I don't mean your religious beliefs.... I mean your personal beliefs.
For example, what do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your job? Your friends? The world? The government? Politics?
Our belief system can become very entrenched in our hearts but sometimes it is not based on fact or reality, however given time our belief system will BECOME our reality.
Let me say that again.... OUR BELIEF SYSTEM BECOMES OUR REALITY. Unless you examine your beliefs they will run your life and may ruin it too depending on what you believe.
Let me give you an example. A single woman dates three duds in a row. Her belief is now... "There are no good single guys out there... all the good ones are married". Now she sets out to make her belief system accurate... she meets more creeps.
Here's another example... politics. If you believe a certain politician is a horrible person, you will look for evidence to back it up and no doubt you will find it in your own mind. Truth is, he or she may not be as bad as you are perceiving. It works in reverse too.... If you believe someone is wonderful, you may be blind to their faults.
Ok, let's try it a bit closer to home. Did you know that most of your beliefs are formed between the ages of 1-6? Your parents play a huge part in this. If your parents believe a certain way, you are most likely going to adopt the same way of believing. For instance, if you dad comes home from work very tired every day, grumbling about his job you may adopt the belief that "work is hard and no one really likes their job". This will set you up to choose a job that you don't like because that's what jobs are. However, if your parent gleans great satisfaction and meaning from their job, you will be more prone to pursue employment that suits you.
Here's another one. "Money doesn't grow on trees. Money is hard to come by". If this is your belief system you are subconsciously going to back it up with your reality. It will be hard to make money. Or "There's never enough money to do what I want". Again, you will make your belief system your reality.
The truth is that in life we don't get what we deserve... we get what we BELIEVE we deserve. We will only allow good things in our life in as much as we believe that we should get them. If you have a poor self esteem you will not pursue that person that you REALLY want to marry because you don't think you can get them. You will not go after the job or degree you REALLY want because you won't believe you deserve it. It's a great recipe for living below your potential AND a good set up for an unhappy life! Unfortunately then your bad life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as you spiral down to emotionally dark places where you would rather not be.
This can be a tricky business. Perhaps in church you have learned that we are SINNERS saved by grace however the emphasis was that we are sinners. We will tend in life to focus on our sins, instead of the grace part of the equation. We may get consumed with our wickedness and our humanity and despise those parts of ourselves. We will clearly see evidence every day that we are the worst of the worst and we will live in shame and distain.
Do you think that a mighty God that paid with his life for those sins would really want you to be focusing on what he already defeated? I don't think so! God wants you to live by the grace that has saved you, understanding that even though you are "fallen" you are now redeemed. He wants you to live in a "justification" mode.... just as if you never sinned because as far as He is concerned - it's covered... you are free to THRIVE and ENJOY life! We are sinners SAVED by GRACE. Oh... it's SOOO much better that way. Focus on Heaven instead of Hell. Focus on FREEDOM instead of slavery. Those who sow in tears... shall reap in JOY. There's your focus.... abundant life!
Today it snowed. Some people are happy. It is beautiful. It covers the ground and the trees. It nourishes the earth. Schools were cancelled which make children bubble over with glee. There are opportunities to sled or ski. OTHER people are grumbling. "Now I have to shovel. What a mess! I can't go out or I'll break my neck". It's all how you look at things.
So today.... and every day to come.... examine your hearts. What beliefs are you putting stock in that do not serve you anymore. The truth is that we will find evidence to support anything we believe. Start looking at the bright side of life instead of the darkness. Start being the head and not the tail of a coin. They are BOTH there, but wouldn't you rather focus on the beauty in the world? It's your choice.... one will let you skip and one will make you trip. I'd rather dance through my journey than do a face plant on my path.... how about you?