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Alright. Welcome to Episode #82 - Can You Handle it?
“I can't handle it!” is exactly what I said when my husband passed away. We were just a few months away from our 30th wedding anniversary, a couple of years away from building our retirement home on our beautiful, rolling piece of land on the outskirts of the hill country, and just a few years away from having to decide the perfect grandma and grandpa names. My life as I knew it was over in an instant. And I couldn’t handle it.
But, it turns out that I could. Four and a half years later, I’m finding that if you are anchored in the truth, you for sure can handle anything.
And what is truth, anyway? We live in a world today where truth is relative to each individual’s experience, or preference, or even the way they feel that day. That’s relativism, and by the dictionary’s definition, is the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute. But that’s not Biblical. Because there is only one truth, God’s truth, and it is absolute. Unchanging. Immovable. Not fickle based on a feeling today that’s gone tomorrow. Or, and ideology that just feels good and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. It’s rock solid and steady. And that consists of the perfect and pure love of God, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, the Second Coming, forgiveness of sin, and grace and power to live for Jesus today through the Holy Spirit.
And if you are anchored in God’s truth, these truths, you can handle anything. Why? Because these truths set us free from Satan’s lies - John 8:32. In verse 44, the Bible says that Satan is the father of lies. He’s going to continue to lie to us, trying to make us believe that we are wretched sinners, lost, and without hope. He’s going to try to keep us hiding in shame, keep us from seeing the real truth, and that is that God’s love and salvation has set us free from sin and death.
Listening to the enemy’s lies gets us stuck seeing things - our lives, our circumstances, the challenges we face, the worry and the fear - in a very narrow, one-dimensional view.
One-dimensional thinking is a way of thinking that involves viewing something in single linear terms in order to describe reality. It usually leads to very dogmatic and narrow focused thinking. It usually involves all-or-nothing views in life. One-dimensional thinking is looking at something through one lens without considering other perspectives.
An example of one-dimensional thinking would be when you were learning your multiplication facts. You had flash cards, you memorized them, and then regurgitated the answers. The opposite is critical thinking - like (my favorite) mathematical word problems, which utilizes multi-dimensional thinking. It considers all sides of a problem. Multi-dimensional. Like a pyramid.
But, here’s why we naturally think in one-dimensional ways about our life and our circumstances: We have experiences in our lives and our brains formulate perspectives of those experiences based on other past similar experiences. Whew. In other words, the brain creates a way of thinking based on a pattern. And every time you have another experience similar to one in the past, your brain does this tricky thing and says, “Hey, I remember this. This is how we think and this is how we act, and this is how we feel about it.” Your brain becomes linear and one-dimensional in the pattern of thinking. And the more you just go with it, the more your brain creates neural ruts for that type of thinking. It becomes the lens with which you view all things.
It’s then supported by your reticular activating system that narrows the focus even more by filtering out any other options or messages that would provide contrary or conflicting information. Everything that is unrelated to that thing is seen as a pointless distraction and it’s left out of consideration. There is only room for one thing at a time. One message. One dimensional.
One dimensional thinking can be problematic when it becomes rigid or dogmatic. And when it comes to your thoughts about your life, you certainly won’t be able to create the life you love if you rigidly stick to your old, one-dimensional thoughts about things. Especially if those thoughts are not true, but are negative and are making you miserable.
So, the mind is going to be our enemy’s biggest target. What do you think? Have you felt his attacks on your mind before? Making you feel like you couldn’t even think straight anymore? Making you convinced you didn’t know right from wrong, up from down? Trying to confuse you and make you question all that you once held dear? That’s his goal - to destroy your soul.
But, the mind is just one part of your soul.
Your soul consists of your mind, your will, and your emotions. It’s your internal nature. Your soul is what makes you an individual and sets you apart from all other created beings. It’s what makes you uniquely you.
And this is why it’s so important to stand on the truth of God, because the enemy, Satan, is going to do everything he can to get to your soul. Because if he can kill the soul, he can kill the individual. John 10:10 says that he comes to kill, steal, and destroy.
And this is how he does it. In your mind, he will manipulate your thinking, keeping you believing lies about your circumstances, about God, and even about yourself. He’ll try to kill your soul by keeping you in negative, unbiblical thinking. Or he’ll try to convince you that you’re worthless, you’ve always been a hot mess, and you don’t deserve to have the stable, steady mind of Christ.
In your will, he will convince you that you’re not strong enough to make a change, or do something new, or hard. That you’re a failure and have no power to change. He’ll redirect your focus away from God’s will and onto fleshly desires of the world.
In your emotions, he’ll take advantage of the efforts he's made in manipulating your thinking, and then convince you that you deserve to be angry, or resentful, or bitter. He’ll encourage your sadness or jealousy or selfishness. After all, you’ve been wronged. You’re a victim. You deserve retribution.
So, it’s important to know the truth. What does the Word of God say about it? What is He speaking to you about it through His Word? If Jesus were sitting right there beside you - and He is, by the way, by the power of the Spirit - what would HE say about what you’re going through or experiencing? Finding out what His truth is and allowing that to be your anchor, your foundation, totally sets you free. Because the truth sets you free - free to grieve and mourn without being taken under; free to love again when your heart has been shattered; free to trust again when you have been betrayed, or abandoned, or treated unfairly. Free to let go of worry or fear of the future. Because you know that the Word says that He takes care of His beloved; that He’s Jehovah Jireh, the One who provides the finances you need to pay that bill. He’s Jehovah Shalom, the peace you need in the midst of a chaotic, upside-down world; He’s El Roi, the God who sees you bundled up in a ball on the floor, crying. And He's Jehovah Rapha, the One who comes near to heal your broken heart.
Believing, accepting the truth, that there’s One who has all the resources in the world, and the power to do something about your circumstances - and trusting in this One - is why you will be able to handle whatever comes. Because you won’t be handling it alone. You can't handle it alone. Because let me just remind you: the saying that God will not give you any more than you can handle is just not true. We get all kinds of things that come in our lives that we cannot handle. But He can. So, together, you will make it through. You will make it through.
I’m going to wrap up by circling us back to the truth as it relates to relativism. One could argue that relativism is actually critical thinking, multi- dimensional thinking. So, though I’m trying to get you to see your circumstances, or whatever you’re facing, with new perspectives - seeing it from all angles, not just the linear patterned rut your brain has been offering you thoughts out of - seeing it from all angles can be done in a healthy way when you’re anchored to an immovable, unshakeable, rock solid truth. The absolute truth becomes your core belief system from which all of your thoughts are formulated.
So, friend, that’s where you need to start in order to be able to handle it - whatever that “it” is for you. What do you believe? Do you believe the truth? Soren Kierkegaard was a Christian theologian and philosopher in the 1800’s whose psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. He said, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to accept what is true.” Listen, if you accept and are anchored in what is Biblically true, with that truth, you can handle anything.
Friend, if you’re having a hard time handling something, or even believing that you can handle something, I’d love to help you and see if the enemy has been feeding you lies that you now just believe as truth. I’d love to be your Life Coach and help you discover the real truth.
I’ve put a link in the show notes for a free 30-minute call just so we can see if we’re a good fit to work together and show you how Life Coaching would work for you.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.
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