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CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS . . .

CHANGE YOUR LIFE

by

Dr. Paul W. Carlin, Th.D., LBT

Founder of The Therapon Institute and Belief Therapy

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

©Copyright 2001 Paul Carlin Crockett, Texas 75835 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Dr. Paul W. Carlin, Sr. P.O. Box 1168 Crockett, TX 75835 PH: (713) 682-3643 FAX: (713) 682-6555 www.therapon.org

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Dedicated To The Bowman Medical Group

The husband and wife ministry team Of Al Bowman, M.D. and Joyce Bowman, LPC, who are elevating Biblical counseling to a higher level of dignity and credibility

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Table of contents

Illustration 1

Categories of Lies We Believe

...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... ......

7 9 11 15 19 25 29 33 39 43 51

Illustration 2

What to Think About

Introduction

Imperative Reading

Change Your Beliefs Behavior The Heart The Mind Licensed Professionals Speak We Have A Problem The Scriptures Speak 20 Lies We Believe

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Some Common

Strongholds of the Mind

Categories of Lies We Believe

A picture of the unhealthy mind

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

What to Think About

Philippians 4:8

A picture of the healthy mind

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

INTRODUCTION

I begin with a brief explanation of why the unregenerate person (non-Christian), whether he or she is a professional clinician or a paraprofessional in the counseling field, may have difficulty with our position on Biblical, faith-based, Christ-centered, Belief Therapy therapeutic treatment process. The Bible says in Acts 17:28, "For in Him (in Christ) we live, and move, and have our being." The verse expresses the Biblical position we call Positional Truth. A person is either "in Adam" (by nature) or "in Christ" (by faith) (Romans 5, 6). Christ is the source of our life ("we live"), our direction ("we move"), and our identity ("have our being"). Not "our doing," but "our being." Being is more important than doing. First John 5:12 says, "He that has the Son has life; he that has not the Son of God has not life." Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success at living the victorious Christian life. As Belief Therapists, we are not into helping people become survivors. We are into helping people become over-comers through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Before you proceed, stop now and read 1 Corinthians 2-3:4. The passage is much too long for me to print the entire text here. But I will trust you to read it now. The verses explain the basis for what I am going to say and quote. Otherwise what you are about to read will make no sense to you at all. Have your Bible open to this passage as you read these brief introductory remarks. Dr. Jay Adams, qualified theologian and considered by many to be the most brilliant mind in the field of Christian counseling, writes in his Christian Counselor's Commentary on 1 Corinthians exactly what I want to say. So I shall quote him. He writes regarding 1 Corinthians 2 ­ 3:4: "It is just this difference between the regenerate and the unregenerate person that makes all the difference in counseling. As in education, the wise Christian teacher recognizes that not all are equally educable, so too in counseling you must distinguish between those who can understand and effectively apply the Word of God to their lives in order to make those changes that please God and those who cannot. "Few facts could be more important to the Christian counselor than those taught in this chapter (1 Corinthians 2-3:4). They are foundational to all effective counseling. The counselor must recognize that all counseling that purports to be Christian must bring about change that is pleasing to God. But if unregenerate persons can neither understand nor do things that God requires, it is impossible to counsel them. The important truth for counselors, therefore, is that they should not attempt to counsel nonbelievers. Since counseling is the instruction and application of truth that enables one to love God and his

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

neighbor (as Jesus summed up the content of Scripture), counselors must reckon with the fact that the love of God (love He gives and accepts) is not "poured into our hearts" until the Spirit of God is (Romans 5:5). "There is no way the `natural' person (who is `in the flesh', not in the Spirit) can make changes that please God. Such changes are part of the sanctifying work of God's Spirit that takes place only in regenerate persons. Counseling, therefore, must be seen as a part of the sanctification process. But no one can be sanctified until and unless he has first been regenerated and justified. Changes made by unbelievers are displeasing to God, even when formally in accordance with His word, because they are but skin deep. They do not stem from a heart of love for Jesus Christ. They are hypocritical: outward only. God did not command His church to make hypocrites (those whose outer state does not conform to their inner one). There are enough whitewashed sepulchers, full of death and corruption within. We do not need to manufacture more. "What then should we do? We should certainly not attempt to do the impossible ­ counsel unbelievers. Instead, we should do what God commanded in the first place: evangelize them! That does not mean that you should not do good for unbelievers ­ feeding, clothing them ­ but it does mean that you should not attempt to make them good. That is something, as we have seen, they are incapable of doing. Because some have misunderstood this important distinction, they have confused two very important matters. "It is not only a waste of time to attempt to change unbelievers since any change they make is other than the change that God requires, but it is positively harmful to try. Because unbelievers who follow your advice and make outward changes receive a small amount of relief, they may think they have the real thing. That is a twofold tragedy. First, they settle for something other than God's way while thinking they have actually pleased Him. This makes it harder for them to realize their need for a Savior. Those who think they are well do not call for the doctor. And secondly, since the change they make is superficial and does not go to the heart of the matter, in six weeks or six months it will fall apart. Then thinking that they have tried God's counsel (even though they didn't), they conclude, `God's way doesn't work either.' Either way, you have harmed the potential counselee." In Belief Therapy we encourage beginning at the beginning ­ has the counselee been born again? As is taught in the 1 Corinthians passage, people are divided into three categories: the natural, who are unregenerate; the spiritual, who are regenerate, and are spiritually mature and the carnal, who are regenerate, but spiritually immature, i.e., "babes in Christ." We approach the ministry of counseling with those views in mind. The emphasis is on ministry! Christian counseling is a ministry. In the light of the Corinthian references I think we might rethink our expression "Christian counseling." We perhaps should begin thinking in terms of "counseling for Christians." Since the Bible identifies Christians as being a "family," we could even consider calling it "family counseling." (Eph. 3:15)

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

It might even be wise to identify Christian counselors as "human development counselors." Counseling is discipleship and discipleship is about human development.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Change Your Beliefs.... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Change your Life

In Matthew 22:29, Jesus is recorded as saying, "You are wrong because you know neither the scriptures nor God's power." (Amplified Translation) This inescapable truth strikes at the core of what I want to share in this brief work. The statement is probably Jesus' strongest rebuke of the most religious leaders of His day. The statement, however, is also true of many religious and therapeutic elite of this generation. In a noble attempt to help thousands of Christians who suffer in silence with life-controlling emotional problems and addictions, they have failed to bring the Scriptures and the power of God into the healing process. After all, does not the Scripture say in Matthew 8:17, "And thus He [Jesus] fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases." Weaknesses, infirmities and diseases are three categories of disorders included in the suffering and death of Jesus. The word "diseases" in the Greek language of the New Testament is "nosos." It means a malady or disability. We get our English word "nosology" from the Greek word "nosos." Nosology is the medical classification of diseases. It is the branch of medicine that deals specifically with diseases. The Greek word translated "infirmities" is "asthenia." It means "feebleness of body and mind." In the English definition of the Greek word is included conditions of both body and mind. The expanded English definition from Webster's is: Not firm or strong physically; not firm in mind or purpose; not resolute; vacillating; not sound; not secure or valid." Does that not describe some people with whom you counsel or disciple or who sit in your church on Sunday morning? The Bible says "infirmity" is a disorder Jesus carried to the cross. If healing is going to be wholistic (body, soul, spirit), then the Scriptures and the power of God, the cross, must be brought into the process! (1 Cor.1:18) The cross not only embodies what God did for us in the death of His Son, but what He has done and is doing in us. Look at the entire Isaiah text in chapter 53, verses three through five. It is describing the death of Christ. The verses say, "He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pain, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hid their faces. He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him. Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

distresses) considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needed to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole." (Amplified) Please read those lines again. It is very difficult in the light of their clarity to explain away what the verses are actually saying. In the death of Christ, God Himself became personally involved in our healing---sin, cognitive, physical, and emotional healing. Pastors, Christian professional mental health providers, paraprofessionals in counseling, Christians in Social Work and addiction specialists need to take a new look into what the cross of Christ made available for this discipline we call counseling. (Note the emphasis on the word "Christian" with the word discipline.) We should never expect this of traditional disciplines. Why then can we not understand that any therapeutic treatment modality that does not include the spiritual dynamics of the Scriptures and the death of Christ, the cross, which is the power of God, is incomplete? The reason the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write to the Christians at Thessalonica, chapter three, verse seven, was to reinforce the emotional healing process, i.e., "your whole personality." He wrote, "Brethren, for this reason, in [spite of all] our stress and crushing difficulties we have been filled with comfort and cheer about you [because of] your faith (the leaning of your whole personality on God in complete trust and confidence)." (Amplified) It is probably true that one reason people do not include the Scriptures and the power of God in their therapeutic counseling ministry is because they do not know the Scriptures. They have learned what Freud, Skinner, Rogers, Beck, Ellis, Glasser and others teach, but not what God teaches in His Word. Is that not what Jesus said in Matthew 22:29, "You are wrong not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God?" It is at this point I want to help. By understanding a few important Biblical words, I hope we can learn better how to bring the Scriptures and the power of God into the healing of our weaknesses, infirmities, diseases and " whole personality." By the way, just as a side note, do not resist using the word therapy or therapeutic in your Christian counseling ministry. The origin of the English word is from the Greek New Testament. The Greek word is "therapeuo." The noun form is therapeia. The words literally mean "to serve, to heal, to restore to health." The words are translated "cure" and "heal" in the New Testament. (Matthew 17:16, 18; Luke 7:21; Luke 9:1; John 5:10; Acts 28:9; Revelation 22:2) Another noun form of therapeuo is therapon. Therapon is translated "servant" in Hebrews 3:5. A therapon is someone who performs therapeia. The name of our Biblical counseling school is The Therapon Institute. Therefore, the word "therapy" does not belong to the medical or psychiatric disciplines. It is a word with

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deep spiritual roots. They got it from us! It is our word because it is Bible. Christians who have devoted thousands of hours to their health and human services professions, I trust, will gain valuable insight from our Scripturological, Christian, Biblical, faith-based, Belief Therapy approach to therapeutic treatment. Because of what you, as a Christian professional, already know about traditional treatment, once you learn the Scriptures and the power of God, you will see amazing progress in your Christian clients. The highest form of counseling is what we Scripturologists call "discipleship." It is sharing God's Word with another person to promote spiritual and emotional maturity. (Please do not be resistant to my use of the word Scripturology. "Scripture" is a reference to the Bible, and "ology," according to Webster, means a "field of learning"). I am neither a psychologist nor a licensed professional health care provider. I am, however, a theologian (Scripturologist) who does understand, "For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are required and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue)." (Amplified, 2 Peter 1:3).

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Behavior

"That thou ought to know how to behave thyself." (I Timothy 3:15). How true that is! People really should know how to behave themselves in and out of the house of God. Could it be true that behavior is based upon what a person knows? Is that not the inference of the verse? Even our reckoning, yielding and walking of Romans chapter 6, begins with knowing (Romans 6:1-6). People do what they do because they believe what they believe (Proverbs 23:7). That statement is the foundation upon which Belief Therapy is built. It is the lie vs. the truth approach to problem-solving and behavior modification. In other words, if what a person believes about a situation, circumstance, or condition is not the truth (i.e., a lie) then what he or she thinks about that situation, circumstance or condition will be problematic. The problematic thought will then produce a negative or darkened emotion. The darkened emotion will then produce godless, irresponsible behavior. Dr. Albert Ellis (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) was right when he wrote:

Belief <produces> Thought <produces> Feelings <produce> Behavior

The Bible identifies behavioral problems as being rooted in a heart problem. It also makes a strong connection between what we believe and what we think. The home for our belief system is our heart. That is, the heart as God perceives it. Salvation, for example, depends upon "believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead." (Romans 10:13) It is by believing in the heart, not in the head, that a person is saved. What we are attempting to do here is consider more than behavior modification. The Complete Life Encyclopedia, by Doctors Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, and Stephen Arterburn, M.Ed., published by Thomas Nelson (One of the finest works of its kind ever written. I would not be without it.) says, "Behavior modification is a process of changing the way a person responds through his or her actions (motor responses), thinking (cognitive responses), and feelings (emotional responses) to both external events and internal emotions. When a person tends to respond to painful memories or stressful events with negative, self-defeating behavior (called maladaptive behavior), that behavior can often be systematically, gradually changed by the application of behavior modification techniques. Behavior therapy emphasizes changes in a patient's overt behavior." Two interesting Greek words are translated into "maladaptive" behavior into our English form. In 2 Thessalonians 3:7, Paul says, "For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you." The term "behaved disorderly" is atakteo in the Greek. The word breaks down like this, "a" which is negative and "takteo," which means order. Maladaptive behavior is addressed in the Scriptures as

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

"negative order." We might think of it as "disorderly conduct." Remember, Belief Therapy recognizes the Bible as a book of behavior. Therefore, consider what Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 3 only four verses later. In verses 11 and 12, he is talking about members of their local church when he writes, "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now they that are such we command and exhort by the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." The word "disorderly" was a military word in Greek culture that described insubordination. Paul used the word to describe people within the local church whose lifestyles were not compatible with the truth. The Greek word used for "quietness" is hesuchazo. It is in contrast to "disorderly." Hesuchazo indicates a tranquility arising from within, causing no disturbance to others. It has to do with the human spirit and disposition. In 1 Corinthians 13:5, where the Apostle Paul talks about real love, we read, "[Real love] does not behave itself unseemly." The Greek word here for "unseemly" is aschemosune. It breaks down like this, "a" negative and "schema," form (i.e., a negative form). Maladaptive behavior here is described as a negative form. My point is that the Bible is a book of behavior. The Scriptures recognize and identify bad behavior. They neither ignore it nor condone it. That has been true for thousands of years. A classic example of Biblical, Christ-centered behavior modification is in Ephesians 4:28, which says, "Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need." (Amplified) When is a thief not a thief? When he quits stealing? Not according to Biblical standards. A thief is not a thief when he quits stealing, begins honest employment and becomes a giver. A thief is no longer a thief when he becomes something else -- a giver, not a taker. In Belief Therapy, however, we know there is one human quality or function that precedes what a person thinks, feels, and does. It is what a person believes in his or her heart. It is belief that eventually drives behavior. Our approach in Belief Therapy is not to ignore normal behavior modification methodology, but to increase the effectiveness and permanence of accepted therapy by going to the root of the problems. We are not suggesting an alternative, but an additive. There are times when a person may need to bypass his emotions and act on the truth (whether he believes it or not) to correct irresponsible, maladaptive behavior until his belief system and emotions can catch up with his corrected behavior. In a purely theological fashion, let me illustrate from the Scriptures (the inerrant, inspired, infallible, fully sufficient Word of God), the relationship between behavior and belief. I want to do that by quoting from the book of James, the second chapter. However,

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every place the King James translation has the word "faith," I am going to substitute the word "belief." I can do that because they are the same Greek word. In James 2:1, the practice of prejudice and partiality is described as being predicated upon what a person believes. (My quotes will be from the Amplified translation of the New Testament). "My brethren, pay no servile regard to people [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the belief of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord of glory] together with snobbery! For if a person comes into your congregation whose hands are adorned with gold rings and who is wearing splendid apparel, and also a poor [man] in shabby clothes comes in. And you pay special attention to the one who wears the splendid clothes and say to him, Sit here in this preferable seat! While you tell the poor [man], Stand there, or Sit there on the floor at my feet. Are you not discriminating among your own and becoming critics and judges with wrong motives?" (Verses 1-4) The verses are saying that prejudice and partiality are motivated by what a person believes. James details the illustration all the way through verse 13. We are talking about what belief has to do with behavior. What does one believe, or better yet, what lies (thinking errors if you have a sensitivity to the word lie) do people believe that breeds prejudice? God says in James that prejudice and partiality are wrong. Prejudice is not, as verse one says, the "belief of our Lord Jesus Christ." The fruit of the root (belief) is prejudice. Beginning with verse 17 we have, "So also belief, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead)." Another strong statement reflecting the relationship between our belief and our behavior is in verse 20: "Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually defiant) fellow, that belief apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless?" The chapter closes in verse 26 with, "For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so belief apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead." I say again, people do what they do because they believe what they believe. If people believe nothing, they will do nothing. If a person believes lies about the value and dignity of the people God created, they will be prejudiced and partial. If a person believes lies about whatever, their thoughts will be problematic, their emotions will be darkened, and their behavior will be irresponsible. To change negative, maladaptive, irresponsible, godless behavior we must specifically process the belief issues that are driving the behavior. If a clinician said that, it would be labeled "profound." However, because a theologian says it does not make it any less profound. What makes it profound is that it is the truth.

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

However, please remember that what I am saying must be interpreted in the context of Christian counseling based upon our words of caution in the introduction. Belief Therapy works best for a person who has been born again. Belief Therapy will not work to its fullest expectation unless a hurting, healing person is a Christian. In Belief Therapy, we believe that not being a Christian is a serious vertical relationship problem. However, we also believe that not being a Christian is a "treatable disorder." (John 3:1-18) A person who does not know Jesus Christ as her/his personal Savior can come to know Him. Jesus said, "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy-laden and I will give to you rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]" (Matthew 11:28) There is a vertical relationship with God that is imperative to our horizontal relationship with man ­ peace with God, peace with others and peace with ourselves. In his excellent book, How to Control Your Anxieties Before They Control You, Dr. Albert Ellis discusses how his Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy handles self-rating in our behavior. "REBT," he writes, "tends to solve the problem of self-rating by encouraging you to rate your thoughts, feelings, and actions only as good (effective) and bad (ineffective) after you first set up goals and purposes that you want to accomplish. But then it strongly encourages you to stop right there, to say: 'This behavior is good for my purposes (and bad if I do not do it). But I refuse to give myself a global, general, or total rating for doing (or not doing) it. It may be good, according to my choice, but I am not a good person for doing it. And it may be bad, according to my desires, but I am not a bad person for doing it. This may seem to be a simplistic decision to make on your part--but just try to make it consistently!" It is not legalistic or unrealistic, based on the Christian's Biblical goal of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29), to rate our thoughts, feelings, and actions. I suggest that it is healthy to engage in "clearing of yourselves." (2 Cor. 7:11) Self-rating may be used as a Biblical self-examination procedure. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, we are instructed to "examine yourselves." Ellis is much closer to a Biblical truth than he might realize. However, with Belief Therapy's Scripturological approach to behavior modification, my question is, "By what standards do we perform the rating? By whose standards do we perform the rating?" Standards can be relative. But there has to be a standard or standards for there to be therapeutic "rating." In Belief Therapy our standards for thought are listed in Philippians 4:8, which says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (See diagrams I and II in the front of the book,) There are eight standards in the verse: truth, honesty, fairness, purity, lovely (worth loving), kindness, excellence, and worthy of praise. To judge and rate our thoughts, feelings, and actions based on these standards could undoubtedly produce a drastic change in our lifestyle. The examination goal for a Christian would be, "In all things you

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter." (2 Cor. 7:11) The Greek word for "clear" is hagnos. It means clean or innocent. How long has it been since you have felt "clear?" It is indeed the better part of wisdom to consistently and frequently "clear" our "thoughts, feelings, and emotions." Ellis' "self-approval" is identified in the verse as "approved yours." "Approved" in the Greek is sunistemi. It is a combination of two Greek words: sun, meaning "with" and histemi, meaning to "stand together." The word literally means "to set or stand together." Self-approval is a spiritual process. Clear thoughts, clear feelings and clear actions will promote self-approval. I have discovered that using this "clearing" procedure to be successful in helping to prevent mental strongholds and roots of bitterness. The "clearing" procedure then becomes a "preventive maintenance" function that helps to produce a healthy Christian life.

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

The Heart

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23) Belief Therapy helps people process spiritual and emotional issues God's way. So what is the "heart?" If that is where the issues come from, then where is the heart? What does the Bible mean when it talks about the heart? The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, uses the word figuratively for the unseen source of personal life. The heart is identified as the center of man's inward life. It is the seat of grief (John 14:1; Romans 9:2; 2 Cor. 2:4), joy (John 16:22; Eph. 5:19), the desires (Matt. 5:28; 2 Peter 2:14), the affections (Luke 24:32; Acts 21:13), the perceptions (John 12:40; Eph. 4:18), the thoughts (Matt. 9:4; Heb. 4:12), the understanding (Matt. 13:15; Romans 1:21), the reasoning powers (Mark 2:6; Luke 24:38), the imagination (Luke 1:15), conscience (Acts 2:37; 1 John 3:20), the intentions (Heb. 4:12; 1 Peter 4:1), purpose (Acts 2:37; 2 Cor. 9:7), the will (Romans 6:17; Col. 3:15) and faith (Mark11:23; Romans 10:10) Disbelief never springs from the head, but from the wrong direction of the heart. Jesus works first at the center, not at the circumference. To understand the Biblical, spiritual meaning of the heart we must separate ourselves from images of the physical organ that is located in our chest cavity. When a person has a heart transplant, for example, the recipient's knowledge, beliefs, convictions do not change to that of the donor. If a person receives a mechanical heart, his beliefs are not wiped out by the presence of the mechanical heart. To understand the spiritual dynamics of "belief" we must quit thinking of the heart from a physical, human perspective and begin thinking about it from a divine perspective. In that context, the word heart is used to express the essence of a person. It is the composite spiritual part of man where he believes. The heart, in its moral significance in the Old Testament, includes the emotions, the reason and the will. Oswald Chambers says in his book, Biblical Psychology (pg. 99), "The use of the Bible term `heart' is best understood by simply saying, `me.' " First Peter 3:4 says, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." The hidden man of the heart is the real you. "Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart." (1 Sam.16:7) Two hearts: the physical heart that pumps blood and the spiritual heart, the real me. Frank Allnutt, in his fine work titled, The Christian's New Heart, says, "We produce choices, desires and intentions through our faculty of the will, which is located in our spiritual heart's soul. David thanked God for giving him `his heart's desire' (Psalm 21:1,

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

2). And he tells us in Psalm 37:4 to `delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.' Referring again to Hebrews 4:12, we read of the `intentions of the heart.' (also 1 Peter 4:1) Paul writes that man "purposes in his heart" (2 Cor. 9:7). "Decisions to obey God are determined by us through our will. Paul writes of believers becoming `obedient from the heart' (Romans 6:17) and `doing the will of God from the heart' (Eph. 6:6). And it is a function of the will to choose to let the peace of God rule in your heart (Colossians 3:15). The book of Proverbs tells us that `many are the plans of a man's heart' (19:21) and `in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps' (16:9). Other scriptures more precisely place the will in the soul of the heart. The desire to know God originates in the soul: `If you search for Him with all your heart [functionally united soul and spirit] and all your soul [mind, emotions, will], you will find Him.' (Deut. 4:29) Decisions and choices are mentioned as functions of the soul's will in Psalm 24:4 and Psalm 25:1." From God's perspective there is a difference in knowing and knowing. Sounds strange, doesn't it? However, the truth about "knowing" can only be understood from a theological position, not a psychological one. The difference in the two is expressed in two frequently used Greek words translated "know" in our English Bible. The first is ginosko and the second is epiginosko. Please remember that Belief Therapy Axiom Number One says that man was created to see things from God's perspective. That is why He gave us the Bible, His Word. Also, let me remind you that Belief Therapy does not take a psychological approach to counseling, but a purely theological one. The only psychological theories we allude to are those first recorded in the Word of God. Therefore, to a Scripturologist, they are not theories, but empirical. The first of the two words will help us understand the brain or cognition or thinking. The second will help us understand the Biblical meaning of the heart. Ginosko signifies to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, to know by experience, to recognize or understand. It is used, for example, in Matthew 13:28-29, John 13:12, 15:8, 21:17, 1 Corinthians 8:9 and Hebrews 10:34. In the New Testament, ginosko indicates a relationship between the person knowing and the object known (1 John 5:13). In this respect, what is known is of value or importance to the one who knows, and thus the establishment of a relationship, e.g., especially of God knowledge as in 1 Corinthians 8:3, "if any man love God, the same is known of Him" and Galatians 4:9, "to be known of God." Therefore, the knowing suggests approval and bears the meaning of "to be approved." "Ginosko" is what I am going to say relates to the brain and thinking. I equate this word, for our purposes here, to believing in the head. The second word is epiginosko. It means to "fully perceive, to discern." It relates more to the recognition of the object known than does ginosko. Epiginosko also suggests advance knowledge, special appreciation, to discover, ascertain and determine. In Romans 1:32,

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

"knowing the ordinances of God" (epiginosko) means knowing full well, whereas in verse 21, "knowing God" (ginosko) simply suggests that they could not avoid the perception. In John 8:32 we have, "Ye shall know (ginosko) the truth," whereas in 1 Timothy 4:3, "them that believe and know (epiginosko) the truth" lays special emphasis on actual participation in truth. You will notice that the words "believe" and "know" are used together. It is through ginosko becoming epiginosko that our beliefs are formed. It reflects the passage of head knowledge into heart knowledge. In Acts 1:24 we read, "And they prayed and said, "Thou, Lord, which knows (ginosko) the hearts (kardio) of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen." The singular Greek word kardiognostes is translated into two English words. The heart and knowledge are connected. The same Greek word is again used in Acts 15:8. The reference is to God, the "knower of hearts." In Matthew 19:8, Mark 10:5, and Mark 16:14 the Greek word sklerokardia is used. It is translated "hard heart," -- skleros, hard and kardia, heart. The same word form (sklerotrachelos) is translated in Acts 7:51 as "stiff-necked." We get our English word "trachea" from the Greek word trachelos. Neither are references to a physical condition, but a spiritual condition. It has nothing to do with the physical part of the body we call the "neck" or "heart". The trachea, for example, is the thin wall through which air and the voice travel. The word sklerotrachelos literally means, "an outburst of words prompted by emotion." A hard heart, where a person believes, produces a hard neck, where a person expresses the belief. In Belief Therapy we identify this condition (hard-necked or sklerotrachelos) as denial. In sklerokardia and sklerotrachelos the Biblical perspective of the heart and the emotions are spiritually and theologically connected. Another Greek word that is translated "know" is oida. Ginosko frequently suggests inception or progress in knowledge. On the other hand, oida suggests fullness of knowledge, i.e., John 8:55, "ye have known Him" (ginosko), i.e., begun to know, "but I know Him" (oida), i.e., know Him perfectly." So you can see how confusing just the interpretation and application of the word "know" can be ­ if you do not know the difference. In a short, simple statement, a belief is knowledge that has moved from the head to the heart ­ into the human spirit. You have probably heard the expression, "Believe in your head and you will go to hell. Believe 18 inches lower, in the heart, and you will go to heaven." It is a symbolic statement. The difference is in a historical or academic belief and that of faith, believing in your heart. Theologically it is the difference in "ginosko" and "epiginosko." In Psalm 139:23-24, David cried out to God, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Notice the strong presence of our Belief Therapy model in these verses: "heart" = belief system / "thoughts" = cognition / "wicked way in me" =darkened emotions / "lead me in the way of everlasting" = behavior.

Heart >> Thoughts >> Wicked way in me >> Lead me in the Way (Belief) (Cognition) (Negative Emotions) (Behavior)

There is a distinction between the heart, the thoughts (a cognitive function), our feelings (our emotional response) and our actions or behavior. In the Scriptural order of things, what always comes first is "my heart," my belief system. The word "heart" in the Hebrew literally means "the seat of feelings, emotions, the seat of will and purpose" (1 Samuel 14:7). The word "heart" is the complex composite of man. The word "thoughts" in the Psalm 139 passage means "anxious thoughts" or "anxiety." God "searches" the heart, but He "tries" the thoughts. The verses do indicate there can be something wrong with what man believes and with what man thinks. However, it takes God to identify what is wrong, expose it to us and lead us in the way of perpetuity. Change of direction will only come after God does His work in our heart, where we believe, and in our mind, where we think. Remember, we are talking about changing your beliefs to change your life! What some people who are seeking the help of a counselor need is a new heart. The rest of the folks who come for counseling have a new heart, but live as though they still have the old heart. So where is the root of the problem (apart from an organic disorder or disease)? It is spiritual! I say with a smile, not being a Christian is a treatable disorder.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

The Mind

"So brace up your minds." (1 Peter 1:13 Amplified) When we read the word "mind" in the New Testament we cannot, we must not, think that each time the word is used it carries the same meaning. There are several words for "mind" both in the Gospels and in the epistles just as there are different words for know, heart and believe. Sydney Banks is the founder of Sydney Banks Institute of Innate Health and founder/developer of Health Realization. The Institute is now a part of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. Banks was interviewed for a feature article in Counseling Today. Printed in the August 2001 issue, Banks was asked, "Are the mind, the ego and brain synonymous terms? How do they differ?" His answer reads like this: "It's a mistake to connect the mind and the brain as one. It's not true, because the mind is spiritual and the brain is physical. You have to have something that puts life into the brain. Divine Mind, Divine Consciousness and Divine Thought are the essence that puts life into the brain." Drs. Minirth, Meier and Arterburn, M.Ed., in The Complete Life Encyclopedia, say, "In a general sense, what we call the "mind" corresponds to what the writers of the New Testament called the "soul." The Greek word that we translate as "soul" is psuche, from which we get our English word "psychology," the study, knowledge, and science of the human mind. The Bible teaches (and modern psychology as of the 80's tends to agree) that human beings consist of three dimensions: body, soul (mind), and spirit." Let me give you four Greek words translated mind that are used in some very popular and often quoted verses of Scripture. Each is different and possesses unique meanings. Yet, each is translated only mind. To understand the different meaning of the words will help us understand what the Father is saying to us in His Word about our mind and thinking or thoughts. Almost without fail each time we read the word "mind" in the New Testament we connect the same meaning to every reference. That is a theological mistake. We need to understand the meaning of the Greek forms to understand what God is actually saying to us in each context. First, we have Luke 10:27-28: "And he answered saying, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shall live" (Italics mine).

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

The Greek word is dianoema. It means, "a thinking thought," "thinking over" and "meditation." The second popular verse is found in Romans 12:2, which says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of the mind, that you might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." The Greek word for "mind" there is nous. The word has a different meaning than dianoema. It is translated the same, but the meaning is different. If the meanings differ then the application would be different. Nous means "the faculties of perception and understanding." It also includes the faculties of feeling, judging and determining. The third popular verse is Philippians 2:5, which says, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." The Greek word is phoneus. It simply means, "to think." Jesus was a thinking man. The fourth popular verse using the word "mind" is 2 Timothy 1:7, which says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. The Greek word is sophronismos. It means "disciplined, sober, sound and right." The human brain has many functions and can be in one and/or several conditions. Our goal should be to have a healthy mind. There is no hope for the mind to enjoy maximum health apart from God-consciousness. The Complete Life Encyclo- pedia says, "The mind is the complex interacting of faculties that make us what we are as human beings: perceiving, remembering, thinking, evaluating, knowing, deciding, relating to others, and reflecting. The mind does not just perceive. It does not just sense. It apprehends and seeks to understand. It knows and is hungry to know more. The mind has purpose, and it exerts a will of its own. In a general sense, what we call the "mind," corresponds to what the writers of the New Testament call the soul." We think and believe with our mind. We believe (conclude, trust, come to a conviction) with our spirit. We acquire knowledge, but knowledge, what we know, does not become belief until we accept it, confirm it, and appropriate it in our spirit. I have great respect for Christians who are professionals in the field of mental health. Because my background is in theology, I do, however, have an interest in emotional health. I read and research every work I can find by believing professionals in the discipline. Sharing from their perspective I believe will add substance to our position. Should theologians cross over into the field of mental and emotional health? On the other hand, should scientists cross over into the field of theology? In the December 2001 issue of the Reader's Digest, there is a fascinating article titled, The Science of God. It is a

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

report on the research of Andrew Newberg. Dr. Newberg is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is in the field of the biological theory of religion, which he believes provides a neurological basis for the great human hunger for God. The theory has made Newberg, 35, a leading figure in the emerging science of neurotheology, which explores the links between spirituality and the brain. It appears that science has already succeeded in crossing over. It also appears that an accepted new field of scientific research had emerged from this crossover called neurotheology. The application of Scripturology in the field of mental and emotional health and human behavior should enjoy the same privilege. Let me reinforce that position with the following observations.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Licensed Professionals Speak

"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (I Cor. 2:5) What I want you to see is that the concept of Belief Therapy, i.e., the lie versus the truth, Christ-centered, faith-based, Biblical therapeutic treatment process, the people-do-whatthey-do-because-they-believe-what-they-believe concept, is not just the "hair-brained idea" of some Bible-belt conservative theological position that has no fundamental acceptance in the professional community. Not that the Bible needs reinforcing by psychology. It does not! In developing the Belief Therapy model I have intentionally built into Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy spiritual dynamics that, as far as I am concerned, enhance these processes. Many of the secular "professionals of the professionals" are saying what the Bible has always said. However, my contention is that they, first, do not go far enough, and second, do not use the Bible as the body of truth necessary for complete resolution. We have even discovered that many paraprofessional counselors who call what they do "Christian counseling" never use the Scriptures nor depend upon the power of God to help their hurting and healing people. Dr. Jay E. Adams, author of The Christian Counselor's Manual, says in that fine work, "The Bible does not need to be 'balanced' off by modern psychology. Nor may it be 'combined' with psychology to construct a balanced approach. God sets forth His approach in the Scriptures. The principles of His approach are plainly revealed in His Word. On the basis of these principles (not in combination with Rogerian, Freudian, or Skinnerin principles), he may discover that some aspect of non-Christian methodology in some way may remind, illustrate, or amplify a Biblical principle. But the principle must be Scriptural. From a Biblical foundation, upon which a house of Biblical methodology has been constructed, a Christian counselor may view the surrounding landscape. But he must not construct his foundation or house of any non-Christian materials." Belief Therapy rests upon a revelational truth, which says, "His divine power has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3) Notice God's Word says "everything!" Our counseling model, which we call Belief Therapy, uses the basic concepts of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy developed by the respected psychologist, Albert Ellis. What we have done with REBT is add our Christian, Biblical dynamics to the work and put a name with it ­ Belief Therapy. Within the body of REBT there is what Ellis calls the ABC system. This stands for:

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Activating event: something happens Belief system: the event is interpreted by a person's beliefs Consequent emotions: the interpretations create resulting feelings

In the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy theory, the events themselves do not cause our feelings. It is our interpretation of the events that cause fear, anxiety, depressed moods or anger. The interpretation is, according to Ellis, based upon what we believe. That is where we are coming from in Belief Therapy: people do what they do because they believe what they believe. I am not claiming originality in the theory, only in the name of the faith-based therapeutic process, Belief Therapy, and in the Biblical foundation upon which we have built the modality. However, staying with my premise that the Bible is our original source for Belief Therapy, Genesis 3:6 and Psalm 139 records Dr. Ellis' REBT model before his wonderful creative mind conceived it. I do not discount his brilliance, but God thought of it first. God used him to put it into a clinical format. And God has used Belief Therapy to put it into a Scriptural format. We have "viewed the surrounding landscape" and have taken the concepts back to their original roots ­ the Word of God. At this point, let me do a little self-disclosure. There has been a haunting question running through my mind: "Why did not God give this wonderful name, Belief Therapy, to a Christian professional in the field of psychology? Why did He not introduce to the public the Therapon Institute concepts of Biblical counseling through professionals in the field?" If I were God, that is probably the way I would have communicated this truth to the public. The answer to my dilemma might be found in 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 27-29, which says: "Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be made through Him] save those who believe (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him). [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is low born and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are. So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God." As a Scripturologist I feel so humbled to be a part of this growing Belief Therapy phenomena.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

In their excellent book, Receiving Love, Joseph Biuso, M.D. and Brian Newman, D. Phil., say in the chapter titled, Living In The Truth, "We are working at two levels here: The psychological and the spiritual. So we speak both of distorted thinking and Satan's lies. No matter what the source, these false beliefs need to be uncovered, recognized, shared with others, and countered with the truth." Coming from professionals in the discipline, that is exactly what Belief Therapy teaches because that is what the Bible says. Psychologists, social scientists and social workers are moving toward a much more established position on the relationship between belief and behavior. Forgiveness, for example, was the theme for a 1999 national symposium in Kansas City. It was a gathering of professionals in the health and behavioral science field to study the causes of emotional problems. When Jan Myers, a prominent local psychologist, spoke on anger and forgiveness, she stressed that "the most important thing in addressing a problem is to look at the beliefs that are driving your anger or pain." Drs. Minirth and Meier have said, "The first thing to learn about analyzing our emotions is that we cannot control them directly. The reason is that they are side effects of something else that we can directly command, namely our thoughts. The thinking process that causes our feelings involve our beliefs, which are internally recited to ourselves in what is called self-talk. Therefore, feelings cannot be classified as good or bad. They are only signals of our present self-talk. Emotions are like a smoke alarm, faithfully responding to the stimuli of our beliefs we are using as we evaluate each circumstance. It is possible to learn to rigorously challenge old misbeliefs as we gain insight into truth." (The Healthy Christian Life, by Drs. Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, Richard Meier and Don Hawkins, Baker, pg. 139). Dr. Aaron T. Beck says about Cognitive Therapy, another traditional, secular treatment modality, "In the broadest sense, cognitive therapy consists of all the approaches that alleviate psychological distress through the medium of correcting conceptions and selfsignals. The emphasis on thinking, however, should not obscure the importance of the emotional reactions which are generally the immediate source of distress. It simply means that we get to the person's emotions through his cognitions. By correcting erroneous beliefs, we can damp down or alter excessive, inappropriate emotional reactions." (Cognitive Therapy, Aaron T. Beck, M.D., Meridian Books, pg. 214). I found it interesting that in the introduction of Dr. William Glasser's best seller, Reality Therapy, to find these words: "In other words, it is not insight, understanding, and freedom that the neurotic needs, but commitment. In the words of an old hymn, our petition can appropriately be: Holy Spirit, Right Divine, Truth within my conscience reign, Be my King that I may be, Firmly bound, forever free.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

William Backus, Ph.D., a Christian psychologist who is founder and director of the Center for Christian Psychological Services, says in his excellent book, Learning to Tell Yourself the Truth, "As a result, most of us think events cause our ups and downs, never noticing how feelings and actions spring from the thoughts fed by our beliefs. It's not the events themselves, but what we tell ourselves as we interpret what's happening that makes all the difference. Feelings are not the cause of your emotional difficulties --they're the result. You feel the way you think; you think the way you believe. Your basic beliefs are the primary source of your attitudes, reactions, feelings and behavior." Sydney Banks, theosophist and author, says, "It's not trying to figure out the baggage and letting it go --- it's trying to understand what the baggage is, and the baggage is wrongful thinking carried through time." (ACA, Counseling Today, August 2001) Psychologist Chris Thurman, author of the national best seller The Lies We Believe writes, "We have sent our lives into a frightening tailspin because we have believed lies rather than the truth." Matthew McKay, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and author of Prisoners of Belief. He states in his fine book, "Your most deeply held core beliefs are the bedrock of your personality. They describe you as worthy or worthless, competent or incompetent, powerful or helpless, loved or scorned, self-reliant or dependent, belonging or outcast, trusting or suspicious, flexible or judgmental, secure or threatened, fairly treated or victimized. People are imprisoned by their own negative, restrictive beliefs about themselves and their world." Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend are licensed psychologists who are Christians. They have co-authored the book, 12 Christian Beliefs that Can Drive Christians Crazy. In their introduction they say, "Time and time again, we'd find that our patients --sincere, Bible-believing believers struggling with emotional issues ---had a double burden to bear. Not only were they depressed, or eating compulsively, or having trouble dealing with authority figures, but they were also handicapped by certain teachings that sounded Christian, but weren't. The ideas appeared to be true because those who taught them used religious language and quoted Scriptures. These ideas, however, are emotional heresies. They are false assumptions about spiritual and emotional growth. They aren't Biblical, and they don't work." Dr. Cloud, in his book, Changes That Heal, says, "We are responsible for our attitudes, for they exist inside our 'property line.' They are within our hearts, not someone else's. God repeatedly tells us to examine and take responsibility for our attitudes and beliefs that govern our lives. They form the structure of our personality. In the beginning of our life, we 'soak up' attitudes; as we mature, we need to take more and more responsibility for making sure our opinions are ours and not someone else's. We choose them. God tells us that if our attitudes, or beliefs, about things are His, then our way will be prosperous. (Josh. 1:8)"

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Here is an interesting quote from a copyrighted Knight Rider Tribune News article from the Houston Chronicle, August 15, 1999. The article is about serial killers. "Even in a nation where discussions of race and sexual orientation can be so conflict-ridden that they are little heard in mixed company, the recent attacks and their mass violence have made for inevitable social science speculation. For University of Colorado sociologist Abby Ferber, it all comes down to entitlement. 'Many white men,' said Ferber, 'are reared with the belief that they are entitled to economic success, social leadership and personal happiness. When they miss the mark in some or all of these areas, their frustration may fester into murderous rage,' said Ferber, author of the 1999 book, White Men Falling: Race, Gender and White Supremacy. 'What's really troubling is that these men have historical references for their beliefs,' said Ferber." Emotional problems, apparently extending even to murder, according to many professional clinicians, are now viewed as rooted in a person's belief system. Not so strangely enough, the Bible has been telling us that very thing for thousands of years. People do what they do because they believe what they believe. Dr. Dennis Greenberger and Dr. Christine A. Padesky, both clinical psychologists, have written Mind Over Moods (The Guilford Press). In the work they allude to how beliefs can affect people in different ways. "Even situations you might think would create the same mood for everyone -- such as losing a job -- may, in fact, lead to different moods because of different personal beliefs and meanings." They use a client named Marissa to illustrate the thought/mood connection. "Marissa thinks she is unlovable. This belief seems absolutely true to her. Given her negative experiences with men, she can't even imagine that someone could truly love her. This belief, coupled with her desire to be in relationship, leads her to feel depressed." The professionals I have quoted all agree with what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years. Honestly, they are merely catching up with what God has always taught in His inspired, infallible, inerrant and sufficient Word, the Bible.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

We Have A Problem

"I have no greater joy than this, to hear my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 4). Christians are in crisis! Most of the crisis is so personal and so deep that church members suffer in silence for fear someone will discover their wounds, weaknesses, sins and emotional struggles. There are so many defeats, defects, distortions, disorders, denials and depressed feelings within the body of Christ that it is no wonder the local church has become its own mission field. Religious lies and generational lies are the easiest to believe. It is sad, but true, that thousands of people attend church every Saturday and Sunday who carry so many religious lies (or thinking errors) around in their belief system they sometimes really do not know what they believe. Lies about unconfessed sins, unforgiveness, envy, anger, revenge, jealousy, bitterness, love, relationships and a hundred other distortions that are causing serious spiritual, emotional and physical problems. And we do not know who these folks are. Most often, they do not even know who they are. If one acts irresponsibly and you ask him/her, "What is wrong with you?," he/she will likely respond, "I don't know." Now let me show you where I am going in the Scriptures with this thought. We are going to read Matthew 13:24-30 and then make an application. When we read the words "good seed" and "wheat," I want you to think of the word as "truth." When we read the word "darnel" or "tares," I want you to think of the word as "lie." "Another parable He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of God is like a man who sowed good seed (truth) in his field. But while he was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed also darnel (lies, weeds resembling wheat) among the wheat (truth), and went on his way. So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the darnel (lies, weeds) appeared also. And the servants of the owner came to him and said, Sir, did you not sow good seed (truth) in the field? Then how does it have darnel (lie) shoots in it? He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out? But he said, No, lest in the gathering the wild wheat (lies, weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat (truth) along with them. Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel (lies) first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat (truth) into my granary." Truth and lies, like darnel and good seeds, are sown together, grown together and will be known together. Your belief system is like the field in the parable. Both truth and lies are being sown into the soil of your life (your mind). Truth and lies are both growing there. The only way to tell the difference is when they begin to grow and produce the fruit.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

There is very likely sitting right next to you on Sunday morning in church someone who is a professing Christian, but whose belief system has been well-seeded with religious and generational lies. They may be good, moral people. Some of them sing in the choir, lead in prayer, teach classes, take the Lord's Supper, pass the offering plate and preach in the pulpit. But they are struggling with so many variables and uncertainties they are an emotional wreck. Some have heard so many different versions of "the gospel" they don't know what to believe. The Word of God describes their condition as "double minded" (James 1:8; 4:8). Psychology identifies it as "cognitive dissonance," i.e., the anxiety of holding opposite beliefs at the same time. Knowing the truth will, however, eliminate both the anxiety and the confusion. They hear one thing on religious television, another from their parents and another from their pastor. Some of the lies they hear sound so much like the truth they cannot recognize the difference -- like the wheat and the tares. And like the wheat and the tares, they will grow side by side. There are indeed wolves in sheep's clothing. However, there are also wolves in shepherd's clothing. People learn a lot of religious lies from both sides of the aisle - fundamentalists and liberal pulpits. A lie is easier to believe than the truth. The flesh wants to believe the lie. Like the lies we hear about abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriages, most are religious and moral lies coming from wolves in shepherd's clothing. Let me give you a little history of the "darnel" seed, i.e., the tare. It is the word I am using here as our lie model. It was credited among the Jews as being degenerate wheat. The Rabbis called it "bastard." The seeds are poisonous to man and herbivorous to animals, producing sickness, nausea, convulsions and even death. Growing up they look just like wheat and barley. But they produce sickness, disease, and death. Does that not sound like the effect believing lies can have on a human being? The seeds are being sown every day. Good seed, truth (wheat), and bad seed, lies (darnel). As the lies take root, germinate and grow, they cause a multitude of problems. Only the anointing of the Holy Spirit can reveal them to us. Only as the power of God and the Scriptures become involved in the treatment process can we experience healing. In a wheat field, the bad plants can be cleaned out, but the instruction from the boss in the parable was to leave them until the harvest. In Belief Therapy we say that harvest time is when we allow the Holy Spirit to expose the lies we believe and replace them with the truth. Then we must get into a continual renewing of the mind process and part of the renewing is harvest time (Romans 12:1-2). This is a major problem we have in our local churches ­ confusion lies, condemnation lies, performance-based lies, doctrinal lies, morality lies, church lies, tradition lies, abandonment lies, legalism lies and etc. It is heartbreaking to hear Christians, for example, stand in a testimony meeting spilling out an experience with verbal errors that cannot be validated in the Word of God. We even hear musicians make beautiful vocal

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

presentations that have a wonderful melody and are very entertaining, but the words are not true. Emotionally moving, but completely false. Miles J. Stanford says in his book, The Complete Green Letters, "A seed embodies in full the reproduction of the life form from which it came. That much is complete, and can never be added to. `Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible' (1 Peter 1:23a). `Thou shall not sow thy field with mingled seed' (Lev. 19:19). It is to be `not I, but Christ.' The seed has been implanted ­ now the entire question is one of growth and maturity. This alone will bring forth fruit that abides. The development of the divine life in the Christian is like the natural growth in the vegetable world. We do not need to make any special effort, only place ourselves under the conditions favorable to such growth." (The Complete Green Letters ­ Zondervan - pg. 25) For spiritual maturity, for victory, for growth, for emotional health, we must face the lies we believe and replace them with the truth. Remember, lies become strongholds in our minds. Only as these strongholds are brought under the principal authority of Christ can they be brought down. (2 Cor. 10:4-6) Again, I emphasize, we are in trouble because we do not bring God into the healing process. Remember our lead premises, "You are wrong because you do not know the scriptures nor the power of God."

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

The Scriptures Speak

"Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience [and] for training in righteousness [in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose and action]" (2 Timothy 3:16 Amplified). All of the components of Belief Therapy are included in this description of the Word of God. The Scriptures have the power to lead lost people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They also have the power to help people who are already Christians - to teach, reprove, correct and discipline. Move with me now into some passages of Scripture that identify sinful, irresponsible and sometimes criminal behavior. The Bible is a book of behavior. It will be interesting for us to learn, from divine perspective, the roots of behavioral dysfunctions, distortions and disorders. Remember, we are talking about the way to change your life. To change your life you must change what you believe. Someone has appropriately said, "The hardest thing in the world to change is your mind." The only way to change your mind is to change what you believe. The dynamic that drives cognition is belief. Belief precedes thought. To change what you believe you must identify thinking errors (lies) you believe about your behavior and lifestyle and replace them with the truth of God's Word. Matthew 15:19-20 ­ The Origin of Godless Behavior "For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man..." Behavioral problems, unless there is a diagnosed physical disorder, are always spiritual problems. The Amplified Bible translates Matthew 15:19 as "For out of the heart comes evil thoughts (reasoning and disputing and designs) such as," and then the list of sinful actions follow. Notice they begin in the heart (our belief system), move to the mind (the cognitive part of man where we think), which triggers the emotions (our feelings) and finally are manifested in our behavior (actions). We now understand that when the Bible mentions "heart" it is not referring to the physical organ in our chest. It is, however, talking about the composite part of man where a person believes. So, from a Biblical perspective, we have the "heart" then the "thought." I understand that this is a strong Biblical position that has been at odds with behavioral science and the psychological disciplines for a long time. However, we who are Scripturologists and not psychologists consider the Biblical evidence to be empirical. Thus the use of our term "Scripturology" ­ learning that involves the Word of God ­ the

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Bible. Because of the preceding remarks about the "heart," I will proceed to what follows the heart or the belief system, namely the "thoughts." The thought life will produce an emotional response. The emotional response will produce the behavior ­ good or bad.

EVIL THOUGHTS You can tell what a person believes by his or her behavior. Though belief is the root, the vine through which the fruit flows is "evil thoughts." In the original Greek language of the New Testament, the word "evil" is poneros ­ pronounced "pon-ay-ros'." We derive our English word "pornography" from this Greek root. It is not a reference to essential character, nor to degeneracy from original virtue. In the worst sense it means to be diseased. So what we are dealing with in this context is a diseased mind. The word "thoughts" in the Greek is dialogismos ­ pronounced "dee-al-og-ismos." You have probably guessed that we derive our English word "dialogue" from this word. Placing the two words together, poneros and dialogismo, we understand that the phrase (Matt. 15:19-21) is talking about a silent discussion or consideration going on in the human brain during the thought-forming decision process. It all happens so quickly. It is an argument in the brain. Some psychologists call it self-talk. Have you ever said or heard someone say, "I did it without thinking." That is not possible! You may have lost the argument, discussion or consideration in your mind, but, you did think about it. Once the discussion in the mind is over, Matthew names six "evil thoughts" that became manifest behavior.

MURDER Murder here refers to a criminal offense. It is intentional homicide.

ADULTERY The Greek word moichos (translated adultery) literally means the unlawful act of physical intercourse with the spouse of another person. Moicheuo, the verb form, used in Mark 10:19; Luke 16:18; John 8:4; Romans 2:22; James 2:11 and other places in the New Testament, describes those who are drawn away by a Jezebel solicitation into idolatry.

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FORNICATION Fornication (porneia) includes adultery, but means all sorts of sexual perversion. It was often used metaphorically to describe the idolatrous relationship of God's people with false Gods.

STEALING The word in the King James Version is "thefts." In the Greek the word is klieptes. We get our English word kleptomania from the Greek word. It is not talking about the act of stealing, but the person who is a thief.

FALSE WITNESS A false witness is a person who gives an untrue testimony.

BLASPHEMY Blasphemy is speech that is particularly defamatory of God. Mark 7:19-22 ­ Continuing with the list of Godless behavior "And He said unto them, Are you so without understanding also? Do you not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without enters into the man; it cannot defile him; Because it enters not into his heart, but into his belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats? And He said, "That which cometh out of man, that defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceeds evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride foolishness: All these evil things come from within, they defile the man." Now we are going to expand on that heinous list of irresponsible, maladaptive behavior found in Matthew fifteen. The same rule applies to this passage in Mark as in Matthew. The source of destructive consequent behavior is the heart, not the mind or cognition or thoughts. Our thoughts are a passageway, but not the source. They are part of the route, but not the source. The source is the heart, our belief system. In reporting the facts of this encounter between Jesus, the Pharisees and the scribes, Matthew and Mark have duplicated some of the sins that equate to godless, irresponsible behavior. Therefore, we will not reiterate the ones mentioned above. The ones not mentioned in Matthew are where we will begin. I do this to once again focus the

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

spotlight on the truth of the title of this work, Change your Beliefs / Change Your Life! The idea is not to change your mind and/or your behavior. We have to change what we believe for our lives to be changed. Knowing the truth will make us free (John 8:32, 36). I am aware that there is a putting off (the old man) and putting on (the new man) process commanded in the book of Colossians chapter three. However, we will never exchange the old man behavior for the new man behavior until we change our belief system. Changing the belief system is what making the old man-new man exchange is all about. In verse 21 of Mark seven, the process begins in the heart, develops in the mind with "evil thoughts" and expresses those thoughts through the emotions into actions (i.e. the list above and below).

COVETOUSNESS The Greek word used here is pleonexia. The word is always translated to mean something bad. It is compulsive evil desires. It is an insatiable appetite to have more. What you have is never enough. Covetousness is an illegitimate desire to have what God does not want you to have. Covetousness is the bedrock of sinful behavior. How difficult it is, for example, in a subtle, seemingly harmless illustration, for some people to interpret and apply sound reason to relationships. Some people just want more out of a relationship, friend, or family, than they are getting. This compulsive desire clouds their power of reason just as a compulsive desire for money or pleasure or recognition would. Covetousness can manifest itself in so many seemingly harmless ways that can be totally misinterpreted. For example, wanting credit for something you never created. One licensed professional whom I know well, has a history of broken relationships. He assumes no personal responsibility for issues that cause the breach. Yet one of his favorite lecture subjects is "conflict resolution." Covetousness takes on many forms and can go years without detection.

WICKEDNESS The original word poneria, translated "wickedness," is also rendered "naughtiness," "malicious" and "iniquity."

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DECEIT The word means, "to decoy." It is dolos in the Greek. In 2 Corinthians 11:13, it is used to describe false prophets as "deceitful workers." For years a writer I know published a book identifying himself as the sole author. I learned, however, he had a co-author whom he never named. Another man brought me a manuscript he wanted me to publish for him. I had only read 43 pages when I discovered it was not his work at all.

LASCIVIOUSNESS The word describes filthiness, indecency and shameless actions. Many people do not need to "hang their head in shame" when lasciviousness is mentioned. However, I am not one of them. I have been guilty of a number of shameful actions. Thank God for forgiveness, deliverance, recovery and restoration.

AN EVIL EYE An evil eye describes a person who looks where he/she should not look. You watch what you should not watch. You see what you should not see.

PRIDE Pride describes the self-centered, egocentric mind-set. Pride is associated with the words "destruction" and "a fall." (Prov. 16:18) Pride is a belief a person has about him/herself.

FOOLISHNESS Foolishness in the English is an interesting Greek word, aphrosune. It literally means senseless, mindless, stupid, particularly rash, unbelieving and unwise. Sound like some folks we know? All of the aberrant behavioral expressions mentioned above (from both passages) represent serious counseling issues. That is the reason each needs to be considered from a Biblical perspective. We have listed 14 identifiable problems. Some of them are moral issues, some are religious issues, some are criminal issues, but all are personal and spiritual issues. I have from time to time been asked, "What counseling issues is a Belief Therapist

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

qualified to help a client process?" That same question could be asked about any nonprofessional in the field of mental health, social work or human development. However, the difference between the secular nonprofessional and the Scripturologist in counseling is the Bible. If the distortion or disorder is addressed in the Word of God then the issue becomes fair game for the Biblical counselor. The same is true when we journey into the areas of impurity, inappropriate speech and denial. They are Biblical subjects. My question is, "Whatever happened to dealing with sin and sinful behavior in counseling?" Terms like maladaptive, dysfunctional and aberrant have replaced the good old fashion Bible word ­ sin! I understand there is a difference in a sin and a wound. Sin is self-inflicted and wounds are others-inflicted. But most of the problems Scripturologists help Christian people process are sin issues. (Please remember our introductory remarks.) Now let's take a look at the origin of three serious problems we find prevalent in most, if not all, local churches.

Matthew 5:8 ­ The Origin of Impurity "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Here we have a "pure" heart as opposed to an "impure" heart. I made an interesting discovery about this little word "pure." The Greek word is katharos. Our English word "catheter" is derived from the Greek. According to Webster, a catheter is a slender tube, as of metal or rubber, inserted into a body passage, vessel, or cavity for the purpose of passing fluids, making examination possible. For example, a catheter is used for draining urine from the body. The procedure makes the body free of impurities and obstructions. Cathexis (Gr. Kathexix, same root word) was the word used by Freud in his development of psychoanalysis. It is the concentration (Freud believed) of psychic energy on some particular person, thing, idea, or aspect of self. There is a spiritual dynamic involved in the Biblical and psychological expression "the heart." In the Biblical meaning of the word heart, i.e., "pure in heart," means the composite of self, the essence of our life, our belief system, has been spiritually catheterized through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked." (Jeremiah 17:9) There are two aspects of the work of the cross of Christ. The cross represents what Christ did for us and as well as what He wants to do in us. A "pure heart" means to be "single hearted." It is an unmixed heart, free from the impurities that would divide it. (See also: 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22; James 4:8 and 1 Peter 1:22).

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Matthew 12:33-37 ­ The Origin of Inappropriate Speech "Either make the tree good (healthy), and his fruit good (healthy); or make the tree corrupt (diseased), and his fruit corrupt (diseased): for the tree is known by his fruit. Oh generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that they shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shall be justified and by thy words thou shall be condemned." We are held accountable for what we believe. We are also accountable for what we say. The belief system may be either healthy or diseased.

Mark 16:14 ­ the Origin of Stubbornness ­ Denial "Afterward He (Jesus) appeared unto the twelve as they sat at meat, and unbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen." We talked about the phrase "hardness of heart" in the first section - The Heart (See also: Hebrews 3:8; 4:7).

Other Scripture References I think you have by now gotten the point that the origin of behavior is what we believe in our hearts. At this point allow me to provide you with some additional references without commentary. Each reference is quoted from the Amplified Bible. Luke 12:34 says, `Where your treasure is, there will your heart be." What is our heart associated with in this verse? Notice, it is our money! Luke 21:34 says, "But take heed to yourselves and be on guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life, and [lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose." What is our heart associated with in this verse? It is our depression, giddiness, headaches, selfindulgence, drunkenness and worries! Second Peter 2:14 says, "They have eyes full of harlotry, insatiable for sin. They beguile and bait and lure away unstable souls. Their hearts are trained in covetousness (lust,

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greed), (they are) children of the curse [exposed to cunning]. What is the heart associated with in this verse? It is covetousness, lust, greed, and cunning. Matthew 18:35 reads, "So also My Heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses." What is the heart associated with here? It is forgiveness! James 3:14 says, "But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the truth." What is the heart associated with here? It is bitterness, jealousy, contention and lies! Therefore, according to the Word of God, there is an obvious connection between the heart, i.e., our belief system, and the 19 disorders listed in the preceding Scriptures. Putting the 14 behavioral disorders listed in Matthew 15 and Mark 8 together with these and you have a total of 34 distortions and disorders with spiritual roots. Now, to leave God and the Bible out of a treatment process that deals with these problems would render that treatment incomplete.

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20 Common Thinking Errors or Lies People Believe

Now let us move from the theological to more universal, personal mind-sets (thinking errors, beliefs that have become strongholds) that cause emotional, relational and behavioral problems. Some of the mind-sets or lies listed below were adapted from the Therapist's Guide to Clinical Intervention by Sharon L. Johnson, Academic Press. I have attempted to add the spiritual dynamics to the author's observations. My purpose in this section to illustrate how we, as paraprofessional faith-based counselors or Scripturologists, using our Belief Therapy model, would approach some troubling cognitive distortions. If we are going to change we must deal not only with Biblical lies we believe, but functional lies as they relate to Biblical truth. Remember, the concept of Belief Therapy is to identify the lie we believe, process the lie and replace it with the truth of God's Word. This procedure can be done without a therapist or counselor. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. He, the Holy Spirit, through His anointing, breaks the yoke of bondage created by believing lies. Every stronghold, thought, imagination and high thing must be brought under the principle authority of Jesus Christ.

1. The Disqualifying Lie: You reject good, positive experiences by insisting they do not count for one reason or another. The Truth: Good and bad events come into everyone's life. It is how you respond, not react to them that matters most (Romans 8:28). Believing this lie enables you to maintain your generational and/or learned unhealthy, ungodly belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences. The truth is, God is in control. Philippians 1:15-19 explains, "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy (but God is in control) and strife (but God is in control); and some also of good will (but God is in control); The one preach Christ of contention (but God is in control), not sincerely (but God is in control), supposing to add affliction to my bonds (but God is in control): But the other of love, knowing that I am set for defense of the Gospel. What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense or truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know this shall turn to my salvation through your prayers, and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ" (Parenthesis added). People were preaching Christ for all the wrong reasons. How upsetting this was for the members of the Philippian church. Paul the Apostle, however, explains

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the important thing is that Christ is preached. We must learn to see things from God's perspective. Experiences do count. God is in control.

2. The All-or-Nothing Lie: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfection, you see yourself as a total failure. There is no middle ground. The Truth: Everything is not black and white. Some things are gray. There is compromise and flexibility. Matthew 5:38-41 says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." This was Jesus' answer to the Roman law of impressment. The Jews hated this Roman law that placed them on the level of a slave. Jesus teaches that there is middle ground. (These verses are also a classic example of responding rather than reacting.) Romans 7:15-25 clearly describes the possibility of failures. Paul uses his own experience as an example when he writes, "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If I then do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that doeth it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members. O wretched man that I am Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." The great Apostle struggled with repeated failures. The verses paint an accurate portrait of the defeated Christian. It is at this level most Christians live their lives. The solution is the cross of Christ. That means turning the focus of your faith from self to the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is the life of "rest" recorded in Hebrews 4:9, which says, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God." Present tense! Right now! Not future. Not the sweet by-and-by, but right now. Rest means cessation from self-effort.

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3. The Overgeneralization Lie: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. The Truth: One circumstance never establishes a pattern. The Christian life is warfare. A Christian will fight many battles with ethics, morality, spirituality, temptation, etc. One seldom wins every battle. What the Christian has going for him/her that a nonbeliever does not have is the promise of 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." There will be many opportunities in the course of our lifetime to "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7). This battle does not excuse the believer from taking responsibility for his actions.

4. The Mind-Reading Lie: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don't bother to check it out. You prematurely define how people are feeling toward you. Without their saying so, you think you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. The Truth: This could be a good indication of a paranoid personality. The paranoid personality is a suspicious individual. His/her belief is characterized by hypersensitivity and an exaggerated sense of self-reference. The mind is a battlefield crowded with strongholds. The predispositions you have were erected through environmental exposure to toxic people in your childhood. Second Corinthians 10:1-7 says, "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh." (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty toward God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. Do you look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's even so are we Christ's."

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Jeremiah 1:8 says, "Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee." Psalm 6:7-10 says, "Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxes old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayers. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed." (Additional reading: Psalm 10; Psalm 27:2-3, 12; Psalm 31:9-13). Also, please read Matthew 7:1-5. What is the supercritical person forgetting, according to this passage? What should priority number one be for this critic?

5. The Magnification / Catastrophizing / Minimization Lie: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as failures, falling short, or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your good and desirable qualities or someone else's limitations). Catastrophic thinking, "I'm going to have a heart attack." Catastrophic symptoms triggered by encountering the object/situation of a phobia or fear. You expect disaster. "What if's" control your thinking. You may minimize serious situations with expressions like, "No big deal!" The Truth: What are you afraid of? This kind of thinking is fear-driven to either extreme. Get real! Be real! Romans 12:9 ­ "Let love be without dissimulation." Get real about love, which "casts out all fear." Second Tim. 1:7 ­ "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind." Heb. 13:6 ­ "So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." I John 4:18 ­ "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love."

6. The Personalization Lie: You see yourself as the cause of some problem, or take on someone's opinion as having more value than it should. You take statements and events personally. You compare yourself to other people.

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The Truth: We should never compare ourselves with other people. First Corinthians 2:13 ­ "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." Second Corinthians 10:12 ­ "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves among themselves, are not wise." "Things" (good and bad) happen to everyone. Ecclesiastes 9:11 teaches us, "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all."

7. The Control Lie: You see yourself as helpless, a victim of circumstances and controlling people. The Truth: You may believe yourself to be helpless, but you are not without help. Philippians 4:12-13 says, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." The secret to becoming a "circumstance overcomer" is replacing this lie with the truth of Romans 8:28, which says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." You can become a Romans 8:28 person. First John 5:5 says, "Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" Consider that the dependent personality type is a classic victim personality. The DP type exhibits a continual childlike desire to have others provide for him or her, make decisions for him or her, set his or her boundaries and meet his or her needs. Consider this, there are no controlling people, only people who allow themselves to be controlled. Even in many circumstances of a sexual and/or violent nature, if a person is old enough to know the difference, when a violation happens once, the person is a victim. If it happens again and again, the person could then very likely be a volunteer rather than a victim. 8. The Fairness Lie: You feel life is not fair. You have more talent and ability than other people who have greater success. You feel resentful because you think you

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know what is fair and other people will not agree with you. The Truth: The repentant thief who was crucified beside Christ, said to the mocking thief, "But the other answering rebuked him, saying, `Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condition? And we indeed justly (fairly); for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss" (Luke 23:40-41). First Corinthians 15:34 says, "Awake to righteousness (same original root word as fairness), and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." The treatment of Christ was not fair, but it did have a higher, eternal purpose. We are commanded to wake up to fairness. Jesus said in Matthew 19:30, "But many that are first shall be last and many that are last shall be first." That does not really sound fair, but it is the truth. (Matthew 20:1-16) Read the parable and then tell me, who is in charge?

9. The Blaming Lie: You hold other people responsible for your misfortune and bad breaks. The Truth: This is the victim mentality. The truth is, we are responsible. Galatians 6:7-8 clearly states, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall to the Spirit reap life everlasting." This is often called "the law of the harvest." There are even natural consequences to our bad choices. Some consequences are naturally set in motion that will not reverse themselves. First Corinthians 3:12-17 points out the individual responsibility we all have before God. Every person does his or her own building and every person is their own temple. The Bible says, "For other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abides which he had built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet as though by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." Matthew 25:14-30 records the parable of the talents. As you read the Scriptures you

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

will learn that each servant was given responsibility for a certain number of talents. Each servant did something different with his talents. I will not tell you "the rest of the story" because I want you to read it yourself. When you complete the reading, answer this question: Were the servants held responsible for their actions? The truth is we must assume responsibility for our actions. consequences for both our negative and positive actions. There are natural

We learn a great lesson about responsibility from the verses recorded in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12: "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some, which walk among you disorderly (insubordinate), working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." A classic statement appears in James 3:13: "Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do." In Ecclesiastes 11:1 the Bible reminds us, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shall find it after many days."

10. The "Should" Lie: You try to motivate yourself with "should" and "should not," as if you needed to be whipped into shape and punished before you accomplish anything. "Musts" and "oughts" also fall into this category. The Truth: There is right and wrong. However, living by musts, shoulds and oughts are signs of a spirit of fear. The emotional consequence of this lie is guilt. When you direct should and should not statements towards others, you are normally feeling anger, frustration and resentment. "Should" lies are an effort to control others. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Hebrews 4:9 says, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God." (There is a life of rest, cessation from struggle, available for every believer.)

11. The Labeling and Mislabeling Lie: This is an extreme form of overgeneralizaton. Instead of identifying the lie you believe, you attach a negative label to yourself. i.e., "I'm a loser." When someone else's behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him/her (i.e. "He's a jerk"). Mislabeling involves describing some events with profanity or emotionally labeled in another negative way.

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Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

The Truth: This thinking reflects anger and buried resentments. "I am a loser" could be you beating yourself up for unresolved issues. "He's a jerk," or "She's a (whatever)" probably reflects unresolved personal issues from your past. We are told to "mark" certain people. But it must be done scripturally. Romans 16:17 gives us the rule: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Emphasis mine.)

12. The Performance-Based Lie: God will love me more if I am a better person. I must meet certain standards in order to feel good about myself. The Truth: Because of justification, you are completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God. You no longer need to be in the bondage of legalism. You suffer from Positional Identity Disorder. That simply means you are trying to become who you already are "in Christ." Think about these verses of Scripture from Colossians chapter three: Vs. 6 ­ walk "in Him" Vs. 7 ­ rooted "in Him" Vs. 8 ­ built up "in Him" Vs. 10 ­ complete "in Him" When you were born again you were placed "in Christ." Conditionally you live here, in the flesh. However, positionally you are "in Christ" right now. Conditions change, but position never changes. Identity has to do with who you are, not what you do.

13. The Emotional Reasoning Lie: You assume that your darkened emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are (i.e., "If I feel it, it must be true"). If you feel inferior, inadequate, senseless, unattractive, dumb, crude, or boring, then you must be the person your feeling reflects. The Truth: Feelings cannot be classified as good or bad. They are only signals for our present self-talk (thoughts). Emotions are like a smoke alarm, faithfully responding to the stimuli of the beliefs we are using as we evaluate each circumstance. Emotions cannot be controlled directly. Emotions are a side effect of

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

something else that we can directly command, namely our thoughts. thoughts are directly influenced by what we believe.

And our

14. The Jumping to Conclusions Lie: You make a premature judgment about people, events and statements. You make a negative or positive interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. The Truth: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

15. The Approval Lie: You believe you must have the approval of people to feel valid or validated as a person. The Truth: Because I have been reconciled to God "in Christ," I am totally accepted by God. I do not have to fear rejection. God is my source of validation. Titus 2:14 says, "Who gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify us unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

16. The Unworthy Lie: punished.

People who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be

The Truth: Because of propitiation, I am deeply loved by God. I no longer have to fear being punished. First John 2:2 says, "And He (Christ) is the propitiation (the complete payment) for our sins and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." From their excellent book, Truthful Living, A. Boyd Luter and Kathy McReynolds, I would like to share part of their Biblical Creed for Christian Recovery. This is what God has done for me and for you: Calling and election: I have been chosen before the world began. He has given me eternal security. (Eph. 1:3-4) Conversion: I have been given new life in Christ. He has given me hope and a new beginning. (1 Peter 1:22-25)

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Regeneration: I have been made spiritually alive. He has given me His Holy Spirit and the power to change. (Titus 3:5-6) Justification: I have been pardoned from my sin and declared righteous in His sight. He has given me freedom from shame and guilt. (Rom 5:1; Rom 8:1) Adoption: I have been adopted into God's family. I am wanted and belong to Him. (Rom. 8:15-16) Glorification: I will dwell in the presence of God in the new heaven and new earth for eternity. I will receive a glorified body. He has given me the promise of new recovery. (Rev. 21:1-5)

17. The "I Cannot Change" Lie: I have been like this as long as I can remember and I cannot change. I want to stop, but I cannot stop. The Truth: In 2 Corinthians 5:17, you are a new creation "in Christ," someone who never existed before. Because of regeneration you can become a new person "in Christ." God can change you and help you to continue to change. As a matter of fact, the moment you are converted you are changed and you continue to be changed. According to 2 Corinthians 1:10 you have been delivered, you are being delivered and you will be delivered. You have been changed, are being changed and shall be changed. You are justified. You are being sanctified. You shall be glorified.

18. The "Conform to My Image" Lie: I want to change people, even my spouse, into whom I believe they should be. I want people to be the way I want them to be. The Truth: You are playing God. Only God can really change people. We should allow Him to do the work of "transformation" and "conformation," i.e., changing people into the image of His dear Son. (Rom. 8:29)

19. The "Forget the Past" Lie: If I really have forgotten my past failures and mistakes, I would never remember them again. The Truth: To forget does not mean to not remember. From the Biblical perspective, to forget means that the past, when you do remember, is no longer an issue.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

20. The "If I Have God I Don't Need People" Lie: All I need is the power and presence of God. Since Christ is enough for me, it is God and me against the world. The Truth: We need each other! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he hath not anyone to help him." In 1 Corinthians 16:17-18, Paul the Apostle makes a statement about the importance of the right people in our lives. He says to the Corinthians, "I am glad for the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit." The last thing we need is toxic people. Negative, faultfinding, fatalistic people poison our spirit. People with a self-defeating personality tend to create emotional excess baggage for everyone with whom they come in contact with. All of us need refreshing people. By that I mean people who are like a breath of fresh air. This level of need is not an unhealthy codependency. It is, however, a relationship that promotes individual and corporate growth in the Body of Christ. The Word of God instructs us to: "be devoted to one another" ­ Romans 12:10 "give preference to one another" ­ Romans 12:10 "be of the same mind toward one another" ­ Rom. 12:16 "love each other" ­ Romans 13:8 "accept one another" ­ Romans 15:17 "through love serve one another" ­ Galatians5:13 "be kind to one another" ­ Ephesians 4:32 "confess your sins to one another" ­ James 5:16 "pray for one another" - James 5:16 "love one another from the heart" ­ 1 Peter 1:12

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

Good Counsel For The Paraprofessional Christian Human Development Counselors: "Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14) (Amplified). First John 2:27 says, "But the anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." Only the power of the Holy Spirit's anointing can expose the lies people believe and only by that same anointing can the lies be replaced by the truth. Counseling for Christians must include the Scriptures and the power of God. Even the names used to express the character of God reflect our need for Him and sufficiency in Him. "Our tools are already at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity." (1 Corinthians 10 ­ The Message) From the following list, consider the power of His name. His Name is: Jehovah-Nissi Jehovah-Rohi Jehovah-Shalom Jehovah-Shammah Jehovah-Rophe Jehovah-Jierh Jehovah-M'Kaddesh Jehovah-Tisdkenu Meaning: Our Banner Our Shepherd Our Peace Our Presence Our Healer Our Provider Our Sanctifier Our Righteousness Benefit: Security Safety Sanity Spirit Soundness Success Service Savior

To leave Him out of the healing process is unthinkable.

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

Change Your Beliefs ­ Change Your Life

The Confession for Overcomers

My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed and sanctified. My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness, yielded to God for

His service and for His glory.

The devil has no place in me, no power over me and no unsettled claims against me. All

has been settled by the blood of Jesus.

I

overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony and I love not my life unto death.

My body is for the Lord and the Lord is for my body.

Author Unknown

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Therapon University: Validating People ­ One Degree at a Time

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INTRODUCTION

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