by Beverly Ward
April 3, 2022
From Science: Are you all tied up in a not? Ask any seasoned therapist and you will likely learn that much of the pain and heartache people experience comes from what I am calling"not thoughts". Some common "not thoughts" are: "I am not good enough", "I am not worthy", "I am not loveable", "I am not deserving", "I am not normal", and so on. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) these thoughts fall into the category of "negative core beliefs about the self". Core beliefs are our generalized understandings about ourselves, others, and the world and they are shaped by things such as life experiences, personality, and words spoken over us. Negative core beliefs can cause pervasive negative feelings such as sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness and unhelpful behaviors such as isolating, self-sabotaging, and relationship sabotaging.
One way to understand core beliefs is to imagine them as colored lenses. If you put on glasses with yellow tinted lenses, the world looks yellow, when you see yourself in the mirror you see a yellowed -you, and other people also look yellow. Change your lenses to pink, and, poof, it's all pink. When you wear "not thought" glasses, what you see and experience is also distorted (or "colored") accordingly, which causes you to interpret events with a bias. For example, if your boyfriend breaks up with you, or if you break up with him, as you reflect on it, your "glasses" will tint the events to color them with "not thoughts". It takes time to reshape our core beliefs, but, over time, we can improve our faulty thinking. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an excellent and powerful tool to reshape our negative core beliefs, research shows it to be remarkably effective. I believe CBT is most effective when we underpin and overlay it with the power of the knowledge of God.
From Scripture: God has a lot to say about who we are, did you know that you are: a child of God, a daughter or son of the King, the apple of God's eye, called to a life of purpose, an image bearer of Christ, a living display of God's glory, and so worthy and precious that the King of all creation chose great suffering to give you new life? Psalm 139:13 tells us that God knit you together in your mother’s womb. He made you exactly as He intended to. He did not mess up, accidentally misconfigure something, forget a key ingredient, or skimp on materials: you are His masterpiece. You did not grow by accident in your mother's womb, God knitted you exactly according to His design. When we can comprehend even the tiniest fraction of this Truth, it is mind-blowing.
Do you knit? I don't, but I learned a thing or two about knitting so that we could take a closer look at it. Knitting does not happen by accident; it is exceptionally intentional. Before weaving the first loop, the knitter has a design in mind, something they want to create, and a purpose the creation will serve. A lot goes into the planning to ensure that the completed piece is suited to its purpose: will it be a shawl, baby booties, a Christmas stocking? Each would require a vastly different design. The Yarn is thoughtfully chosen: will this piece be best created with wool, chenille, acrylic, or something else? Should the yarn be chunky or delicate, textured or smooth? What colors should be used, and in what patterns? Will the weave be open or tight? Should it drape or be rigid? An experienced knitter knows the properties of each type of yarn and how to select just the right ones to achieve the desired outcome. Much skill and knowledge are required in the planning of the design and the selection of materials. Even more elevated is the craftsmanship manifest in the execution of the design: there are many and varied techniques in knitting, each having the effect of producing a specific quality in the completed piece.
Undoubtedly, God needed no instruction or practice to knit us together perfectly, after all, who would be his teacher? In fact, all that the most expert knitters possess, God provides. They rely on the brain he designed and created, on the eyes he brought into being, and on the hands he crafted especially for them. Their creativity, intellect, drive, talent, and love for kitting were all knit into them by divine design. Interestingly, when knitting to the highest standard, knots are not acceptable in the workmanship. When it comes to God's knitting, I would say that "nots" are not a part of His workmanship. God did not put a single "not" in you. You were "knit" without a "not". I am going to call that a "knit thought".
Action Plan: Endeavor to learn a little something about knitting and consider what it means that you were knit together by God. To help with this, I included a video on knitting in the Lagniappe section. As you view it, consider the wonder of each finished piece and all that went into its creation. Notice also the many differences among the finished pieces and how unique each is. Consider then, how much greater a wonder is God's knitting of the knitters, the work done by God in their creation and in yours. Replace your "not thoughts" with "knit thoughts". When you feel those "not" core beliefs being triggered, use your "knit thoughts" to reshape them to fit what God says is True of you. When you feel that you are "not enough" challenge that thought with the Truth that you were "knit enough".
"You Say", by Lauren Daigle