I’m part of a journaling group that’s going through some guided leadership questions with the goal of digging through core beliefs in order to grow into stronger leaders. To give some context, this is something I’m doing with coworkers at work and it’s just something fun we all decided to get together and do. The questions are from a secular perspective, but deal with core moral beliefs.
One of the recent questions asked, “What is the meaning of life for you?” Now I’m sure you’re thinking that there’s nothing more exciting than an open-ended existential journal prompt, right? LOL just kidding. This one I found to be super easy because I know what the meaning of life is (or at least what my understanding of it would be — in other words, I have an answer for the question). But when the group met together to discuss the week’s journaling this question came up naturally in the discussion because it was a heavy-hitter. I realized that only myself and perhaps one other lady professed to be Christian and we both had very similar responses to the prompt.
In the group were a variety of other non-Christian world views. And while I was welcome to share mine, I felt really awkward at first because in a secular corporate setting, sharing of faith is not always accepted. (Because you know how some people can feel about the J word) Luckily, this group was open to it and I was able to share where I stand on the subject. But I also sympathized with many of the group members because, as I listened to their answers, I began to realize many of them were searching. They had no idea what the meaning of life was or even where to start. They were lost. They were trying all sorts of different things looking for the answer to this question. And I realized, if you don’t have a solid foundation and know what you believe and why, you’re always going to be searching for that answer. If God isn’t your source, then the burden is on you to define the meaning of life for yourself and we all know that can lead to all sorts of error. (See Romans 1:19-20)
That was a big realization for me. While the question itself was almost obvious to me because I have a strong foundation in my beliefs, I realized in that moment, that there are lots of people who have no idea what they believe about the meaning of life and were still searching.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 48:14
For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever and He will guide us until we die.
I love the finality of this verse. Because God wants to be our God for our whole lifetime, to be there for us from beginning to end, and guide us “until we die.” The end, put a period on it. Talk about the faithfulness of God! What a foundation to build our lives upon! That every day we can trust God to get us through. That’s powerful stuff.
Isaiah 46:4 says
I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.
We can have a solid foundation in God throughout our whole life. Day in. Day out. God promises it! All we have to do is look to Him each day. Spend time with Him. Get His Word rooted in our hearts. Here are a few more verses along this same line:
And while I’m sure you’ve heard the worldly saying to “question everything,” and I don’t always agree that we should question everything, there are certain things we should not question. Like the truth of God’s word. If we start to question that, it opens the door for doubt and unbelief. However, I do think it’s a good idea to question ourselves and our beliefs to make sure what we believe is true and correct. How will we know we believe the right thing if we never examine it and hold it up to the standard of God’s word?
One way to challenge the truth of our beliefs is through journaling. When we have thoughts bouncing around in our head, they can be tied to emotions and feelings that we feel so strongly and intensely, and the thought may not even be grounded in reality! But, when we write it out on paper we can see clearly in black and white whether that thing is true or not and it will lose its power over us. Once written, it loses that emotional connection and we can much more easily recognize lies and truth.
Sometimes it can be scary to ask yourself the challenging questions as I have been doing on this blog, but that’s one way you can get deeper with God. To start digging a little bit below the surface of your thinking and challenge those thoughts and beliefs to find out what is grounded in truth and what is not. If you discover you’ve been believing something untrue, then the exercise was worth it! Once it’s on paper it’s easy to compare it to the word of God and ask, is this thing I believe really true according to God’s word? If not, write out what is true and begin to reframe your thinking. When we get rid of faulty thoughts and line our thoughts up with the Word, we are in the process of renewing our minds and building a stronger foundation!
So I want to challenge you this week to test your foundation. Grab your journal and work through the following questions.
- Read Romans chapter 1, Psalms 48:14 and Isaiah 46:4, and the additional scriptures listed. What do these verses mean to you? Do any of them resonate with you this week? (if so, you can write it on a 3×5 and memorize it!)
- Can you imagine yourself being guided by God for your lifetime (like it says in Psalms 48:14 and Isaiah 46:4)? What would that look like on a daily basis?
- What do you truly believe? What are some of your core beliefs? What is the meaning of life for you?
As you answer question 3, write out what you believe and then come back and examine it to ensure it’s actually true. Look at it with fresh eyes as if it was written on the internet. If some random blogger had written it, would you believe it? Is it true according to God’s word? Look up scripture to see if the belief lines up with the Word. If there are parts of it (or all of it) that is untrue, rewrite the thought in a truthful way to start reframing your thinking.
An example would be, if you wrote down something like, “I’m a failure. I’m no good and I’ll never do anything right.” There are lies all over that! The Bible says we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), we are the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and that God always causes us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14)! So then we would rewrite that statement as “I’m more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus, I am the righteousness of Christ, and God always gives me the victory and I can have good success!” That’s one false thought struck down, probably more to go! LOL But doing this work will help renew your mind and renew your thinking. Put on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and keep going!