15th October 2020

Beware of ANTS!

“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6 (CSB)

The Bible tells us that there is much we can learn from Ants (Proverbs 6:6-8). But we are not talking about the little insects that we see here from time to time. Fairly harmless here in the UK but they can be dangerous in other parts of the world. The ANTs we are looking at today are Automatic Negative Thoughts! These can seriously affect Christians, especially if they have been in a Church which imposes excessive rules and regulations that members are expected to live up to, often resulting in unnecessary feelings of guilt. It is not a deliberate policy by a church, but a real consequence of putting sin before love.

The problem for Christians is that kind of environment can spill over into their lives and cause automatic negative thoughts. The “ I’m not good enough “ or “I don’t deserve a happy marriage, promotion or just to enjoy life.” If we have never suffered from feelings of inferiority, a nagging feeling that we are worthless or constant guilt, then we won’t understand the way these feelings affect some people—more in fact, than we realise.

In our culture today there is a lot of talk of mental and emotional problems affecting people. So much that we can sometimes feel the ordinary ups and downs of life are preventing us from fulfilling our potential and are serious problems rather than just life happening. To be crystal clear, if a person is suffering from severe depression they need professional medical help. But for most of us occasional periods of sadness, disappointment and frustration are just part of life. If we allow our thinking to be dominated by ANTS we will see them as life-inhibiting experiences, whether those ANTS come from our parents, our life experiences or our church.

So what is the antidote? It is the realisation that God loves you! That God loves you so much he died for you. That you are made in his image, that God’s thoughts about you are always positive, never negative. Ask God to remove those automatic negative thoughts, wherever they come from, and help us to rejoice in our relationship with him, absolutely confident that, in any situation, we have nothing to fear.

Prayer
Gracious loving Father, help us to banish the negative thoughts that can sometimes inhibit us and may prevent us from taking opportunities, knowing that you have given us a spirit of love, power and a sound mind. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Keith Hartrick

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About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LEEDS
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: leeds@gracecom.church

 

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