Four Undermining False Beliefs that Hinder Us from Understanding our Position in Christ and Having a Biblical Self Image
False belief: I have to meet certain standards in order to feel good about myself.
Consequences: You fear failing.
Effects: perfectionism (unwilling to fail); avoiding risks (shuns new or challenging activities, only wants to do things he can do well); anger/resentment (when insulted/injured, whether actual or imagined, or when confronted about your performance); anxiety and fear (of people’s disapproval); pride (when your performance is successful); schizophrenia (trying to escape the pain of failure/rejection by creating your own separate world); depression (your body’s defense mechanism to block psychological pain by numbing physical and emotional functions); chemical dependency (an attempt to ease the pain and fear of failure and produce feelings of greater self-esteem); dishonesty (by exaggerating the truth to hide failures and impress others); low motivation (or laziness because if you think you will fail, you have no reason to exert yourself with effort).
Solution: Realize, that by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior, God has not only forgiven you of all your sins, but has declared you as righteous as Christ, and because of this justification, you are fully pleasing to God (Rom. 5:1; 8:9; Col. 2:13-14; 2 Cor. 5:21; Acts 13:38-39; Gal. 2:16).
Results of solution: Freedom from fear of failure; enthusiasm/diligence about serving God and people out of a motive of love.
False belief: I have to be approved/accepted by certain people in order to feel good about myself.
Consequences: You fear being rejected.
Effects: anger/resentment/hostility (desire to get revenge on those who reject/criticize you); easily manipulated (thinking you’ll be liked/accepted if you do every request of those whose approval you want); domineering (to avoid being hurt, you try to maintain control of people/situations); schizophrenia (fashioning your own make-believe world to escape the disapproval of people); depression (deadens the destructive effects of repressed anger).
Solution: Realize, that by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior, that although at one time you were hostile to and alienated from God, you now have been forgiven and have been brought into an intimate relationship with God, and because of this reconciliation, you are totally accepted by God (Col. 1:21-22; 2:13-14; Rom. 8:1, 33-34; 1 Pet. 3:18; Gal. 1:10).
Results of solution: Freedom from the fear of rejection; willing to be honest and vulnerable; able to relax around others; willing to accept criticism; desire to please/obey God regardless of what others think.
False belief: Because I’m a failure/can’t seem to do anything right, I am unworthy of love and deserve to be punished and in that way feel better about myself.
Consequence: You either fear being punished by people and/or God, and/or you punish others (even those who try to love you).
Effects: self-induced punishment (if you’re hard enough on yourself, then God won’t have to punish you); bitterness and pessimism (if you think that God and others are always punishing you); passivity (is the neglect of your mind, time, gifts, and talents through inaction because fear immobilizes your will); punishing others (because their failure reflects on you).
Solution: Realize, that by trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior, Christ has satisfied the wrath of God through His death payment for your sins, and because of this propitiation, you are deeply loved by God (1 Jn. 4:9-11; Eph. 1:3-14; 2:4-9; Heb. 10:10-14, 17; Rom. 8:35-39).
Results of solution: Freedom from fear of punishment; kindness and patience toward others; forgiving; trust, love, and obedience for Christ.
False belief: I am hopeless since I can’t change either the way that I am or my past.
Consequences: You feel inferior (not good enough to be like/accepted/approved by others or normal like the “in” crowd).
Effects: habitual destructive behavior (habits/actions or words that degrade yourself and your relations to others, even having thoughts of suicide); self-pity (feeling sorry for yourself because you see yourself as a victim); despising your appearance (feeling lousy and. cheated because you don’t look handsome, athletic, muscular, macho – a picture of masculinity, or if you’re a girl, because you don’t look like Miss America).
Solution: Realize, that by trusting in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are a new creation in Christ, and because of this regeneration and redemption, you are complete/adequate in Christ and capable of being Christ-like in moral character through your new nature and the Spirit of God within you (2 Cor. 5:17; Jn. 3:3-6; 15:5; Titus 3:5; Rom. 3:24; 6:14; 8:28-30; Gal. 5:16, 22-24; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 4:13; 2 Pet. 1:3-7).
Results of solution: Christ-centered and Christ-confident; joy, peace, love, courage, a desire to know, trust, and obey God and His Word.
Memorize and quote every morning (when you get up) and before you go to bed at night, the following:
“Because of Jesus Christ, I am deeply loved, totally forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted by God, and complete in Christ. And as I renew my mind, I can (through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and in co-operation with my new nature) become like Jesus Christ in my character (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Jn. 15:5; Phil. 4:13; 1 Pet. 1:3; Gal. 5:16, 22-24; Eph. 4:22-24).
Thoughts to Meditate on:
I am the salt of the earth – Matt. 5:13
I am the light of the world – Matt. 5:14
I am a child of God – Jn. 1:12
I am part of the true vine (Christ), a channel of Christ’s life – Jn. 15:1, 5
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit – Jn. 15:16
I am a son of God; God is spiritually my Father – Rom. 8:14-15; Gal. 3:26; 4:6
I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him – Rom. 8:17
I am a temple (a dwelling place) of God. His Spirit and life dwell in me – 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19
I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him – 1 Cor. 6:17
I am a member of Christ’s body – 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30
I am a new creation – 2 Cor. 5:17
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation – 2 Cor. 5:18-19
I am a son of God and one in Christ – Gal. 3:26, 28
I am an heir of God since I am a son of God – Gal. 4:6-7
I am a saint – Eph. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:2
I am God’s workmanship (His handiwork) born anew in Christ to do His work – Eph. 2:10
I am a fellow citizen with the rest of God’s family – Eph. 2:19
I am righteous and holy – Eph. 4:24
I am a citizen of heaven, seated in heaven right now – Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6
I am hidden with Christ in God – Col. 3:3
I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved – Col. 3:12; 1 Thes. 1:4
I am a son of light and not of darkness – 1 Thes. 5:5
I am a holy partaker of a heavenly calling – Heb. 3:1
I am a partaker of Christ; I share in His life – Heb. 3:14
I am one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house – 1 Pet. 2:5
I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession – 1 Pet. 2:9
I am an enemy of the devil – 1 Pet. 5:8
I am an alien and stranger to this world in which I temporarily live – 1 Pet. 2:11
I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns – 1 Jn. 3:1-2
I am born of God, and the evil one (the devil) cannot touch me – 1 Jn. 5:18
I died with Christ and died to the power of sin’s rule over my life – Rom. 6:1-6
I am free forever from condemnation – Rom. 8:1
I have been given the mind of Christ (ability to understand spiritual things) – 1 Cor. 2:16
I have been bought with Christ’s blood; I am not my own; I belong to God – 1 Cor. 6:19-20
I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God in Christ, and I have been given the Holy Spirit as a pledge guaranteeing my inheritance to come – 2 Cor. 1:21; Eph. 1:13-14
I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing – Eph. 1:3
I was predestined (determined by God) to be adopted as God’s son – Eph. 1:5
I have been redeemed and forgiven, and am a recipient of His lavish grace – Eph. 1:6-8
I have been raised up and seated with Christ in heaven – Eph. 2:6
I may approach God with boldness, freedom, and confidence – Eph. 3:12