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Five minutes to a Better Life
 

Recent attention has been drawn to the self-torture of groups like Agnus Dei, mentioned in The DaVinci Code. Members periodically affix torture devices to their bodies that cause perpetual pain as a means of disciplining their flesh and identifying with Jesus’ suffering. Martin Luther, the father of Protestantism, did this as a monk, before he found true forgiveness. He literally flagellated his body with whips in a vain attempt to reign in his passions and bring his body under subjection.

We look at such practices and shake our heads in wonder. What are people thinking of when they do this? we ask. But I put forth to you that most of us do similar things to our very soul on a daily basis and never think twice about it. I am talking about the myriad of negative, critical, self-condemnatory messages we play over and over in our mind every day.

Like some cruel, wicked inner step-parent we say, “Stop that, you’re no good.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You’re so fat.” What’s wrong with you?” “You’ll never change.” “Can’t you ever do anything right?” Many people say far worse things to themselves, things they would never say to even an enemy, let alone a loved one or friend. And these messages have a consequence. They can lock us into the very behavior and attitudes we hate. In a very real sense, we become what we believe.

About 15 years ago, I was filled with a burning inner rage. It was quickly poisoning every relationship and making me and those I loved miserable. I went to a monastery in Nebraska for a two week intensive healing retreat. The healing I got there dealt with the deep roots of my self-hatred. It has never been back, and I am immeasurably better and happier because of that.   

But there are simpler things we can all do. Just being aware of the ways in which we unwittingly afflict our soul every day is a big first step. Then, once we see ourselves doing it, we can replace those painful, destructive messages with new, positive ones.

The best way I know for doing this is meditating on scriptures. God’s Word is alive and powerful. It can change us like no other thoughts or teachings.

The Apostle Paul had this in mind when he offered us this prescription for perfect inner peace: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if anything is praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things you leaned and received and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

I call passages like this prescriptures. They work better than any drug you can buy to change your inner life and focus. If you replace the old bitter inner tapes of judgment and self-hatred with an awareness of the good that surrounds us all on a daily basis, your life can’t help but improve. You can do this. It may take all of five minutes each day. It will change your life.

 

Ken Unger is President of OnlyGodsFinest.com and founder of TransformationIncorporated.com, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "

 

 
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