Someone recently called me on the fact that I have running-wild negative thoughts. And…, I thought. Who doesn’t? Well, so it seems, not like I do. So I was challenged to write down each of my thoughts into two columns – sinful and uplifting. I took on the challenge…or I should say, I attempted to take on the challenge, making two columns in my journal and placing it on the dining room table, with the plan to stop and record each thought whenever I had one.
Umm, here’s the thing. I apparently have these rampant thoughts, like, all the time. In the shower. On my run. While driving. While vacuuming. While applying mascara. I stood next to my journal at the dining room table and said, outloud to no one, “I won’t get anything else done today!” So I decided not to do that list-making thing.
But I appreciated the idea and still knew I had work to do in the taking-my-negative-thoughts-captive arena, so the Spirit brought something to mind.
I’ve heard it hundreds of times before that if I were the only person alive, Jesus loved me so much that He still would’ve gone to the cross to die just for me.But the flipside of that amazing grace-filled coin hit me like a ton of bricks…if I were the only person alive, Jesus would have had to go to the cross to die just for me, because my sin would have been enough to send Him there.
So I determined that with each negative thought that crossed my mind about someone or something, I would say to myself…to Jesus…in my head or outloud if I were alone, “I sent You to the cross.” And I’d repeat that phrase until the negative train of thought was derailed. I have gone on to add, in the past two weeks of trying this and saying this probably a thousand times, “I sent You to the cross…and I am sorry…and I am grateful.”
So just now, I was lying in bed, unable to fall asleep, and my mind started wandering down that negative thought trail again, and I said to myself this time, “I sent You to the cross…my anger sent You to the cross…my negativity sent You to the cross…my lying sent You to the cross…my critical spirit sent You to the cross…my judgmental attitude sent You to the cross…my hateful thoughts sent You to the cross…”And on and on I was able to continue, until I wasn’t thinking that negative thing anymore.And until I was humbled once again.
As a woman, I tend to compare the worst of me to the best in other women.But I think I just might be as guilty, if not more guilty, of comparing my best to other people’s worst in a pathetic attempt to puff myself up, and I’m tired of it.There are only two people that I should be comparing myself to…the me I was yesterday and the Savior that I am aspiring to become more like.And I shouldn’t be judging anyone, even myself.
I did send Jesus to the cross…but with equal truth I must re-remind myself that He loved me enough to willingly go there for me, sin and all.
Well said. This is something that I struggle with as well in both thinking about others and myself. Its pretty ugly. Thanks for your thoughts and as your last post stated “reframing” Jesus’ walk to the cross for us.