As a child of the 80’s I can’t tell you how many mixed tapes I made, recording songs off the radio, listening to them until I got tired of the songs, then rerecording new songs over the other songs. I wish I still had a tape player because I’m pretty sure I still have some epic mixed tapes.
Just like our mixed tapes from the 80’s, our minds work very similarly – we record messages, listen to them over and over again, until we get tired of them, then we rerecord something new. Unfortunately though for many of us, we recorded a message somewhere along the way, and we’ve listened to it over and over again, but the message isn’t truth.
I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve talked to that are still listening, and believing old messages from parents, teachers and friends, that are unhealthy messages. Recordings that we’ve listened to over and over and over again, until they became a part of our identity, something that shaped us, but not in a healthy way.
Often times the things people say, feel true at the time, but it’s so important for us to take those messages and compare them to the truth of God’s word before we let them play over and over again in our minds.
For example, my third grader was at school one day when a girl in her class came up to her and said, “You’re mean, ugly and stupid.” (First of all let me just say that my first instinct was to want to find this girl and knock her upside the head, but I didn’t). When my daughter told me this, my heart broke for her because I remember being her age and I know how powerful words are, and how much they hurt. But instead of letting her give into the pain, and believe the mean message, I reminded her of who God says she is. I went through each thing – mean, ugly and stupid – and showed her why they weren’t true and what God says instead.
This is exactly what we need to do with every message – compare them to what God says. But we don’t. The first reason we don’t is because we are so good at listening to the lies of the enemy that when people say hurtful things, we assume they must be true. The second reason we don’t is because we don’t know the truth, we don’t know what God is saying, because we aren’t looking for it.
We have so many hurtful things recorded on our tapes, and we play them over in our minds so often, that there’s no room for the truth. Or maybe there’s a little message of truth at the end but it’s hard to believe after listening to all the lies over and over again.
We need to stop listening to the old tapes. We need to take back the permission we’ve given them to shape our identity. We need to record over those old messages with truth.
You cannot sit back and wait to be happy and healthy and have a great thought life; you have to make the choice to make this happen. You have to choose to get rid of the toxic and get back in alignment with God.” – Dr. Caroline Leaf
So where do you start? How do you find truth? How do you rerecord those old tapes?
The answer is simple but it’s not going to be easy, at first.
We break down every thought and proud thing that puts itself up against the wisdom of God. We take hold of every thought and make it obey Christ.” 2 Cor 10:5 (NLV)
We take our thoughts captive and make them obey Christ – simple, but not easy. The first thing you need to do is arm yourself with truth. Go to the word, soak up the truth, I’ve listed a bunch of verses here in this post. Write down God’s word and put it all around you – the bathroom mirror, above the kitchen sink, your desk at work, anywhere you spend a lot of time. Then every time that old recording starts to play, immediately hit the pause button and read the truth instead!
Honestly at first it won’t be easy because those old tapes have played so many times that they’ve burned a track in your mind, but every time you hit the pause button and read, or speak the truth instead, you will give power to the truth and make those old messages obey Christ.
My child, if you truly want a long and satisfying life, never forget the things I’ve taught you. Follow closely every truth I’ve given you, then you will have a full, rewarding life. Hold onto loyal love and don’t let go, and be faithful to all that you’ve been taught. Let your life be shaped by integrity, with truth written upon your heart.” Proverbs 3:1-3 (tPt)
If we ever want to be free, be happy, live a full life, we have to rerecord those old messages with truth, until it becomes the only thing we believe. When you play the soundtrack of truth over and over again, when those old messages get triggered, you will be able to quickly dismiss them because you’ll know they aren’t true.
Proverbs also says, “When wisdom wins your heart and revelation breaks in, true pleasure enters your soul.” (2:10) I love that, true pleasure! How many of you can say you are living a life full of “true pleasure”? I would be willing to bet that most of you aren’t, but that was God’s design for you! He wants us to live our lives to the most, but we can only do that by rerecording over the old messages, with new ones – truth.
My daughter and I have this song we sing, when she’s feeling the pain of the unkind messages, we hit the pause button and sing this track instead, (to the tune of “Everything is awesome”) we sing, “Malea is so awesome, Malea is so awesome that….. (we make up something new each time!” 🙂 That always gets us both laughing and directs our attention to what is true, that she is awesome, she is God’s perfect creation and He has big plans for her, just like He does for you!
He then reached down from Heaven, all the way from the sky to the sea. He reached down into my darkness to rescue me! He took me out of my calamity and chaos and drew me to Himself, taking me from the depths of my despair! Even though I was helpless in the hands of my hateful, strong enemy, You were good to deliver me. When I was at my weakest, my enemies attacked – but the Lord held on to me. His love broke open the way and He brought me into a beautiful place. He rescued me – because His delight is in me!” Psalm 18:16-19 (tPt)