Don’t confuse me with the Facts,my mind is made up.

One of the most antagonistic church members that I ever had wore a cap on his head that said “Don’t confuse me with the facts,my mind is made up.”Although his wife didn’t wear a cap,her husband expressed her sentiments exactly.That was part of their “belief”system.

Dr.Archibald Hart in his book,”Unlocking the mystery of your emotions,Word Publishing.has a chapter on,”How thoughts cause emotions”.

                        Beliefs:

These reflect the acceptance of something as true.Some beliefs are concrete while others are very abstract. I may believe that..1)when my car’s tires are worn to a certain level,I run a high risk of having an accident in wet weather;or 2)unless I am outstandingly competent and never fail in any project I undertake,I will not be accepted by my friends.The first belief is “rational,” since there is evidence to support it.The second is an example of what Albert Ellis calls an “irrational belief”as there is not a shread of evidence to support the idea.

Whenever we invoke absolute ideas such as “I’ve got to!” “I must” or”I ought” we are invariably invoking  irrational ideas.These irrational beliefs give rise to irrational thoughts which are then followed by illogical thinking.When this occurs with deeply personal matters,the emotional consequences can be disastrous.

Some irrational ideas we hold to are quite universal in character.Many have been identified and found to be common in emotionally disturbed people.They are probably present to some extent in all of us.

If we hold to any of the following beliefs we are clearly crossing the line from rational to irrational thinking.

1.I must be loved and liked by everyone,

2.I must be loved at all times without exception.

3.I must be perfectly competent in all that I do.

4 I must never fail.

5.I have no control over my own happiness.

6.Everything that happens to me is catastrophic.

7.Everyone must treat me fairly.

8.I must experience pleasure rather than pain in my life.

The irrational flavor of these ideas will become obvious as you think about them.They are based on absolutes (no exceptions,blacks and whites rather than grays) and set up expections way beyond what can be expected from human beings.These and similiar irrational ideas,to the extent that they are believed and held unconsciously ,can lead to many negative emotions.

It has been demonstrated over and over again that when a person..

Deliberately confronts and examines the ridiculous nature of these ideas…

Stops expecting them to be true…

Stops condemning himself or herself for being human and unable to meet everyone else’s expections..

Realizes at the deepest level of his or her being that God accepts us in Christ just as we are…

Stops judging him or herself and others for being human (only God has the right to judge) and..

Utilizes the resources of the gospel to help overcome all of this….

such a person can practically eliminate most of the serious and unwanted,unpleasent emotions.We are not as out of control  as we think we are when it comes to dealing with our emotions

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