Welcome to week 13 of our Renew Your Mind Challenge! I am so glad you have joined us! In this 13-week challenge, I am sharing with you the single most life-changing truth I have personally discovered.
I will update the links below as I post them.
1. Back to the Beginning
2. Fix Your Mind
3. Accepting His Love
4. Love Into Joy
5. Joy Into Peace
6. Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness
9. Overcome Evil With Good
I used to be depressed, needy, easily offended, anxious, stressed – the list goes on. Now I am happy, fulfilled, and at peace. I discovered the answer at 29 years of age. The secret to happiness lies in your inner response to life: perceptions, intentions, feelings, thought patterns, beliefs. Come along with me and let your faith come alive to you in a new way – a way that will change everything. Each week, we will focus on one small yet powerful action we can take to change our inner life, and renew ourselves into the love of God.
Today we are going to talk about the fourth and final tool that we can use to help renew our minds. This tool is called “affirmation.”
I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical of the idea of affirmation for years. I heard about affirmations everywhere, both from within and outside of the church. I wanted to believe what I heard – that to change my life I had to change my thoughts – but to be honest I thought of it as “new age nonsense.” That is, until I got to the point in my life where I had no choice.
I still remember the moment at 29 years of age lonely, depressed to the point of having suicidal thoughts. After only four days of using the tool of affirmations, I did a180 degree turnaround. I began to feel joy and strength that I had never experienced before in my life.
The Bible tells us to think about what is good, lovely and excellent.
The Bible also tells us that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It only follows that we should be thinking good, lovely, and excellent thoughts about ourselves. It seems imperative that we should be thinking thoughts about ourselves designed to help us grow into the person we wish to be. Into the person we were created to be, designed to be.
There are two main ways that I use affirmations in my life. I will share both of them with you here.
Make a list
I recommend making a list of affirmations to say to yourself every morning before you start your day. We covered this point earlier in our study, but it is so important that I think it bears repeating.
Think carefully about this list. Think about who God designed you to be. What are your strengths? What are your desires? If you were your best self, who would you be? What does the Bible say that you are?
I will share my list with you here, as an example. This is the list that turned my life around, but yours does not have to look the same as mine. (I highly recommend having at least a couple that focus on God’s love for you, as God’s love is the foundation of all that we are.)
Melissa’s list of affirmations:
I am loved and accepted
I am full of joy
I am at peace
I am centered and focused
I am confident and positive
I am flexible and resilient
My direction is clear
I choose forgiveness
I let go of past hurts and offenses
I love life
I am full of life, energy, and stamina
I accept all that I am
I am lovable and worth loving
I am healthy and strong
I am grounded and patient
I have deep, healthy, and lasting relationships
I attract people to me
I am creative, inventive, and successful
I am overflowing with love, life, wholeness, and healing
I am radiating with the light of God
I make everything I touch better
I make everyone who crosses my path feel important
I am a vessel of the love of God to the world
Once you have made your list, keep it somewhere you can read it first thing in the morning. Read it out loud to yourself, with intention. Believe what it says about you. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” You can change who you are by what you believe and think about yourself.
Try to remember the affirmations on your list throughout the day as you need them. Say them to yourself regularly until they become your normal way of thinking about yourself.
Choose thoughts related to problem areas
We all have areas of struggle. For some, it might be patience. For others shame, condemnation, or anxiety. Some struggle with fear, others lust, and others self-control. Most of us have multiple areas of struggle. Sometimes it can feel like we are in bondage to certain behaviors. No matter how hard we try, we keep failing.
Problem areas quickly become a vicious cycle. We keep failing, so we see ourselves as failures. The more we fail, the more we believe we are going to fail. It can be very helpful to intentionally choose our thoughts in relation to these areas of struggle.
I recommend sitting down and thinking about areas of struggle and bondage in your life. Think about your thought patterns relating to your struggles. Are they thoughts of guilt, condemnation, and fear of failure? Or are they thoughts of love and freedom? Intentionally choose two or three specific thoughts related to each area of struggle. You can use Bible verses that speak to your issue, or you can come up with your own. I find for myself that the more simple and direct the affirmation is, the more effective it is – the more quickly I can wrap my beliefs and intentions around it. Also, keep the affirmations positive. Rather than saying “I am not afraid,” say “I am courageous.” Focus on what you want to be or become.
Here are a few examples:
I am strong and courageous
I face my fears
I am bold and brave
I am not alone
I humble myself
I learn from others
I am teachable
I honor others with my thoughts
I guard my heart and mind
My intentions are pure
I am full of joy
The joy of the Lord is my strength
I have energy, purpose, and direction
I love my life
I am patient
I am calm and centered
I am at peace
My love is strong enough to handle this
I am indescribably valuable
I am worthy of love
My mistakes help me grow
I am self-disciplined
I am controlled only by love
God’s love satisfies me
I am strong enough to resist
Choose affirmations that speak to you. Word them in a way that is believable to you. Then say them every time you find yourself in a moment of struggle or weakness. Allow your affirmations to drown out all other thoughts and feelings about yourself in those moments. Say them as many times as you must until you believe them.
Week thirteen challenge:
- Make a list of affirmations to say out loud in the morning. Since we already did this earlier in our study, look back at your list and see if there is anything you would like to change or add
- Make a list of affirmations to help you with your areas of struggle. Say them in your weak moments until you start to see yourself differently in these areas