Ever have days when you feel as if you are trudging through deep water? And you wish the day would hurry up and be finished already?
Well, it happens to me. Over the years, I've learned to recognize the patterns of thought that bring it about and how Satan uses it to oppress me. As aware as I am of what brings about the oppression on these days I have to admit that I sometimes wallow in it for a while.
Call it self-pity if you will.
Let's use insomnia as an example since this is a problem for a number of people, including me. I'll have a sleepless night and feel "foggy", tired, and irritable by 7:00 in the morning. Since we are physical as well as spiritual beings, in prances "Old Slewfoot" determined to get a foothold into my day.
And it always starts with the mind.
If you can overcome these attacks quickly you have a good chance of having a smooth day. If you don't put them down quickly? Well, things will probably just spiral downwards from there.
Usually I am the one who starts the mess with an internal dialogue that might go something like this:
"Oh, how am I going to get through the day? I'm exhausted and of course it's a work day!" (You can fill in things other than work - the point is that we sometimes set ourselves up for bad days.)
"Why can't I sleep normally like other people? Great, just great! I really needed a good night's sleep, too. Oh well! Another day of walking around in a daze I guess!" (I say this to myself but sometimes secretly wonder if I'm really announcing my displeasure to God. After all, I already know I'm tired so there would be no point in mentioning it to myself, right? Think along the lines of telling others all about your exhaustion to elicit sympathy from them...lol)
If I let thoughts like these fester instead of ripping them out I can almost guarantee that they will get worse:
"I look haggard! Sheesh! Look at those dark circles! And to top it off my head is pounding. I can't go to work like this!"
"No coffee creamer in the house? Sigh. Figures there's no creamer today of all days. I could have sworn I just bought some." (Alright! Who used all the creamer?!)
Okay, this might be a rather simplistic example of poor internal dialogue but I think you get my point. If we crack the door open through negative thinking someone is going to try to stick his foot in there. And it's not anyone we want visiting. We all have trials of some sort on a daily basis and the way we think can set us up for failure. It can also put a damper on our families. Have you ever noticed that if you grumble in the morning others sometimes "catch it"?
Kind of like a virus. If I get up in the morning and speak any thoughts like these out loud all hell may break loose.
All hell? Very funny! Surely not!
Well, sometimes it seems like all hell. I've long learned that if you give satan an inch he'll take a mile. He thrives on little stuff like this because he knows he has the opportunity to nudge the door open further. And he's going to use that opportunity to his advantage. After all, sowing division is his game. If he can seed the family with discord in the mornings he knows it has a good chance of spreading from there.
Slam the door shut on poor internal dialogue before the foothold becomes a stronghold. If you give in to negative internal dialogue on a regular basis it can become a habit and once it becomes habitual to think in this manner you can be sure that satan will use it to undermine both your life and the lives of others.
And it all starts with the "little stuff".