As we were cleaning out our garage recently, I came across a box full of cassette tapes from Middle School and High School. As I looked at the covers of the albums, it took me right back to the memories and feelings from that time in my life.
One of the things we did was make “mixtapes.” We would record our favorite songs from the radio and add them onto a separate tape that was mixed songs and artists. I would listen to them over and over again.
I distinctly remember trying to hit the record button after the DJ talked but before the song started. It was the 80’s version of a Spotify playlist.
For me, I would choose the songs for my mixtape based on what was going on in my life at the time. For the most part, they were love songs directed toward a crush, sad songs of lost love during breakups, or a little rap/hip-hop when I was feeling sassy.
On our Instagram story last week, we asked, “What is something you have struggled with in the past 6 months?”
Thank you for your honesty, it was beautiful and raw. One common thread you shared was the role that your thoughts play in everyday life. Particularly, those nagging thoughts that seem to be stuck on repeat.
Your thoughts can be a lot like a mixtape.
Playing over and over in our head with messages that are linked to your life experiences. When they are repeated enough times, you start to believe them as truth.
What are the thoughts that play on repeat in your mind?
- I am not qualified.
- I am not good enough.
- Blend in or they will reject me.
- Don’t say anything, or I will sound stupid.
- If they only knew the real me, they would not like me.
Can you relate to any of these?
I have had all of those and more played on repeat in my head for years. There was a time in my life when I would constantly hear that I was an “IMPOSTER” whenever I was in church. Maybe you can relate to that one. I share my story of conquering that thought HERE.
The mixtape in your head can be loud. The question is, are you going to entertain that or are you going to choose to listen to the truth that God speaks over you?
Are you listening to the mixtape that you recorded or are you listening to what God recorded for you before you were even born?
When a friend comes to your house, they come in your front door, no hidden agenda, just a desire to be with you. Inviting them inside, you share your life, the struggles as well as the celebrations.
On the contrary, when a thief enters a home, he comes in from the back door, uninvited, sneaky, self-serving. He can go undetected until he has stolen something from you. The same is true for our thoughts.
When we allow God to inhabit our thoughts and record our mixtape, we will feel supported, loved and guided.
When we allow the enemy to direct our thoughts, or record our mixtape, the opposite happens. We feel defeated, judged, and negative. The battle over our thoughts is real.
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”John 10:1-5
The voice of a stranger can sound like many things. It may sound like those condemning, nagging thoughts of something you have done wrong.
Or, they may sound like a recording from something out of your past, perhaps even the voice of someone who did not nurture you the way God had intended. They can be stuck playing on repeat in your head.
What if the only mixtape you hear in your head is the one that God records with songs of life over you?
Here are 3 ways you can turn up the volume on God’s tape.
- Recognize: Recognize when your thoughts are tearing you down instead of building you up.
- Challenge: Actively monitor and challenge your thoughts, do not answer to the voice of the stranger.
- Fill up: Pray and ask God to fill your mind with the words from the tapes that He has recorded for you. For a starting point, click here!
I pray that your mixtape will be one that encourages you to see yourself through God’s eyes.
What is one thought you already recognize that you are going to challenge this week?
Share with us in the comments! Let’s Reclaim our thought life together!