Have you noticed that one day you can be super confident, focused and unbeatable and then the next day you feel like a loser without hope? Without the certainty that you are a child of God and that your life has meaning and purpose, you drift on the shifting sands of ambiguity, anxiety and timidity.
You once believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Your experience told you they were true. You saw gifts miraculously appear under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. You placed your tooth beneath our pillow, and by golly, the next day there was money there! You had hard evidence that both Santa and the Tooth Fairy did, in fact, exist. Then a few years passed and you added knowledge and wisdom to your experience, and your beliefs changed.
What you now believe is the sum total of your experience (all that has happened to you) and knowledge (everything you have learned), and your ability to properly interpret it all (wisdom).
That is why I spent some time talking to you about your belief in God. You need to use your experience, knowledge and wisdom to consider the evidence and make up your mind. Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, said, “You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.”
So for the rest of our discussion I am going to assume you, like 93% of all Americans, believe in God and move on to another question: what do you believe about yourself? It’s important, you know.
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What you think about yourself is the sum total of your experience, plus knowledge, but with the added input of a variety of messages sent to you by your parents, siblings, peers, teachers, coaches, managers, etc. Unless you readjust those messages with wisdom, you’ll be forever trapped with their declarations of who you are and what you can or cannot do.
You probably already know this, but everything your parents told you about you is not true, and everything your teachers, and coaches, and brothers and sisters said about you also is not true. Just like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, some of what they told you about you were illusions, some of it was fabricated, and some of it was out-right malicious.
Pause a moment and answer these questions about yourself: Do you believe you are a person of great worth or very little worth? Do you believe you have a high, low or medium IQ? Do you believe most people are fond of you, hate you, or just tolerate you? Do you believe you are able to rise above your present situation or do you believe you are stuck where you are? Do you believe tomorrow will be a good or a bad day?
And one more question: of those beliefs, can you discern which are fairy tales and which are true? That’s where wisdom must enter. You cannot depend on your experiences to define you for many of them are bad, even horrible. You cannot depend on what other people say about you to define you because some people have called you names and branded you with really nasty labels that are absolutely false.
You must define yourself. How? Check back here for the answer.
- 1.8: Perceive a Better You
- 1.10: How You Define Yourself Makes a Difference