Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Replacing Thoughts of Comparison

There was a time a few years ago when I was teaching infants that I was struggling and I was comparing myself with the other teacher in the classroom. In order to replace the negative thoughts that I was having…

“I can’t do this.”

“I told my boss I wasn’t cut for teaching infants full time.”

…I started saying things (out loud) like “I’m just as good as so-and-so” or “I’m better at this than…” Well, my conversations with myself  were overheard by one of my co-workers and these comments were relayed back to my other co-workers. Even though my comments were positive about me I was still comparing myself to others…only I was trying to convince myself that I was just as good if not better than they were.

I learned the lesson the hard way that there are right and wrong ways to replace thoughts of negativity and comparison. I came across to my co-workers as arrogant and superior when the truth was that I was feeling inferior.

At one time or another most of us (if not all of us) struggle with negative thinking and comparing ourselves to other people,  and in my last blog, I shared with you what can be done to change the tendency to be negative and compare ourselves to others. (The 4 R’s: Recognize, Repent, Replace, & Repair) The one of these steps that I find the hardest is replacing the thoughts of comparison.

How do you take the thoughts that seem to just randomly pop into your head and block them or stop them altogether?  Well, here is what I have been doing when I need to replace negative thoughts.

1)   Pray

Our first line of defense against negative thinking should always be prayer. Ask the Lord to remove these thoughts and pray out loud. The Lord will remove these thoughts when asked. I was sitting at home one evening, and I felt like I was under attack. I had negative thoughts about myself just flooding my mind and I was struggling to find any reason to move forward. I had opened my Bible and was trying to read, but nothing was getting through the thoughts. I started praying out loud, pleading with God to take away these thoughts, when I just felt flooded with His peace and I suddenly couldn’t remember what I was thinking about, at least not the exact thoughts that were attacking me. I recommend praying out loud because Satan and his minions do not read thoughts.

2)   Read Scripture

Spending time everyday reading the Bible is important, but when you feel down on yourself or are comparing yourself to others you need to saturate yourself in the Word. Look up verses that remind you that how much God loves you. One of my favorite books in the Bible to read is the Song of Solomon. (Yes, I know how racy it is.) To me, it is a reminder of how passionately we are loved by God. Some of my other favorite places to read when I find myself comparing to others are Psalms 139; Proverbs 31; Psalm 103; and Matthew 5:13-16. d by God. Some of my other favorite places to read when I find myself com

3)   Memorize Scripture

What if you are out shopping or at work and you don’t have your Bible with you? (Which if you are like me, isn’t very likely because I have a copy on my phone.) Then start quoting Scripture out loud or in your head. Memorization is one way that you can make sure that you always have your Bible with you. Here are some great articles I have found on Scripture memorization:

4)   My Love Letters from Jesus Journal

As I have shared in a previous blog, I keep a journal where I write down “Love Letters” from Jesus. They are usually Bible verses that I paraphrase and make them personal. For more information on how to make one of your own, click here

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