By: Lindsay Tedder
“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:13
“If you can’t control what you think, you will never control what you do,” I heard her say. She was right but why did it seem so impossible? As we stood around my kitchen island, just like we do so frequently, I looked at her absolutely dumbfounded.
“How? How could I control what I think?” I silently pondered as she continued to cascade her unmistakable wisdom upon my ever-present ear. “How can I stop telling myself the lie that I am incapable? Incapable of being healthy, of living healthfully, of successfully carrying a pregnancy to term?” Incapable was the resounding lie I spoke so freely over myself during this trying season in my life.
Throughout the duration of our conversation, she never judged me, she never made me feel like the words she was speaking were impossible for someone “like me” to accomplish. She simply expelled the wisdom that she had gleaned from her own life and trials filtered by His Word. So is the simplistic beauty of unadulterated friendship. This woman, who is one of my best girls, spoke to me that day as if she had a lifeline straight to heaven.
I love how God uses His people as instruments in His hand. I heard what she was saying and I knew she was right but I also knew it was directly from Him. I knew that I had to change my ways and in order to do so, I had to control my thoughts.
When our minds aren’t focused on truth, they will always wander towards lies.
Unfortunately, the lies that I let fill my head were crippling.
What lies are crippling your mind today? Are they words that ring as clear as a church bell on a wedding day saying: “I’m not good enough,” “No one will want to be my friend,” “I’m too fat,” “I’m too ugly,” “My laugh is too loud,” “I’ll always be second best,” or “No one will ever want to be around me if they know my secrets?”
Girlfriend - those are bogus. No, I don’t know you, we’ve never met but I promise you - those lies are complete garbage. Please believe me when I say that God created you and He doesn’t make mistakes. Here’s the raw truth, the real deal: I am overweight, but I’m not “too fat.” I am not a beauty queen, but I’m not “too ugly.” My laugh is paramount in comparison to most but it certainly isn’t “too loud.” God created me knowing full well that I would struggle with a healthy lifestyle and being overweight but He allows this to be part of my testimony. Nothing about my identity disqualifies me from His promises. In fact, His specialty is qualifying the unqualified.
In the verse above we see the command to be “sober-minded” with our “minds ready for action.” Reading these words, I can hear the voice of my incredibly wise friend as we stood around the kitchen island “If you can’t control your mind, you’ll never control what you do.” Was my mind ready for action? Not at all! In fact, I didn’t even know what “ready for action” looked like.
In order to take back control of my mind, I had to surrender control to my King. I had to set my hope completely on the grace of Jesus Christ. COMPLETELY. Now for someone who tends to naturally lean towards being a control freak, surrendering complete control to someone else was a blow to my psyche. Allowing Him to control my thoughts isn’t easy. In fact, it is a daily battle. Scratch that…some days it is a minute-by-minute battle but it is the only way. When I start to feel “too fat” or “too loud,” I ask God to remind me who He created me to be, and then I have to remember His words. Think of it this way; if you wouldn’t say it about your friend, then you sure as heck better not be saying it about yourself. As we stood around my kitchen island over coffee and laughter, I would never speak to my wise friend the lies I speak to myself. I would never tell her that she is too much or too little of anything, for I only see the beauty in which she was created.
You, my friend, are a beautiful God-breathed woman who may be many things but “too much” or “not enough” are not some of those things. Cling to Him and allow Him to have complete control of your mind, only then will you be ready for action.
Lindsay Tedder is a believer, wife, mom, bestie and writer who lives in Columbus, Ohio with her bearded, bourbon-loving husband and her too-cool-for-school toddler. Raised by a hardworking single mom, she overcame such trauma as sexual abuse induced food addiction, the debilitating health issues associated with endometriosis, a decade of infertility, and recurring life themes of worthlessness. Despite it all, Lindsay is a ray of light, always sharing His love wherever she goes.
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