So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls (James 1:21 – NLT).
We should be constantly growing and changing. James tell us in the above verse that the implanted Word will change our thought patterns and emotional responses. Hebrews tells us that the Word is so powerful that it is able to divide soul from spirit: For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires (Hebrews 4:12 – NLT).
The Word goes down deep into our human nature and sorts out what is flesh and what is spirit.
The Word is so powerful that it actually goes down into the very thoughts that give us consciousness. These are the thoughts that make us behave the way we do and cause us to act and react almost automatically in many situations.
We all have thoughts that are so deep within us that we’re not able to recognize them. These are the thoughts that form our belief system. These thoughts are formed by our interaction with our parents and families and are the drive that makes us act the way we do.
Here’s the deal. If there is a disconnect between what you read in the Word and what you do at home and in your close relationships, then there may be a root of thinking that needs to be dealt with in your life. All of us have these kinds of roots of thinking that must come out! These are trans-generational sins that we must allow the Holy Spirit and loving friends to reveal to us. We usually don’t see them ourselves.
Here’s a quote from my friend Chip Judd: God wants to identify, challenge, and change any patterns of thought, belief, or behavior that are contrary to His will. Many of these patterns are so much a part of us that we can’t see them without the revelation of God’s Spirit and the help of other loving Christians.
Our thoughts about us in the context of others begins with our family, or family of origin. What we think and believe about ourselves, God, others, male, female, husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, all begin with our parent or those that raised us from childhood. How we respond to others and their behavior is learned from our family of origin. What love looks like, what it means to be loved, cared for, and nurtured all comes from the atmosphere created by our parents or care providers in our family of origin
Here’s a brief glimpse at what I mean. I’ll give you some stats on what kind of children both loving and harsh parents produce and you may see what I mean in your own life.
If you had harsh, demanding (perfectionistic), neglectful, and condemning parents then more than likely you:
1. Are plagued by insecurity, guilt, fear, anger, loneliness, and withdrawal (self
protective walls around them).
2. Have high, rigid, unattainable standards.
3. Have a feeling that you do not measure up.
4. Are driven to accomplish goals and to please others in order to win the love and
acceptance that you crave.
5. Think that something is wrong with you (children tend to believe that parents are
6. Condemn yourself for not being worthy of love. You either deny your need for
love or you may try to secure love by performance.
7. Struggle with your perception of God. You just can’t do enough to please Him. You
often feel that God is distant and condemning.
On the other hand, if you had loving, compassionate, protective, affirming, and disciplining parents you probably:
1. Feel loved, valued, and secure.
2. Are able to try new things without threat of condemnation if you fail.
3. Are able to take appropriate social and business risks without fearing failure (you
4. Are able to enjoy relationships without fearing intimacy. (If you were not loved by
your parents – to you intimacy may hurt).
5. Are emotionally, relationally, and spiritually healthy.
6. Believe that God is caring, loving, and affirming.
If you have the fruit of the behavior, then you probably have the root of thinking that motivates it. If you’re able to relate well with others, if you’re able to reveal your heart, if you’re able to receive admonishment from others without feeling hurt and betrayed by them, then you probably came from a family that loved you with some measure of unconditional love.
But if you’re easily offended, if you can’t receive constructive criticism from others without thinking that they totally reject you, if you often feel isolated and alone, then there are root thoughts in you most likely formed from problems in your home as a child. They are buried deep in your soul and hinder your current relationships. The Father wants to wash them away with the water of the Word and with His unconditional love and forgiveness. Tomorrow, we’ll discuss how this works!