Thinking Clearly: How to Recognize Lies and Replace Them with Truth
When I was first introduced to the process of removing the lens of lies that I was viewing the world through, it changed my life. Seeing things through the lenses of shame, judgment, guilt, and pride totally affected my ability to think clearly.
Honestly, I got stuck in a cycle of blame and depression, waiting for something good to happen. Then, I learned I could shift my perspective and choose to view my world through a God lens, which changed everything.
It wasn’t easy, though.
I had burned neuro pathways in my mind that told me my only hope would be if something external happened. Then I could be happy or think clearly. When I realized I could embrace freedom by doing something myself instead of hoping and waiting for something else to happen, I felt such freedom!
I began to live differently by thinking more clearly — thinking God’s thoughts instead of my own.
It starts at the beginning — recognizing when you are triggered by something and highjacked by negative emotions. Maybe you are angry or anxious, critical or insecure — whatever it is, you know in your heart you are not experiencing the peace promised in scripture.
Lies come in all sorts of forms. What they have in common is that clear thinking is supposed to come from circumstances or relationships all being in a good place.
Removing lies starts by identifying them.
It can help if you have a prompt. See if you can identify with any of these possible lies. They all start with “If only…” and end with “then I wouldn’t be dealing with what I have to deal with!”
IF ONLY’S (PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE):
If only I had grown up with different _____________ (parents, more resources, a better faith culture, more opportunities, better teachers, etc.).
If only _______ hadn’t happened (abuse, words, sickness or disease, lack, event, etc.).
If only I wasn’t dealing with _____________ (sickness, trauma, or drama).
If only I had more money, or time, or connections.
If only I weren’t __________ (so old, so young, a female, a male, etc.).
If only other people would be ________ (kind, clear, caring, etc.).
If only someone would reach out to me.
If only I could get in with a certain person (probably a big name).
If only I could afford professional counseling.
If only something amazing would happen (an inheritance, healing, winning the lottery, getting noticed by “somebody”).
Whenever we look to things outside ourselves for happiness in life, we set ourselves up for disappointment. No one and nothing can own our peace unless we allow it to.
God always makes a way for us to move forward no matter what we feel is holding us back. The only obstacle we must overcome is our own perspective.
So, when you get triggered or highjacked by negative thoughts you can’t seem to let go of, that’s a sign you are viewing life through a lying lens.
Here are a couple of steps you can take to think the thoughts God has for you clearly:
Learn to stop and listen to what you know to be true from God’s Word when you feel unsettled.
Identify the lie you are believing.
Take some time in prayer and ask God for his perspective.
Ask him for a specific truth that you can say to yourself every time a negative thought comes to your mind.
Look for anchor verses that magnify this truth.
Find ways to remind yourself of this truth and embed it in your life.
A Real-Life Example:
I might get triggered by a conversation where another person wants me to do something about a situation they are passionate about. There are multiple lie lenses that I could go to when that happens that would not be healthy for the other person or me.
They sound like:
If only I could be everything everyone wanted me to be, then I could be a hero and make the world a better place.
If only people would do what they feel passionate about and not spend so much energy trying to get me, or others, to do what God is asking them to do. Then I could have easier conversations.
If only the world wasn’t so messed up, then we could all live in peace.
If only the government would do what it was intended to do, then we wouldn’t have these problems.
When I go to God in prayer, I am honest with him. I say something like, “Here we go again, God. I feel like I am not enough for the people around me, but then, on the other hand, I feel like they want me to do something that is not even on my radar. There’s not enough of me to go around. Forgive me for getting pulled into this negative spiral of judging others and shaming myself. Help me, God, to see your truth and think the thoughts you want me to have! God, what is a truth you want me to think about when I start seeing life through this lie lens again?”
As I wait patiently, I hear in my heart: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God for it” (James 1:5). I believe God is telling me to take each situation to him. There will not be a one-size-fits-all answer, but I can face each situation I encounter with him.
I hear him say, “You are not alone” (John 14:18). Or, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Then I choose to connect with him more deeply, and I thank him for the opportunity to grow closer. I ask him to show me how to move in each different situation.
I memorize those verses. When I start to get anxious or judgmental, I say, “God, I trust you. I believe you will show me what to do when I ask. Please help me to be who you want me to be in this specific situation. Help me to know you and your heart more.”
I find peace.
I embrace hope and happiness.
My joy is not dependent on my circumstances, the people around me, or anything external.
How’s your hope? Do you have a lie lens that is distorting your view of God, yourself, or others?
God is waiting to talk to you about your life. He loves you and has good plans for you.