Influence in the World- the Heart and the Mind

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27‬

Influence by Bondage

The cycle of influence by bondage in the world, is like the ouroboros- the serpent eating its own tail. The cycle is persistent, and the effect is perpetual suffering because the course is cyclical.  There is no escape from man made constructs that determine influence, and there is no escape from the negative elements that hold sway. This is societal torment. This is in opposition to love. This is the control of the mind which is predisposed to imbalance.

Peace of Mind & Heart

Now the heart you’ll find uncompromising.  It beats steadfast with life purpose. The heart is less ruled or controlled and less volatile. It is independent. You can hold peace in the heart.

The heart is central and fundamental. It is fearless in its duties, promoting life and love. Unswayed, but the heart is vulnerable to attack if unprotected. 

So, protect the heart you must. There is a battle in this world for each and every person. The conflict between the heart and the mind.

Battle for Heart & Mind

As influence looms to besiege the heart’s independence, it employs to make the heart sick. It works to harden the heart. To eject all peace and instill fear.

It is your right to push back against the persistent cycle of influence in the world. To connect back to Truth and its freedom.  Question everything, hear, then feel with your heart. Cause your own independent, personal awareness. Hone what you believe. Connect to what brings you peace. 

Free Your Purpose

“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭

We are created beings.  Our desire for purpose and meaning in life is the result of being created with purpose and meaning.  We exist for a finite purpose for which the world distracts.  Our own established value systems hold us captive, hindering our purpose.  We are driven by purpose, so when our purpose is hindered, we are not at peace.  Our purpose is intrinsic, and as we move in it, in the flow of it, we are at peace.

We are creative beings.  Our desire to create is to bring to fruition the purpose which we are created for.  When our creative purpose is confused, opposed, stunted, we are not at peace. 

But the world distracts, and the world confuses.  And so, we struggle for our peace.  Our systems of inputs and outputs are misguided and what we hold as valuable is skewed because of it.  When our wants and needs are filtered through skewed senses, our purpose is entangled. The ultimate body, soul, mind attack is the entanglement of our purpose.  

How do we disengage or emotionally detach from misguided systems to where our purpose is set free?

Self image and the Bible

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭NASB

Self Image

Self image is the way you think about yourself and your abilities or appearance. Our mental image of ourselves can strengthen us or weaken us. The more positively we think of ourselves, the higher we elevate our body, soul, and mind, and the closer we get to our best selves to carryout our God given purpose. However, when we have a negative self image- feeling worthless, unattractive, incapable, or feeling like a failure, we impede the flow of harmony in our lives. 

God’s Image

We are created in God’s image. We are taught to be Christ like. This means we are beautiful, admirable, respectable, knowledgeable, fearless, and diligent among so many other great characteristics. When negativity tries to seep in, we must remember these truths. Even when our negative self image comes into focus because of a wrong we have done or mistakes we have made, remember that God calls us not because we think we are righteous but because we know we are sinners (Matthew 9:13).  Remember to focus on flourishing the beauty that comes from within, “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:4).

God sees us striving to be our best selves, so we can call on him when we feel weak in mind and doubt our abilities, or don’t feel good about ourselves. He’s able to brighten your point of view in an instant when you look to Him.

Start. Foster a positive self image that makes you feel good about yourself by putting in the effort to take care of your body, soul, and mind. Change your thinking and make your thoughts those of positivity and optimism always. Be Christ like, follow His example of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, forgiveness, humility, courage, honesty, generosity, compassion, obedience, diligence, and discipline, among many others.

Purpose and the Bible

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”  

Joshua 1:8

Feeling like you don’t have a purpose in life can be debilitating. It can stifle your hope and joy, and abridge the harmony of your body, soul, and mind.

Your Work

Our life purpose is a special gift given to us by God to help each other (1 Peter 4:10).  It could be connected to your career, your creative passion, or who you are as a parent, sibling, spouse, or neighbor.  This “job” that God gives us could be thought of as big or small but it is definitely significant and it is given to us in service to Him. As explained in 1 Corinthians 12, the work that we are each appointed to do, make up various parts of a whole body, and this body works together seamlessly for God’s divine purpose. God puts each of us where He wants us according to our spiritual gifts and when we connect with God in such a way that we understand what our God given purpose is, it’s life changing! “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).G

Your Plan

Now, lets think about when frustration rears its head.  This will happen when your plan for your life does not work out exactly as you expected, according to the specific path that you thought of in your head for yourself.  You can see why this may present a problem- it is because this can be a very self-serving mindset. The way to counteract this is by putting God first. “seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33).

Start.Put God first. Look to Him for everything, in every decision, and in every move you make. If you make a mistake and go off His path, trust in Him that He will put you back on it. Remember, “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).  Listen to your life.  God is continuously speaking to us through life events, and moments that may seem insignificant may indeed be God’s divine guidance. Pay attention and connect with God through His word and through your prayer and meditation time so that these moments that God is speaking to you do not go unnoticed.  As the gospel says “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8). How wonderful to have God so carefully guiding us in our lives. Embrace the joy in the journey.  Know and accept when God refines us to become our best selves. He will test our hearts with difficulties to strengthen us, to make us effective and capable for our God given purpose. 

Emotional-well being and the Bible

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Timothy 1:7

We embody a range of emotions. From joy, happiness, excitement and the like, to sadness, anger, fear and the like. It is important that we are able to live comfortably with these emotions- embracing the good and managing the bad in healthy ways.

In Control

Our emotions are natural and instinctive and are expressed in everyday life within different circumstances. Although there are many wonderful emotions that bring us great feelings, there are also many emotions that are destructive, cause us distress, and interfere with the harmony in our lives. Emotions like anger, jealousy, fear, sadness, anxiety, worry, contempt etc. are like chains of bondage that hold you captive and weigh you down, and you can be yanked around in any direction because you are not in control of these chains. Our number one priority in regard to our emotional well-being should be to control our emotions and not let our emotions control us. God directs us to be of sound mind, to be strong and courageous, and to not be a weak reed swayed by every breath of wind. We need to choose to not be yanked around by these negative emotions that can arise out of our daily life.

Sound Mind

Remember that God is with us when we stand against the causes of these negative emotions. As the gospels say, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11), also to “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). In this life we live, no one is exempt from trials, and we are triggered by all sorts of negativity. However, we serve a God that fights for us and teaches us how to fight. Our God knows us through and through, He knows the battle we face everyday to stay on the right path. We are in His good Graces, we need only to look to Him. “Oh Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether” (Psalms 139:1-4).

Start. Take steps to be more positive, optimistic, and hopeful. Always look on the bright side of things. Look for the sliver lining in difficult situations and always look for the positive attributes in people. Reduce your stress and manage it in healthy ways. Be resilient- when you get knocked down, get back up and try harder. Last but not least, always call on God for help, He will strengthen you.

Stress management and the Bible

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” 

Philippians 4:8-9

Manage Stress

Stress is a part of life and it can wreak havoc on our body, soul, and mind if we do not know how to cope with it in our daily life. Stress is the result of pressure, strain, or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances, or circumstances you feel are out of your control. Stress can be overwhelming and can cause anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, pounding heart, insomnia, and premature aging among others. One of the best things we can do for ourselves when encountering stress is to manage it in healthy ways.

Change Perspective

God shows us the way to consider stress. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”(James 1:2-4). Changing your perspective on stress and knowing that God is in control, that He loves us and wants the best for us, can enable us to look at the stressors in a different way which can be freeing. Once we’re able to see the stressors in a different light, we are better able to make use of stress management tools like relaxation techniques, physical activity, communicating your feelings or counseling, time management techniques etc. 

We also need to keep ourselves mentally and spiritually strong and resilient before stress occurs. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). We need to know who we are in Christ, strengthen the areas in which we are weak, and put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We need to be prepared with the truth that God has our back no matter the stress of the moment. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Start. Trust that God loves you and wants the best for you. Pray and meditate before, during, and after stressful moments so you have an understanding of each event and can take lessons from it. Make use of stress management techniques like controlled breathing, positive thinking, time management, exercise, doing something you love, treating yourself, talking to close friends and family, and more.