Negative Thoughts creates Negative Feelings creates Negative Behavior!

OR

If You Want to Feel Better, You’ve Got to Think Better!

    It wasn’t until after writing Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice that the truth of the above statement began ringing true for me.  My bondage of negative thinking (taking root in my young adult years) became clearer the more I studied and wrote about this spiritual phenomenon of fiery darts. By the grace of God, I wasn’t in total bondage all of those years for in some areas of my life I behaved rather normally, experiencing great joy.  But there were some problem areas where defeat was the norm for me.  

     I’ve wondered in recent years why my bondage was so lengthy.  Surely couldn’t have God brought those lessons that proved to be the keys to my release sooner and spare me all that anguish?  Only one answer to that question has given me any comfort or made sense, 

I do know that while my struggles were lengthy so were the lessons I learned. FD p. 3

     So today when I encounter someone in emotional pain, as I have known, because of what God has tenderly taught me through the years, I can offer hope and healing to them.  What follows is one of the most dramatic and most healing of those lessons of my study in fiery darts.

    Negative thinking creates negative feelings, which create negative behavior: 

The Cognitive Triangle

The Cognitive Triangle

First we entertain a thought. That thought will cause certain related feelings.  Thus, behavior is based on our thoughts and feelings.  The psychologist will say that if behavior is to be changed, then the flow must be interrupted either at the thought or feeling point. (FD p. 16)

So how is the above applied?

There is a sharp contrast in my life of how I deal with emotional pain now and how I dealt with it prior to being schooled in fiery darts.  A couple of years ago, my one and only son, along with his wife, moved clear across the big pond to live and work in a land that knew little about God.  While I was indeed proud of him, the thought of being disconnected by thousands of miles was at times unbearable. Add to that the thought that any children he and my daughter in law might have would be growing up without the memories I would love to make with them.  (And sure enough, I have a 1 yr. old grandson now)  If you read my blog:

http://missionarysmom.wordpress.com (January 2012)

you will read that while the fiery darts tempted me to despair, God’s love and mercy prevailed and after a period of time,  slowly I began by the power of God’s grace to rise above my pain and accept the comfort God had prepared for me.  Because my thinking became positive, my attitudes and actions followed suite. 

But as a young adult, I recall a dark period of time in my life when that same temptation to despair almost overwhelmed me.  I didn’t know then how to combat the negative thoughts that plagued me with words from Scripture that were “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.”

 (Refer to FD blog post , February 17, 2014)

Instead, negative thoughts were allowed to take root and the resulting behavior was characterized by bouts with depression.  About all that I can say of that dark time was that I survived it. But by God’s loving grace I was prevented from settling upon a path that would have brought certain ruination. 

So, if you are going through what seems to be a time of overwhelming pain, be alert to the fact that  Satan is standing poised to fire fiery darts designed for your destruction. This weapon will approach you in the disguise of negative thoughts.  You will be tempted,

like Peter  in Matthew 14:22-33,

to focus on the storm.  Satan’s plan is to keep you focused on your pain in order to trap you into living a life of defeat.  He will manipulate negative behavior this way.  But that’s not God’s plan (read Jeremiah 29:11).  

Again, refer to FD blog post, 2/17/14 for instruction on how to counter Satan’s attack. 

Once you have learned the 3 R’s of Fighting Fiery Darts then your experience will be that:  

 POSITIVE THOUGHTS CREATES POSITIVE FEELINGS CREATES POSITIVE BEHAVIOR!

And, oh, how much better you are going to feel!

 

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