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1. Steps to Christ-like Thinking

Amanda Anguish


Ever wonder why you feel and act the way you do? Wish you could feel and act better so you can focus on your God-given purpose in life? This will show you how!



  • December 29, 2016
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web while many of you probably have no idea who I am and if you have you probably know who I am because I recognize you. My name is Amanda anguish and you're probably really sad for me with that last name and ironically I'm also a licensed marriage and family therapist. So how ironic that I would have the last name anguish for any of you on Facebook at the college that I went to one of my friends teaches the communication courses there and I actually did communication chord courses. Before I became a therapist and she had put up on the wall in the department. What all of the people who had graduated from the program were doing with their degree. And she put my name up there with that I was a marriage and family therapist and so somebody one of the students at the college had taken a picture posted it on Facebook and wrote all of these comments about how awful her guidance counselor must have steered her the wrong direction because with a last name like. They were being funny but they didn't realize that because it was connected to her that I would also see it so I had a little fun with that but nobody forgets my last name. You might forget my first name and usually the women that I me say oh I'm so sorry this is going to be so embarrassing for the people who. I mean here from now on. That'll teach him to be Lee usually women say oh I'm so sorry that that's your last name. And the guys say Dude that's also welcome. While I am a marriage and family therapist and in the state of California we have to call ourselves licensed marriage and family therapist so I get all sorts of questions like Oh do you only see married people do you only see people who have families and I say No I'm just what you would consider a counselor or therapist we just that's the full term that we use in California. So I am from the state of California not originally I was born in Las Vegas Nevada where my parents were baptized into the church. So yes some good things can happen in Las Vegas not all bad things happen there. And I was born there. So is another good thing that happened in Las Vegas. I have done that originally when I when I graduated from college I started in fundraising scrawly of so many on that door. I started in fund raising and I am not an extrovert. Although it looks kind of like I might be if I like to do this sort of thing. I'm not an extrovert I'm actually an interviewer so asking people for money and making friends with people to ask for money was really hard for me but I believe that was something God wanted me to learn and I did learn the beautiful ministry of stewardship through that. But then he also led me to it was my first love and not was the practice and the learning of psychology but by the time I learned it was able to go into that for a living. I got to learn it in a more Christian perspective and that was really important to me because this field in this practice has a lot of weird stuff going on and some of you have probably been exposed to that. Up until just last week I was teaching the psychology class at we mark college and I've just retired I know I look really young for retirement. But I retired from teaching. I do have a full practice in Auburn California where I'm marriage and family therapist I run a group during the day or in the mornings and in the afternoons I see individuals couples and family clients and that's what I do. I also work with Dr Neil NEGLI doing the depression recovery program so I do the counseling for that I know some people from that. And here are not and I also do some speaking engagements now and if any of you go to the E.Q. summit that's happening in February. I also speak so good to see if you come to we Mario get to see that. But I really want to talk to you about my favorite thing and that is emotional hygiene and I know that's not the title anywhere else but this is one of four parts all four parts today. And then I will be doing another talk tomorrow morning and then another one on Saturday afternoon. So you get to see those but the first four that I'm doing are today and they're all part of a series and if you miss something. If you miss the first part and you get the other three you'll still get something good but I hope you'll decide to stay for the whole thing I know there's a lot of competition here with good talks but. Hopefully you'll you'll get something from this but I can guarantee you will get something from this even if you've heard some of these things before I mean a unique person so you'll get a little bit different of a perspective and just like reading the Bible over and over again you get something every single time. So if you've read some things already. Then you will. You'll still get something out of today. But my talk today. It is called steps to Christ like thinking. And I had originally changed the topic so if you look downstairs the kiosk that has everything in it. You'll notice there was a different title on there but I changed this I got some inspiration after Artie turned in my talk titles the first time and I decided that I really wanted to help people think like Christ because one of one of the stories that I've just been recently reading is the story of Christ in the wilderness when he was tempted and I truly believe that today. You know the double works in so many ways and some are more obvious to us but if he's really as good at his work as he is that doesn't mean good in a positive way that just means good as an effective if he's really as good as he is he's not going to go for the obvious things and our minds are the not so obvious place that he goes. And so I want to help you be able to withstand the fiery darts that the double throws at you and maybe then you can also help someone else too. And I do believe that the best way that I learn is when I teach. So every time I teach. I'm actually learning something new. Either from your responses or your questions are just God's inspiring me during this time to share with you something that I believe one of my favorite quotes is from testimonies for the church Volume three page two sixty nine to deal with mines is the nicest work in which men ever engaged. How many of you by reason of hands work with minds. That's a trick question everybody should have their hands raised. Everybody because every single person here has a work to do and every single person here works with other human beings and connected to those human beings are. The mind. So each. One of us works with that and we will be the most effective with working with other people. If we consider the mind when we're talking to them. And Ellen White has a lot to say some of you will come up to me at any given point and you'll ask me. Oh have you read this book. What do you think of this book or I've read this book. Have you read this book. Quite often I have to say no you know how many self-help books are out there. Her writings I have found are by far the greatest self-help books I've ever read and I consistently go back to what she has said over and over again because I consistently see in my practice how the things that she said are actually far and beyond and I'm going to share some things with you today and tomorrow and the next day that will show you that she had her hand on all of the stuff that we were going through even though it seems like she lives so long ago. So this is truly one of the nicest works that we get to do. How many of you growing up learned how to say please and thank you. To remember learning that in school or even in Sabbath school maybe or from your parents. How about brushing your teeth and washing your hands. I hope all of you learned how to do this. Otherwise maybe that's why there's a space next to you you know I'm just teasing you know but we all learned how to brush your teeth and especially after we go to the bathroom I hope you all arrays are washing your hands. I was actually in the bathroom once and somebody walked right out without washing their hands and it dawned on me. Wow I just assume people do that. I really need to be careful. How about this one stop look and listen when do we do this before we cross the street we all know these things. How about this one. Do you remember growing up with this one. How many of you have actually used this one. Have any of you still had to stop drop and roll. Now I actually. I actually gave this presentation once before and somebody actually raise their hand. I've never uses you know how much time they spent teaching me this and I've never had to use it. But yet how little do we learn about taking care of our minds we don't have a class in school we don't in elementary school the teacher doesn't sit down and tell us how to use our minds how to think the right way. When we go through a certain situation right now I'm actually I wrote a children's book and I have one of my former students who's working on illustrating it so I hope that it'll be out soon. But it's teaching little kids how to take care of their minds and their emotions and everything. So this is one way I'm trying to have an impact on this but we don't learn how to do this we don't often have talks with our parents or teachers or even our pastor sometimes about learning how to take care of our minds but how often do we actually use these skills of our minds. Every single day. I tell people that I work with. After we do the work that we're going to do together you will have a new superpower. Because I don't know about you but I don't need to tell a transport from here to another place. I don't need to walk through walls I don't know why that's so important. I don't need to stop trains with my bare hands. It's not often that I see a train. You know going out of control but every single day. I'm hit with mental attacks every single day. I'm hit with all kinds of things that I need to know how to handle that. And I promise you that if you learn some of these skills you will be able to stop those things from happening or affecting you. The way that they always have or have in the past. There's three ways that people think they know. Wow I just got the microphone on tonight. And they. I think they know things. And the first way is pre-modern ism. And pre-modern is I mean this is this is a. This is not something that you learn in school necessarily but it's something that we all see happening throughout. There's three different types of thinking that people have in this life and the first one is pre-modern ism and that is that thinking started roughly at creation and went to about the sixteenth fifties and pre-modern ism is the idea that ultimate truth could be known and the way to this knowledge is through direct love revelation or through God. And we have people who still believe this but that is originally how we used to get to know things or think we knew something was directly from God or direct revelation from God. Then we get into the time period of modernism and modernism roughly happened between sixteen fifty and nineteen fifties and this idea of how people think about truth came from science logic and reason as revealed by the government or king and universities and we still have people to this day who say things like Well Obama said this or Hillary said this or Trump said this so that's what I believe or I'm going to do that because of this person saying this. We also hear people say well I don't believe it unless there's a science scientific research on it. You hear people say that. Well I need to see the science on that. So that's the idea that's modernism thinking. But then we're in the age right now of what is considered post modernism and post-modernism is many ways of knowing such as intuition relational and spiritual and in this pro-choice approach authority is distrusted and experience is trusted. So you'll hear people say and I used to work in a group home I forgot to many. And I worked in a group home for seven years without risk teens and inevitably one of the teenagers would come up to me after I had said something and say you know Miss I don't believe that because you just read that from a book but I think this because this is what my experience is. That's kind of interesting right. How many researchers or how many researchers would go you know I think this is true and then the research comes back and says no that's not true but the researcher goes you know I'm still going to publish what I think because I don't think the science don't think science really knows what it is. But we actually have all three of these types of thinking in our society today. It's just now that the progression has gotten to postmodernism more truth is based largely on a person's experience. But the sad thing about that is experience is largely related to how we feel and not necessarily based on truth. But that's how a lot of people are thinking today and I'm sure if you've been listening to sermons you've heard some people talk about this but why is it that we're going purely based on emotion. Now. When no judge would go by emotion. No scientist would go by emotion if they're good. Maybe they would but not if they're good and yet this is what a lot of people today are going off. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the type of therapy that I practice and I tell people all the skeleton of what I do is cognitive behavioral therapy and then I feel it in with other things. Now cognitive behavioral therapy comes from modernism thinking and that is the belief that we can get things logically and rationally. Now even though cognitive behavioral therapy is considered modernism notice thoughts from logic reason. What people. Saying what science says I believe that we can actually use cognitive behavioral therapy from a purely Biblical approach as well. Because the Bible does tell us. Come let us reason together right. So we can do that and then there are a lots of things along the way and I'm going to share those with you how I can actually use this as a therapist along with the Bible and spirit of prophecy and things like that to actually help people think based on what the truth is and not merely by how they feel. But if you look at this triangle This is like the foundation of cognitive behavioral therapy. Now the bottom two circles their feelings and behavior. Those are the reasons why people come to therapy. I don't feel the way I want to feel. And I'm not acting or doing the things that I want to do or I'm doing things that I don't want to do. Maybe I'm eating too much. I can't control myself. Maybe I'm staying in bed all day and I don't feel like getting up. I don't want to get up those are behaviors but also be filling that come with it. Like I said I don't feel like I want to get up I don't feel like I want to do this. I'm crying all the time I'm sad feelings and behaviors are why people come to counseling. But interesting Lee the most effective way to deal with our feelings and our behaviors is the top part of the triangle and not is what I think because I can actually think certain things and affect the way I feel. The way that I put thoughts into my head the way that I choose my thoughts definitely affects how I feel and what I wind up doing. For instance if I know that I need to exercise. But I don't want to exercise. And I haven't exercised maybe for weeks on end. I'm not going to feel like just getting up and exercising without doing some work right and that work. Hasta be to consider the ramifications of exercising or not exercising and one of the ways that I can do that is I can either say you know when exercising is. I just feel like I've got pain. When I exercise it's too much work I don't have anybody to exercise with I don't even know how long to go for if I go for a walk and I don't want to be scared out there in the dark by myself and I can say all of those things to myself. Those are all thoughts that I take into consideration. Well if I say all those things. How am I going to feel about exercising definitely not going to want to exercise and am I going to exercise it will the behavior be exercising. Absolutely not. If that's what I'm thinking to myself but I'm going to tell you what I think to myself the first thing that I say to myself and you know Mandy you might not feel like exercising. That's OK You don't have to feel like exercising to exercise. You just have to recognize that you know how do you feel after you exercise. I actually feel pretty good two reasons one is psychologically when I exercise. I feel pretty good about doing something that I didn't want to do in the beginning and actually accomplishing it. Do you ever do that where you finally do the thing that you know you should do and then afterwards you're like couldn't you dog but I can't believe you did that we did go and if ILS really good it pumps you up. How about the other feeling that goes with it. Of feel good when I walk there like tree trunks. Ah some like I love that solid feeling where my muscles. It's not like a painful throb it's like just like when I'm walking afterwards. You know back to where I'm going or something like that. I'm like yeah I just exercise I feel good. I know you can't tell on my legs because I'm like I have like Flamingo legs but. I do like to exercise and there are muscles there but the other thing that I like to and that's sometimes people will say well you don't need to exercise you're skinny and I say well what about the internal effects of exercising. The internal effects on my mind on my body my intestines in all of the blood that's flowing through me getting that oxygen and everything that feels pretty good knowing that I'm doing something good for my body. But notice where my thoughts were my and my thoughts were focused on all the good things that happen from exercising right. So how do you think I'm going to go about considering exercise when I focus on that. Do you think I'm going to get up and exercise. Yeah I'm more likely to at least doesn't mean I have to but it surely means that I'm more likely to than if I think the other thing so what I tell myself my thoughts my only beliefs and my self talk all of those things directly affect how I feel and what I do that is the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy. Ellen White speaks of this over and over and over and over and over again and I'm going to show you some of that but first I want to share with you some of the things the Bible says about cognitive behavioral therapy without directly saying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy by the way the two guys that came up with cognitive the term cognitive behavioral therapy or Aaron back in Albert Ellis neither of them were Christians. Interesting God who loves us even if we don't get our stuff from him. Do you know I believe God blesses the righteous and the wicked and sometimes we learn how to do things even if we don't know about God and God gives us wisdom through that and so these two men that came up with it. They don't. It the credit for it because we know the Bible and God had it a long time before that but we'll let them have it and there are a lot of people learning some good things that hopefully will take them to God later. But Psalms ninety four nineteen says in the multitude of my thoughts within mean by comforts to light my soul. What is this person thinking of if it delights their soul. That's a feeling right. So what are they thinking about in order to effect a positive feeling. Good things about God right and the multitude of my thoughts. I'm thinking about the things that God says that comfort me and that brings comfort right. Second Corinthians ten seven do you look on things after the outward appearance. If any man trust to himself that he is Christ that's a positive thing to think about right. What hand of himself think this again. So consider it think it over and over and over that as his Christ. Even so are we. We should be considering these things over and over and over again we should be thinking these things over and over again. Luke twenty four thirty eight says and he said unto them why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts. What kind of thoughts are these. Troubling thoughts. Re troubling thoughts lead to troubling feelings and troubled behaviors right. This is all from the Bible. I know you may have not read it this way but this is how this is what happens when your therapist and you read the Bible. Philippians four eight one of my favorite all time favorite cognitive behavioral therapy verses whatsoever things are true honest just pure lovely of good report. If there be any virtue and if there be any praise what are we supposed to do think on means God's telling us. Yes there was word what to do with our thoughts. I'm not to think about the things that are false. Right. I'm not to think about the things that are impure right. And then what happens to us when we think about all the true honest pure or just of good report things God wants us to be happy and he tells us exactly how to do that. He also wants us to be productive and he tells us how to do that sums for the first five Many Oh Lord my God are the I wonder full works which thou hast done and via thought so even God the way God thinks about us that affects how he feels about us and what he does towards us. And I thought switcher to us where they cannot be reckoned up in order and to be if I would declare and speak of them they are more than can be numbered. Also if we consider what God sponsor towards us. We can actually think about what God's thoughts are towards us. That's a pretty nice thing to be able to do as well. But also Spirit of Prophecy covers this and I told you we would look at some of the things that Ellen White says by the way she was one of the greatest psychologist I wish somebody had given her to a degree in the book Mind character and personality I recommend everybody read this book. It is a very powerful self-help book and probably the most effective one. You'll Ever read. Besides the Bible the thoughts and feelings of the mother will have a powerful influence upon the legacy she gives her child if she allows her mind to dwell upon her own feelings and she indulges in selfishness. If she is peevish and exacting the disposition of her child will testify to the fact. There is a step that it misses and this. If the thoughts of the mother are all of these negative things what will her actions also be negative and that's what the. Child sees. So it's not just that the mother has these negative thoughts. It's that because of those negative thoughts those negative thoughts reap behaviors and the child sees those behaviors and sadly that some of the reason why we are in our situations today is because not only did our parents not teach us how to do things the right way. How do I think the right way act the right way to feel or control the way we feel the right way is that oftentimes they were struggling themselves because nobody taught them. So how can we expect them to teach us when nobody taught done and I can't tell you how many times I have people who come to me and say you know me and I tried to tell my mom this I tried to tell my dad that I was going through this but they wouldn't listen. And I say you know the reason often the important people in our lives. Don't listen to us when we're going through something difficult is because they haven't resolved the difficulties in their own life and how can they take on our problems when they haven't even resolved. There's. So it's not that that person doesn't love you or doesn't care for you or you're not important to them. It's just sometimes because nobody's teaching us this stuff. People don't know how to take on our stuff because they haven't figured it out for themselves. So if you're going through something difficult please don't listen to the double tell you. O.C. people don't care it's realistically more likely that they can't care because they don't have the capacity to at this point but that is a lie. The devil will tell us to keep us out of the church to keep us out of all different types of places and connecting with others so that we're all isolated in dealing with it on our own and nobody's there but him to whisper lies to us. Another quote she says in the same book when invalids have nothing to occupy their time and attention their thoughts become centered. On themselves and they grow more big and irritable. Those are behaviors and emotions that respond from those thoughts many times they dwell upon their bad feelings until they think themselves much worse than they really are and wholly unable to do anything. Do you realize how powerful your thoughts are. You can actually convince yourself that you're worse off than you really are. That's why I do a group every day and the first thing that we do when I have my group check in is to consider these are people by the way that are all experiencing depression and anxiety. So the first thing I ask them to do is consider what they're grateful for. It's a good way to balance the negative thoughts. Great way to balance the negative thoughts and many of them at first when they first come into the group have a really hard time thinking of something they're grateful for. But by the end of the group some of them are quite creative about the things that they're grateful for. Today I'm grateful to wake up in about twice as many degrees as I had when I left California surprisingly California is always thought of as really warm. Well where I live it's been down in the thirty's in the forty's lately so I came here and I was like for the first time in my life I'm like whoa much and I was not dressed for those weather either. But I was dressed for the cold weather at home but I'm thankful to be warm. Even if I'm slightly right. I forget sometimes people might hear this elsewhere. Mine character and personality also says let us play sort of thoughts upon holy things let them be pure and true for the only security for any soul is what. Right thinking. We are to use every means that God has placed within our reach for the government and cultivation of our thoughts his truth will sanctify us. Body and Soul and Spirit and we shall be unable to rise above temptations. So how does this work. I'm going to if you have a paper and a pen or something like that. This is the time to pull it out. You're welcome to take pictures. I know we all love to take pictures of flood easier. I just lost my video for a second. I think it'll come back. But this is a good time to take out your pen and paper. And if you want the best way to do this when it comes back on is to turn your paper so it's landscape size. So like this versus like that. Oh there we go. So this is this is the second approach that we use with cognitive behavioral therapy so this is a little bit more advanced than just the triangle but this is how the triangle works. So we call these the A.B.C.'s of cognitive behavioral therapy somebody who might know cognitive behavioral therapy might say oh well this isn't actually cognitive behavioral therapy this is Rational Emotive behavioral therapy but I don't want to confuse you. That's just a subsection of cognitive behavioral therapy. So I'm just calling it the A.B.C.'s of C.V.T. but already BT is a subsection of C B T So don't worry. But the A.B.C.'s we only have to learn five letters. So the first letter is activating event every single one of us has activating events in our lives and another term for that is maybe triggers or stressors in our lives. Now if there are positive triggers and positive stressors in our lives we don't have to worry about that but I'm going to teach you what to do when you have negative triggers and negative stressors. These can be one of two different things. One. I'm actually going to jump to the second one first because that's the most obvious one. The first type of activating event is a external activating event so these are the people in the situations in our lives that seem to stress us more than others. Now sadly some of those people are in our. And families. They tend to be the biggest stressors maybe it's crazy uncle. I don't want to put a name in there because somebody might get upset that I use their name. Maybe it's crazy. Grandma so and so the who does these things and says these things and just gets under your skin but we all have the external people and situations that causes stress. So for example someone makes a derogatory comment about me that would be considered an external act of beating about it so external activating events I call them the people and the situations in our lives that causes stress and and trigger us. But then there's also another one and this is the last obvious one. These are the internal activating events in our lives and the internal activating a bounce in our lives can actually be thoughts and feelings. I can wake up in the morning. Maybe I'm prone to depression and I wake up in the morning and without anything happening. I just feel this doom heaviness sadness something that comes over me and I don't know where it came from. It's not like somebody did something or something happened. It's just it just all of a sudden comes over me. That I can be in activating event. Another thing too I can actually have thoughts that come into my head that aren't triggered by anything they are the trigger all of a sudden I'm walking down the street and I get the spot in my head. Amanda. Nobody likes you. Nobody said anything to me. Nobody did anything but this thought just comes through my head. Now the secular therapist would say oh well these are things that we make up. I believe these things are the doubles working. These are things that he's taught us over and over and over again and they seem to pop up whenever you know he wants to remind us about. But these can also be activating events in our lives. I think I'm going to get the screen back. So then the next thing is consequences so I'm jumping past the B. and I'm going to go straight to consequences because most of us believe in what is called A to C. thinking those activating advance directly affect how I feel and what I do or my behaviors and my feelings or emotions. So the consequences of somebody saying a derogatory comment might be sadness depression loneliness feeling defeated. And the behavioral consequences might be that I cry or I go through the flight fight or freeze scenario I might isolate and I might do something to harm myself and not when I use self harm I consider that anything that abuses myself including drugs alcohol even food sometimes when it's not for just eating purposes and nourishment. But those things are what we often think happened. Directly because of these people in our life the circumstances in our lives or even the feelings that come over me or the thoughts that come over me. I've had I've had people before who have been driving along and nothing bad is happening. And they have said things to them all of a sudden a thought goes through their head man what would it. What would it be like if I just drove right off the street and into this tree. And they don't even think about that they just go well if I thought it must be so. So are people who you know attempt suicide. They might have a thought go through their head and they go Well I thought it. I just need to respond to it and do exactly what my thought was they don't stop to think about it. But that's what's considered a to see thinking and this was one of the reasons why I hate love songs. Because just about every love song I've heard I haven't heard them all so I'm sure there's a good one out there. But just about every love song is like if I have you in my life I'm happy if I don't have you in my life. Those are all activating events. How do I feel I'm miserable lonely. There's even a song that says I'm nothing nothing nothing. If I don't have you. Well what were they before that person. Were they. Nothing so that now that that person is not around. They're nothing again. No that's not true but that's actually what our media often teaches us is this to see thinking I can only be happy. This way I can I'm going to be sad if this happens and I don't have any control over it and that's what I love about cognitive behavioral therapy or even what the Bible tells us that sounds like cognitive behavioral therapy is that no I have a choice and that choice comes from the B. and the B. is the same thing as the top of the triangle but we call it believes because it's just another word for thoughts just like self talk is another word to say you can use believe self talk or thoughts and the of those words interchangeably. For what do I believe about the activating event. So when when you have an activating event in your life you just don't go from zero to sixty from activating event to consequence. There's something that happens along the way in between the zero in the sixty and what that is is what do I think about that. Did you know that you can actually think about your own thoughts. Have you ever had a thought come through your head and go on. It was I. Why what I think that. So we're. There's a term for that in psychology it's called metacognition It merely means thinking about what you're thinking about. Sounds crazy doesn't it. Know it if you think about your thoughts. You're using metacognition that's an entirely appropriate thing to do. To check your thoughts are these good thought. Should I be thinking something else. Sometimes thoughts come through my head and I say why are you thinking out of me and that you need to put something else in your brain instead don't think about that. I think about something else and then I quickly go to something else that is more productive and healthy to think about. But our thoughts self talk and self talk and beliefs can be either irrational or irrational. And we know it's irrational because we'll have negative consequences if it's irrational. Now that doesn't mean every single time that all have a negative cons are that a negative consequence means a negative believe thought or self talk because sometimes for instance say an activating event is I lost somebody in my life whether they moved away or they died or something. Is it appropriate to be sad to have the feeling or emotion of sadness when somebody goes away or we lose somebody. Absolutely. So I don't want you to think this is like magical like who once I learned all this. I'll never have a bad feeling again I'll never be in pain. I'll never have to suffer no the big thing is these emotions here. All of these things can be appropriate for a moment. Now maybe not the defeated one or even the lonely one for too long but there can be a sense of loneliness even when other people are around if you don't connect with people or if there's a shallowness to the environment that you're in. But the one thing that I do not want you to feel in the midst of these things in you will not have to feel if you practice when I'm teaching you is hopelessness. I can feel sad and hopeless or I can feel sad and hopeful. What would you rather feel sad and hopeful but that comes from what is my belief is my belief that I'll never be myself. Now that this person is. Gone or that I'll never be able to live are all never be happy again those are all believes. Or can I say to myself you know my life is going to be different from here on out but it doesn't have to be bad. I can miss this person and things can still be OK. Absolutely. A week or. So I can have three different types of beliefs or thoughts and are actually four different types I was looking at the second one those believe self talk so our thoughts can actually come in four different categories. Those are beliefs about myself. Beliefs about others and I would include God and not because some of our beliefs about God can also be irrational beliefs about our circumstances and beliefs about the future. Those are the four categories that are believes thoughts and self talk tend to fall into and all get more into this later but our thoughts beliefs and self talk tend to be three levels to the automatic thought that's the first layer I want I want you to think of like layers of sediment you know the top layer than the middle layer in the bottom layer. The top layer would be the automatic thought and not might be all of your friends around you or a bunch of your friends around you or even your family and they say oh we're going to go hang out with so and so. And you might say I don't want to go. That's an automatic thought that's just the first thing that comes through your mind. But underneath that is what we call an underlying assumption in so usually end in a statement form of if this then that. So in this case it might be if I go hang out with them or if I go to the party then no one's going to want to talk to me. So you see it's getting a little. More in-depth at first we don't even know why they don't want to go to the party the second layer is they don't want to go to the party because they don't think anybody will want to talk with them but the then then the very core layer the core beliefs might be. I don't want to go to the party because if I go to the party the No one will want to talk to me and then the core part is because I'm not that interesting or I'm a boring person. So originally we didn't know why that person didn't want to go to the party we thought well why when they want to go. We know all these people they're friends with them but at the very core of the reason they don't want to go is because they don't believe they're interesting or they don't think that they're important or anybody likes them. That we all have certain core beliefs that actually keep us from doing things. That's why we isolate that's why we solve harm that's why we're sad and depressed and lonely or anxious because at the heart of every one of our believe self talk and thought is something deep about ourselves about others. One of the things about others and that can even include God is I don't trust people. Why would you want to do anything productive if you don't trust people because so far I know most of the things you do in life have to involve other people. So you see that core belief. I don't trust people. That affects all of their behaviors. So by the way I don't trust everybody. But it doesn't matter because I trust God. And I don't have to trust anybody. And you know it's not that bad. Even if you don't trust people because the only reason I don't trust people is because they can't all possibly know what my expectations are for them. I have certain expectations that you don't all have of people and that's OK and it doesn't mean that my life or evolves around those expectations it's just things that I like or I prefer but I can still like people even if they don't. My expectations because my deeper core belief. Is that just because they don't meet my expectations doesn't mean I can't spend time with them. I can't witness to them and I can enjoy their company. Interesting how that works. But I've spent a lot of time working on my own beliefs my own self talk in my thoughts and that's what makes it that much easier to spend time with other people and myself even some people don't want to spend any time with themselves because they don't like themselves so they have been restless when they have to be by themselves. But all of these things. All of these beliefs are what directly affect the consequences. And those consequences. Are emotions are only important as they point out to us the thoughts behind our emotions a lot of therapy nowadays focuses on what the emotions are I don't like to focus a lot on the emotions because then that puts a importance on them. The importance of emotions is only to reflect to us what our thoughts our beliefs and our self talk is so if I have a lot of negative emotions that tells me this person has a lot of negative thoughts. Also we should know our emotions but more importantly we should manage our emotions rather than letting us be managed by our emotions can you do you know that in a storm. I used to think when I was younger that captains of ships if they got into a storm just kind of stopped the boat there and waited for the storm to rock them all over the place. And go back and forth until the storm and did did you know that there is actually a way to steer a ship in a storm effective ways to steer a ship in a storm how little do we do we steer our own emotional ships in storms. We go oh I feel this way. I'm just going to rock back and forth with it whatever ever my emotions take me rather than realizing I can actually do. Something about my favs. But the cool thing is my believes this actually represents a choice. Most people feel like they're a victim to their emotions. Even their behavior sometime I can't stop doing these things I keep doing them they don't realize that if they make a choice over what thoughts they think that they can actually change the outcome which are their emotions and their behaviors. Our behaviors are important because they also affect how we feel or affect our emotional wellbeing. Now if I accept size. I'm more likely to feel good. Why there's something that exercise directly does that makes me feel good. And orphans. Absolutely. If I exercise. I will more likely feel better than if I don't exercise even if there's some a pain with it. And so I need to exercise because maybe I'd be worse off if I didn't ACARS exercise even if I haven't done anything with my thoughts if I exercise. I'm still going to feel a little bit better because there's all these biological things that happen when I X. or size. So I want to do that. In order to a fact our beliefs though are have an effect on our beliefs we have to do something when they're irrational and this is what we call the D. which is dispute. And dispute comes. Is something that we do when we want to change what we're thinking what we tell ourselves and what our beliefs are. And according to cognitive behavioral therapy. There's something called Socratic questioning. Does anybody know who. Socrates was a loss of for you know what philosophers like to do. They love to ask questions they don't always come to conclusions because by the time you get close to a conclusion the up just. Another question. You keep going. I have a client who's a philosopher right now makes for a very interesting. Therapy session but but the two questions. The two most important questions we want to ask ourselves is is my belief thought or self talk true and is it helpful. I'm going to spend some more time in one of my other talks talking to you about all the other questions that we can ask ourselves but these are the two main questions and the reason we ask those questions because if it's not true. Do I want to think it. That's like building a house on a foundation that's not actually structurally sound. Why would I build my house on that foundation. If that's not true but also the next question. We want to ask is Is it helpful. Now some people have said one man to Y. If it's not if it's true what I ask myself Is it helpful. Well say for instance I'm at work and I've been working on this project and I really mess with a project. And there's a lot of negative consequences to that. Now I can say I failed. Maybe I did fail. I don't put a huge weight on failing sometimes when we fail we actually something good can come out of it. But say I fail. Now if I spend this next six months telling myself over and over and over again that I failed. What happens is it true. Yeah it's true I fail but for six months tell myself is that helpful. Have you ever have you ever listen to a sermon in the person next to you. Goes oh I missed that. What did they say. And as you're trying to tell them what they just missed what happens you miss the next part and you're always trying to catch up. That's the same thing with telling myself something that's true but not helpful. I'm spending an inordinate amount of time on something that's not helping me either a learn from it or to fix it. I can't spend my time working on fixing something if I'm spending all my time just thinking about it over and over and over again and how awful it is. And in some cases that may not even be true because maybe it's not as awful as I'm thinking it is. But for example I might ask myself Is it true when was a time someone said something nice about me because remember the example it earlier was this is a derogatory comment that somebody made about me. When was the time someone said something nice about about me who thinks I'm worthwhile. Well that's an easy one. God does does this thought help me move out of my depression and do what I'm called by God to do what does God think of me. These are all questions along those lines and will spend some more time doing not in another talk. But these are some examples of disputing what evidence do I have that I am worthy. When is the time I was treated fairly. What does the Bible God have to say about me and my situation. What are the exceptions to my thinking that I am hopeless to others think my life is over in the scheme of things. Is it really that important that this person wasn't trustworthy who is or has been trustworthy in my life and my only thinking this because someone suggested this. This isn't just for the example I gave you. These are for all of the questions that we might have about ourselves that come to us in our beliefs talk or thoughts. Will this help me and my desire to move forward. What I allow a little child or my best friend to think this way. Sometimes or so hard on ourselves we don't even realize I would never let my own child think this about themselves but yet all beat myself up with this thought over and over and over again. And we do that. But when we dispute effectively dispute and then the most important thing is reframe remember the story of the lady in the Bible who got rid of all of the demons and then what happened. They came back. Even more than what she had originally had and the reason for that is because just like our thoughts. I can tell myself oh don't think that. But if I don't replace it with something even more powerful even more effective then what happens. I'll just have that keep coming up over and over and over again and I like to think of it is like having two plants. The plant I water is the plant that grows right. If I water the good true thoughts. What's going to grow. Good feelings and good behaviors. If I water the negative thoughts plant. What's going to come out of it. I want the negative thought plant to die. So I need to get rid of helping it and only help the one that's going to be productive. The one that's going to help me do the things that God wants us to do and I firmly believe that one of the reasons that we suffer so much is because the devil doesn't want us to do our God given ability. And so he'll attack us on every front in the biggest one often is our thoughts because if I can stay focused on how awful I am I'm not going to do the things that God has for me to do. So we need to replace the irrational belief with a rational belief and then the consequences which are the emotions and the behaviors will be positive or hopeful versus hopeless. And it has very little to do with the activating event so don't blame your mom anymore and don't blame your dad don't blame your boss or your teachers or whoever it might be turned back and say you know what it's my own thoughts about these things and I while I may not have control over those people in those circumstances in my life I do have control over my own thoughts and I can change those. And when we do that. That's when we have effect of change. In our lives. It's not because all of those things happen I can't get rid of all those people in your life but I can help you get rid of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive more rational thoughts. And those rational thoughts will help you be able to do your God given ability. And testimonies for the church book five page three ten it says you should acquire habits of self-control. Even your thoughts must be brought in just objection to the will of God you know that you have a responsibility as to what you think. This is part of the Christian life. And your feelings under the control of reason and religion your imagination was not given you to be allowed to run riot and have its own way without any effort at restraint or discipline. I believe imagination one of the reasons we hear it so much today is because that's one of the things the double wants us to do there too. I have to pet peeves. Well I actually have a lot of pet peeves but I'm just going to tell you two of them right now. One is that reading is really important I think reading is important but I think specific reading is important and nowadays you hear all the stuff like OK it should read just give him whatever they read let him read anything. No I don't believe. The other thing is we need to use our imaginations. Some of you have some pretty awful imaginations. I'm going to I'm not going to point you Alex. I don't know you that well but I'm just guessing in a room this size you have some pretty bad imaginations and those imaginations cause you to sabotage yourself. We need to have control over our imaginations they're not given to us to run riot with. They're given us to come up with creative ways to witness to others to bring other people into God's kingdom not to just stop at tars ourselves. If the thoughts are wrong. The feelings will be wrong and the thoughts and feelings combined make up a moral care. After. God wants us to be happy and John ten ten it says the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy but God says I have come that they may have wife and have it abundantly. God never intended you for your to intended for you to just survive. To just make it from one day to the next he intended for you to arrive and to strive so much that you have other people with you in heaven that have come there because of the work that you've been able to do and we all have some and I don't need to waste your funds because God does. Thank you for this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been heard in Houston Texas a supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W W W G Y C web where Gene.


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