As kids, ideas get planted deep inside us. As grown-ups, we hopefully get better at evaluating and rejecting ideas that are wrong or don’t apply. Ideas that get stuck in our head when we are children become like furniture in our minds. We don’t often evaluate furniture. It is just there.
Thanks to home improvement shows, it’s becoming more popular to hire help when we need to de-clutter. An outsider can often see what needs to be thrown out better than we can. Outside help is even more important when it comes to getting rid of faulty mental furniture. That’s why I’m extremely grateful for the challenge and support of my community group, kind friends, and the counselor I’m seeing.
After sharing something with my counselor last week, she asked about the lies she had just heard me say. Lies? Really? I don’t set out to lie to anyone. I didn’t think I had told her any lies.
The first lie she pointed out was that I had said I was defective.
I wondered—where’s the lie in that? That’s just fact. (Yep. That’s mental furniture all right.)
Growing up I couldn’t spell, struggled to read, cried too much—especially when faced with numbers. I rocked when I was supposed to sit still. I talked when I was supposed to be quiet. I don’t know that teachers told me outright that I was defective—but the evidence sure seemed to point that way.
Then add in the social challenges. Doesn’t my singleness prove I am too defective for anyone to want to date or marry?
My counselor listened, but challenged my assumptions. I don’t remember our words, but the conversation seemed to play out along these lines.
“Did God truly make you defective?”
“Well, I guess that’s not His way.”
“Do you consider others who struggle in school to be defective?”
“How about other singles?”
I must be exceptionally good at paradox because while I’ve held onto this I’m-defective-mental furniture I have also held onto Ephesians 2:10 which says that I’m “God’s masterpiece created . . . to do the good things He planned.”
God says I’m His artwork, His poem, His good design. How can I believe Him while also thinking I’m defective? I want my mind and heart to be God’s home, yet I’ve left mental furniture that seems to be right where the enemy sits while he spouts out variations on the theme of my ineptitude.
I have to capture “rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). If I were writing lesson plan objectives to teach my thoughts to obey Christ I’m guessing my first objective would be: The student will meditate day and night on the following truths–
1—God is an incredibly good designer which means the way He designed me is good.
2—God specifically planned all the work He has for me to do over my entire life—which includes not only tasks for me to accomplish but people for me love and purposes for me to fulfill. My nonstandardness is a direct fit for the nonstandard work He planned for me.
3—Far from defective, empowered by God’s Spirit I’m 100% effective at accomplishing all God gives me the opportunity and grace to accomplish.
This student is ready to take on the challenge of that objective. I’m finding scriptures to post in prominent places. I’m making playlists I can sing and dance along with to reinforce my learning. This year’s spring cleaning of my mind and heart includes the removal of this mental furniture that’s taken up space for far too long.
What thoughts have become mental furniture for you? Do you struggle with thinking you’re defective? Or is your struggle more about feeling worthless or feeling too far gone? What truth is God guiding you into that is big enough to push your faulty furniture out of your way? I’d love to hear from you as I’ve got a whole lot more to learn about letting Truth dominate my thinking.