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I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in elementary school and put on meds by third grade. Without the meds, I couldn’t focus. Let’s be honest, with the meds, I could barely focus. 

One afternoon in elementary school, I was studying for a spelling test with a relative. I wish I could remember the word I was trying to spell. My wife tells me those are the kind of details that make for great storytelling. But I can’t. All I remember is that I couldn’t get it right. Over and over, I kept misspelling the same word. 

Finally, my relative hit his limit. He smacked me over the head with a newspaper. “What are you, stupid?”

I may not remember the word I couldn’t spell, but I’ll never forget those four words – What are you, stupid? The truth is, he wasn’t a bad guy. He just had his own issues. But of course, I didn’t realize that as a kid. To me, his voice was the voice of truth, and for decades, I held on to those four words. They were always there, lurking at the bottom of my fears and insecurities, ready to give an explanation for any and every failure. 

What am I, stupid? 


Recognizing Damaging Core Beliefs

Core beliefs come from all sorts of different places. They might be beliefs we develop in response to circumstances, upbringing, or trauma. They might be beliefs someone else speaks over us – things we’re told about ourselves or the world. Most of us function completely unaware of our own deepest core beliefs. Nevertheless, they impact every aspect of our lives, from our view of God, self, and others, to our emotions, decisions, and behavior. 

When we lean into an awakening and take the time to let it expose our deepest thoughts and feelings, our core beliefs surface. But becoming aware of damaging core beliefs is only half the battle. Once we’re aware of them, we must actively dispute them. This is 2 Corinthians 10:5 – “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

The fight for right thinking is an active battle. It’s disciplined and intentional, and it has the power to change your life. In Romans 12:2, Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As we fight to take our thoughts captive, we’re transformed from the inside out. 

We are set free.

Are you ready to fight for freedom – to dispute damaging core beliefs and replace them with the truth? 

Good, because now it’s …YOUR TURN. Read the next article.

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