Friday, December 13, 2013

Truth or Trash?

At church, I've been leading our Sunday school class in the Soul Detox study by Craig Groeschel.  It's incredible!  It's so relevant, timely, and applicable to all our lives. Here's an overview from the book...

"As standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth. Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors. By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God's holiness."

One thing I've started applying is training myself to categorize the words others speak to me as "Truth or Trash".  By habit, I so easily absorb the words and tones of other people immediately, without stopping to rationalize the situation for what could be.  Maybe they've have a really bad day... or a bad life.  Maybe they're struggling with Satan's trap of inferiority or insecurity.  Maybe a situation from the past triggered feelings they didn't want to face.  Maybe they're dealing with some major adversity at home, school, or work.  Regardless, it's just not healthy to allow those words to affect your outlook, mood, and life.

Truth! When you find yourself in this situation, ask "Are these words true?", "Are they based in Scripture?", and "Are they supported by data over time?"  If so, EMBRACE THEM!  Allow these life-giving words to minister to your soul!  

Trash! If their words are untrue, mean-spirited, and critical without being constructive, then call them what they are - toxic waste.  Reject those words.  DON'T let them into your soul. Take out the trash and leave it by the curb.  Delete toxic words and insert the truth!

When you guard your heart from toxic words, you filter what other say to you or about you to distinguish truth from trash.  Apply to your life these 12 Life-Giving Truths from the Soul Detox study to help you!

  1. I am a child of God.  "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."  John 1:12
  2. I am loved by God.  "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."  Ephesians 2:4-5
  3. I am free and forgiven.  "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace."  Ephesians 1:7
  4. My body belongs to God.  "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  5. God is close to me.  "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."  Psalms 145:18
  6. I am attractive/beautiful from the inside out.  "...the Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7 b
  7. God will never abandon me.  "...God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5 b
  8. I am gifted by God. I can accomplish great things.  "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other."  1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT
  9. God cares about me and my problems.  "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."  1 Peter 5:7
  10. God gives me strength and protection.  "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one."  2 Thessalonians 3:3
  11. I have a future.  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11
  12. With God's help, I can change.  "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26

May your soul be cleansed, the truth be embraced, and the trash be taken out!

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