“If all our meaning is fabricated in our own minds, we’ll always be confronted with convincing evidence that there really is no point in making the effort. We keep slipping back into skepticism, cynicism, pessimism, and despair.”- Chip Ingram
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take very thought captive to obey Christ.”- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV)
In Chapter 11 (“The Lie of Angst”) of Discover Your True Self, Chip Ingram asserts that the greatest majority of all spiritual warfare takes place in the human mind. The very point, Pastor Ingram observes, Paul makes in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Consequently, Chip shares two of the most powerful lies of Satan:
- You aren’t wanted or needed by anyone, that your life has no purpose or meaning. That you’re the victim of an unfair, uncaring world that brings you pain.
- Significance and meaning come from success in life. Hence, you can only be happy when your relationships, career, and finances reflect your accomplishments.
Therefore, Pastor Ingram counsels, when negative thoughts take root in us, they produce physiological and sociological changes. For example, we may experience feelings of inferiority or loneliness. In addition, the downward spiral of physical and social changes fuels psychological changes. As a result, those changes put a person in a terrible, dark, and dangerous place.
In conclusion, Chip cautions, it’s possible for the effects of depression and despair to linger for quite a while. Because our brain chemistry, neurological pathways, and behavioral patterns don’t change overnight.
But when you encounter the truth of God’s Word, through the Holy Spirit you allow those truths to sink into your heart. Thus, over time you learn to see life — and yourself — in a new light. You find your true sense of calling and purpose.
Today’s question: What most helps you avoid a focus on a fabricated meaning of life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Paralyzing effect of hopelessness”