Words have meaning beyond their definitions. There are connotations that we often don’t think about or realize. Basically, what happens is our minds hear the words spoken and receive them in their literal sense, and with all the implications of it.
Calling one’s spouse “my plump little pigeon” may somehow sound like an endearment, but the mind and heart hear two things: “you’re fat” and “you depend on me for everything.” This one I know from experience, and over 30 years later still feel the sting of it.
I recently learned about thinking and talking about my weight in a different way. A dear friend has had her weight struggles, too, and told me that she no longer says she lost weight. Now she declares that she has released that number of pounds. Why the change? It’s just semantics, right?
Not at all! The mind hears “lost” and believes there’s something that needs to be found, so it goes into search and rescue mode. Before long, you’re craving all the things that will pack on pounds so that what you lost is found.
I heard this wisdom recently as well, “Don’t take ownership of what was never meant to be yours.” We discussed the concept then moved on in conversation. That statement has stuck with me. Wander through this thought with me.
God created us in His image. Healthy, strong, sound mind, kind, compassionate, all the characteristics. Sin wrecks that for us, though, and we live with sickness, pain, weakness, fear, anxiety, bitterness, and it’s just not pretty, and it doesn’t feel good. Yet we continue to say, “I have arthritis” or “I have a cold I can’t shake” or “I am anxious all the time” or “I can’t forgive,” and so many other statements of ownership.
We humans love to have. One of the first things a baby learns is ownership. They know their toy, their blanket, their bed, their mommy and daddy, and they’re quick to let others know that those are “MINE!”
As we grow, this sense of ownership grows with us, but what we don’t realize is how much we add to our portfolio of things we own. Now, I could go into the concept that it’s all the Lord’s and we don’t own anything, only steward it, but today, I want us to look at what we’re doing to ourselves with these ownership words.
Mine! That’s mine! We claim many belongings this way. What about the simple “my”? My cold. My cancer. My arthritis. My MS. My aches and pains. The list is long! Do we really want to claim those as ours?
In the same way our mind will seek out those lost pounds, we will seek to keep these things we call “my” and “mine.”
You might think that this change in words is only tricking our minds, or that this denies reality. Not at all. It’s actually learning how our minds work and working with them, and instead of denial, it’s bringing our minds to reality: We don’t own these pains, they are afflicting us. We don’t own these trials, they are challenging us.
Do you see the difference?
In taking ownership we are telling our minds that the
pain and sickness are supposed to be there,
that they are ours to keep and hold forever.
The other way we are declaring that
we are made in the image of God
and these things are bothering us.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want this arthritis pain. I want to learn to stop saying, “my arthritis” and pray that God relieves me of it. The trouble is, I have 60-some years practice in the me, my, mine and changing is difficult. BUT, it is possible with some intentional choices and repeated action.
So now, as I think about and talk about any issues I have, I’m working to remember that I don’t HAVE them, they are afflicting/bothering me. This may not make the issues go away, but I believe that when my mind and heart know the issue is not mine, they will work in the way they were created to alleviate the pain, and release the sickness.
Sickness, weakness, and disease weren’t meant to be ours, yet they afflict us and present daily challenges that take over our lives. I wonder who would want that to happen? Who would want our attention on afflictions and challenges instead of the missions and purposes God has for us? Who would want to stop us from being all God died for us to be?
We have an ancient enemy who desperately wants to thwart God’s plans. He thinks he’s like God and that he can rule and reign as God. Sometimes he gets his ways when we accept the physical afflictions as belonging to us. When we stop living in our purpose. When we stop working where God placed us. When we stop trusting Him.
Whenever we are led to put our focus
on what we own instead of who God is,
the enemy wins.
I live with chronic pain. It has been a part of my life since I was a spring chicken. Matter of fact, I’ve had it so long, I can’t tell you when it began. There have been times I’ve let that pain tell me I can’t do something I knew for sure I was supposed to do.
No more. No more saying “I have Afib.” Now it’s “I deal with Afib.” No more “I have arthritis.” It’s now “Arthritis makes me hurt.”
No more letting the enemy dictate who I am or what I do. I’m changing my mind, and refusing ownership of what I have to what God says I have.
- I have love, power, and a sound mind.
- I have power to be God’s witness all around the world.
- I have direct access to the Father.
- I have the mind of Christ. (how did He face sickness, pain, and death?)
- I am God’s ambassador.
There’s much more. Now, let me say, I’m not the name it/claim it believer. I’m the trust in God believer. I also believe we’re to take our thoughts captive to believe as Christ does. So, I’m not saying that I can say, “I don’t have arthritis” and POOF! the pain is gone. I’m saying that the simple change from “my arthritis” to “the arthritis that bugs me” is a declaration to me and the enemy that I refuse to be owned by the possession of arthritis.
Okay, I’ve rambled on too much. Today is a great day to take captive the thoughts of sickness and weakness stop us from being all God wants us to be and replace them with a deep-seated focus on Him alone.
Francesca Battistelli’s “The Breakup Song” is an example of losing the ownership of what is plaguing you. I hope you feel empowered by listening to it.