Our daily newscasts alert us to agreements or pacts that have been agreed to between countries, companies, or organizations. Many times there is a formal signing event with special pens designated for the agreement, treaty, or pact. In recent history, many pacts or deals were sealed by a handshake instead of a formal ceremony. In those days, your word was your bond and the handshake was the physical demonstration of the agreement. In each case, it represents a promise or commitment to that which has been agreed upon.
Children like to “pinky promise” one another. It is their version of a handshake of old perhaps. A bride and groom pledge promises to one another representing a covenant, an agreement.
There are also unspoken agreements that are made along the way in all of our lives. Some of these we are conscious of and have assented to on some level. Perhaps it is something that was spoken long ago and now continues to be assumed such as a husband agreeing to handle the yard work or the wife agreeing to handle the primary job of cooking.
Beyond these are unconscious agreements we have made and continue to make unknowingly. These are those convictions we have developed or have been raised to believe about life, the Lord, and us. Many of these developed as children or adolescents when we were malleable and believed what we learned was fact without the maturity, discernment or wisdom to know whether they were true or false. For those reasons, it gives fertile ground for the enemy to twist and distort our beliefs. Too often, they shadow us into adulthood without our awareness. If we stumble upon one of them, we assume we are the ones creating these thoughts versus the whispers of the enemy.
Those unconscious subtle agreements work to try to erode the truth and wreak havoc with our thought life and emotions. These then nibble away and erode our relationships, casting doubt and uncertainty where there is no reason for either one.
How does this work?
Perhaps when we were young children our parents were divorced and we did not and could not understand what happened, but we felt abandoned by the parent who moved out of our home. We wondered if it was our fault in some way, if we had obeyed more quickly, been quieter, tried harder, or been more of something we could have still been a family. In the mix of those wounded hearts, a subtle whisper can begin that we are not good enough, don’t deserve a family, will be abandoned by anyone we love.
These beliefs sink under the surface of our minds and hearts and yet, even in adulthood they subtly pop up above the surface. We have a hard time believing we are worthwhile, trusting we are loveable and will not be abandoned when we risk loving. Despite whatever we achieve, we cannot believe in “the possible” for ourselves and sometimes we struggle with what the Lord believes about us even after we become Christians.
I think that is why Paul reminds us in II Corinthians 10 to take every thought captive. It reminds us that we need to take back the truth about who we are, who we are not, and who He is. We often will ask someone else to affirm us in some way and hope that will get rid of the pesky thoughts. Sadly, those words slide off of us as if we were made of Teflon.
It is only when we hear from our Creator the truth that we can receive the positive affirmations of others and own the truth. The truth is that He loved us before, before we knew Him, before we tried to obey Him, and He will never abandon us. His love was NEVER based on whether or not we were good enough or deserved it. NONE of us were or did. It was based on who He was, is, and always will be.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psa. 139:14 ESV