Some of you may remember a recent post from my husband about my son and his eating habits. Nathan was going to the bathroom quite often during dinner one night. Sean asked me if I thought he was alright and I jokingly asked Nathan if he was throwing out his dinner in the bathroom. He quickly said No and we all laughed at the absurdity of the question. Within minutes our precious first born came to us broken with tears in his eyes wondering how much trouble he would get in if he told the truth- confessing that yes, he was flushing his food down the toilet. Of course we had to deal with the root of the problem- the lying but we also tried not to laugh too loudly at the situation.
This reminds me a bit of myself. I have never been too great of a liar. I usually told on myself whenever I did something wrong. Call it obsessive compulsive but I just couldn't deal with the guilt of lying. My husband would probably tell you that I over do it on telling the truth- there are some things we should just let go, but I just can't do that. I am honest to the point that sometimes it is detrimental.
I am honest with people. I say whatever is true even when it should be sugar coated. I firmly believe that sometimes people just need to learn how to handle the truth. That the truth will set them free to do the right thing.
Don't worry, I am not just that way with others, I am that way with myself. I am constantly analyzing everything. I can be self deprecating and negative as I focus on what needs to change. I guess I think that focusing honestly on my problems helps me stay humble and focus on my weaknesses rather than my strengths. I think it keeps me grounded and aware of the need for Christ. While this is true, through my reading and talking to dear friends I find that there may be a flaw in my thinking.
Although, there is some truth to my thought process there is also truth that contemplating the negative can be destructive. I love this excerpt from Candace Cameron Bure's new book Reshaping It All- (it is long but worth reading- Candace says it better than I can)
" The simple fact is that if these negative, destructive thoughts are growing in your heart, you will be as you think. If you let those thoughts remain in your heart and accept them to be true, they will eventually blossom and form who you are. If you wake up in the morning only to look in the mirror with disgust, you have already started out on the wrong foot...Be content with the woman you are today and the woman you'll be tomorrow. You don't have to look back; just keep looking forward. maybe you failed before---so what? Failure from the past is not a reason to give up today; in fact it's the very reason you should press on and make it work this time. Change what you can. You hold the God-given power to do that, and the great news is that He doesn't expect you to do it alone. What is it about helium balloons that light up a room so elegantly? Or that make children squeal with delight? Are they not the same as the ones we blow up at the kitchen table and let drift to the floor? No, they aren't. Nothing says, "It's a party!" like a grand bouquet of pink and white helium balloons. What makes them different is that one floats and the other sinks. It's that simple. What we put into them makes all the difference in the world. We're hardly different. We are set apart from the crowd by the things we fill our minds with. "Whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things" Phil. 4:8. These messages help us rise above our strongholds. These thoughts bring us closer to the person God created us to be."
As I write this I remember my dear Mimi listening to me bang on the piano and sing at the top of my lungs old songs she kept at her piano bench- "God is my Soul" or "Oh Give Me a Soapbox". Whenever I finished playing, I would ask her how I did? Did I sound good? And she would always reply with a smile, "yes, hunny, it was great!" Everyone else probably wondered why she said it was good. It certainly was painful to listen too. But she encouraged me through a little lie. That lie gave me confidence and gave me a love for music that I used as I played my flute from fourth grade through college ( and yes my family had to hear the painful notes I played before I learned to play well). It inspired me to give music a try! It is not really a lie but an encouragement to keep on - it was an attitude that left negative thoughts far away and brought about confidence. Had Mimi said it was terrible and asked me to stop playing, I probably would have lost confidence and never loved music. I would have missed out!
So those of you that know me are probably pleased to hear that I am going to work on not being so negative! I will still hold to the fact that we should boast about our weaknesses and sometimes there is a place for complete honesty, however, our thoughts should be lovely and admirable, praiseworthy, and pure. I think I had the pure and right part, but I need to work on thinking more positively!
It will be fun to see what we can accomplish if we rise above our strongholds and allow God to work in us!