate. For example, my oldest son believed the lie that I hated him because I disciplined him. He believed the lie that my discipline was abusive, therefore, he says he hates me. I can’t change what he believes because resentment is consuming and the demons keep it stirred up in him to keep him in bondage to these destructive thoughts.

d) The demons want to keep you defeated by destroying your peace, self-worth, and ability to feel loved. Children are their favorite target because they are so vulnerable, then as adults we wonder why we have so many offenses in our hearts, also called unresolved childhood issues. Feeling unloved and offended can lead to various destructive actions and addictions, which result in feeling more defeated.

For instance, when I am offended and get upset, I desire to binge eat, especially chocolate, or I get angry and tell the person off. Both responses are destructive; binge eating is destructive to my body and anger destroys my relationships. We can choose to respond with peace and love, which may sound impossible. Choosing a non-destructive action requires us to constantly check our thoughts and control them, though I still need to improve. Awareness of how we are offended is the first step.

2. Know your source of help to resist the demonic attempts to destroy you.

a) Jesus knows what it is like to suffer demonic attacks and temptations. He overcame the devil and defeated the enemy of our souls, and is able to help us overcome (see Hebrews 2:17&18; Heb. 4:15&16; and 1 John 3:8).

b) To receive this help, we need to put off the pride of being self-focused and the lie that we don’t need Jesus.  Then, humbly ask Him by faith to transform our lives. When we do this, then we will be rooted and grounded in His love and nothing can separate us from His love (see Ephesians 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10; and Romans 8:35-39). Also, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit who is our helper (see John 14:26; 15:26; and Romans 8:24-27).  To learn more about pride, read: HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

c) After receiving Jesus into our hearts and submitting to God, which is to obey Him, then we will have all the divine promises in Christ Jesus. We will also have his divine nature and power to have lasting victory over all our issues and addictions. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4) For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” We tap into this divine power by faith through prayer and believing. We do not see the divine power in us, but we know it is there by faith and that it is ours through prayer.

3. Know the true source of love, peace, and victory.

a) God will always love us and He gives us His worth. (See Colossians 3:12). He is our only source of love; not our parents, not our boy/girlfriends, not our family, not our spouse; no one can love us as God does. Our love is flawed because each of us has wounds and hurts (offenses) from the sins and weaknesses of those around us.

b) God is our only source of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says “You keep him/her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he/she trusts in You.” Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Also see 1 John 5:4) The key to lasting peace is to keep our minds on God through continual prayer.

c) God is our only source of victory over the demonic world; James 4:7,8 says, “Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Victory occurs when we submit to God and resist the devil through prayer and standing firm in our faith.  Victory also requires that we remove sin from our lives. Also see 1 Peter 5:8,9a.

4. Know the truth and pray the truth to stay in perfect peace, love, and victory.

a) Our responsibility is to keep our minds on the truths of the Word of God and remain with Him through prayer. As we stay in prayer, we will be victorious over the many temptations to believe the devil’s lies and become offended (see John 15 and Colossians 3:1-3). But first, we need to humbly confess our sins through prayer and seek God for forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). You see, sin blocks our prayers and God will not hear our prayers because He is Holy (see Is. 59:2).

b) If we keep our minds on our problems and what we don’t like, then we will be worried, fearful, angry, depressed, etc. So, when you find yourself focused on a problem or an offense, then turn it into a prayer of repentance and submission to regain your peace, love, and victory. For example, we can get upset with a family member for the things they did or said or how they said it, and it can consume us. But when we turn the problem over to God and trust Him with it, then we will be filled with peace and love again. I have also found that being thankful keeps me in peace. As you know, when you don’t feel peace in yourself, you are not at peace with others around you.

c) Our prayers and words have power and we can take every thought captive in the name of Jesus and command them to be gone. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh (live in the world, NIV), we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (this world), but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (strongholds). We are destroying speculations (arguments) and every lofty thing (pretensions) raised up against the knowledge of God (truth), and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Taking our thoughts captive is critical to have lasting victory over our destructive emotions and actions.

5. Lastly, remove the many offenses in our hearts through prayer and forgiving.

a) Offenses hinder love but purifying out hearts by removing offenses allows us to feel love and to love others. Purifying our hearts begins with obeying the Word of God, that is, to do what it says. 1 Peter 1:22 states, Having purified your souls (heart, mind, and conscience) by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” We are able to love with a pure heart when our soul wounds are healed as outlined in my healing booklet found in my website (hopeforcompletehealing.com).

b) One of the truths we need to obey to be victorious over offenses is to forgive those who offended us. Then to put off the lies we believed. (See Matthew 6:12; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32). Our unforgiveness perpetuates the inner pain we feel and keeps us in bondage to it. We will never have lasting peace, love, or victory if we do not forgive.  If you find it hard to forgive, read: WHY SHOULD I FORGIVE

I hope you found these five facts helpful and know that lasting peace, love, and victory is possible. In my website, I list many truths concerning key character traits to help you replace the devil’s lies with truth. I encourage you to take a look at these and be blessed.

You may be interested in reading: #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution