I heard a story of a group of people who found a 4-month old abandoned German shepherd who was suffering from dehydration. The puppy also suffered from bruises all over its body. The people said that the puppy avoided them and for the first month, whenever they came near it, it would shrink and tremble. When they tried to reach out their hand to pet it, it would cower in the corner because it had learned to expect abuse from the hands of humans. It feared the world that it had come to know. It is the same way with children who develop their perception of the world based on how their first caretakers care for them. If they had good parents then they develop strong trust muscles. If they had bad parents then they develop weak trust muscles and their ability to bond is hindered. It is through these experiences that we draw a mental map of the world and then we order our journey around it.Am I using an old map to live, govern, or dictate my life? Click To Tweet
This is not something we do consciously. It is kind of like touching a hot stove and the brain warning us not to do that again. The puppy, however, had not been warned not to touch a hot stove but not to connect with humans. The only problem is that the puppy’s mental map was now outdated. When we are older and are removed from a painful setting, our brain does not automatically update. In the new setting, it begins to draw a barrier, based on old data, which prevents us from living fulfilling lives and relating to others. The key question that we all have to ask is, “Am I using an old map to live, govern, or dictate my life?” Distorted thinking is like outdated maps, but we do not know that we are still using antiquated maps to help us find our way.
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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV)
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Philippians 3:13 (NKJV)
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.