Do you remember making Mix-Tapes for your girlfriend or boyfriend back in the day? I sure do. I was a mix-taping machine. Now, I will make this disclaimer, my mixtapes were actually mix-Cd’s, but I still did it and did it A-LOT! I would throw down some Boyz 2 Men, some Nsync, a little Savage Garden (Don’t judge me) and then a little DC Talk just to show them I had some Jesus Freak in me.
Whether you mixed cassettes, CD’s or now make Spotify playlists for your crush—the goal was to fill the head of that special someone with positive vibes to help remind them of who you were and the way you felt about them.
Today many of you are still making mixtapes and you don’t even know it. Not mixtapes filled with your fav R&B jam, but negative mixtapes from the pain of your past. Yep, for many of us songs like these fill our heads all day long….
“I’m not good enough”
“I ruined everything with that decision”
“Everyone is talking about me”
“I’m such a loser”
“I hate the way I look”
“They seem to have more than I do”
“Why can’t my life be like theirs?”
Or my personal favorite… “oops, Gods mad at me… again”
These negative tapes are stuck on repeat and produce nothing but misery and jaded views of who we really are. These tapes are toxic. They enhance the pain of the past, poison our present and prohibit us from stepping into the perfect purpose God has for us. These tapes keep us from sharing the second chances stories we’ve all found through our salvation. We’ve got to learn to shut down this negative noise and turn off these tapes!
Here are some steps that I use to help me STOP the negative tapes!
Specifically acknowledge the tape
The first step is always to acknowledge or point out the tape you are listening to. I gave you some examples earlier and one of those may have really turned your stomach. If so, that’s probably your tape. If not, think about it for a bit. Really dig deep and ponder what it is that gets you off track, pushes you to anger, turns you away from God, causes you to isolate or separates you from the freedom you desire.
Throw it out (for good)
Once you’ve determined the tape or tapes that are ringing in your head, the next step is to get of them! I like to practice this by literally writing down the phrases, the words or the negative memories that are stuck in my head on a piece of paper along with the consequences I experience when I allow that tape to keep playing. Once I’ve done this I go through a process of praying, mediation and destruction of this paper. You see there is power in confession, perspective found in mediation and closure in eliminating the physical reminder of the tape!
Operate in how God sees me
Too often we operate in how the world sees us or how we see ourselves. By acknowledging the TRUTH of who God says we are, we put up a positive set of daily “bumpers” that help keep us headed down the right path. When we do this we are able to remain operating under God’s voice not the voice of the negative tape that’s kept us in bondage.
Practice playing positive tapes
This may be the most important of all the steps in the process. Keeping the negative tapes from turning themselves back on is critical. And difficult! What I focus on is a new mixtape fill with positive sources of encouragement, gratitude, biblical wisdom and accountability.
Coming up on April 29th and 30th, I’ll be joining a host of other pastors and leaders from across Oklahoma at a weekend conference for MEN called Rewired. Me and some of the staff from Hope is Alive will be facilitating four sessions over this very topic. We will dive deep, root out the core issues and help you find a way to live in the freedom God has promised.
This conference is one of the highlights of my year, I’d love for you to join me for this powerful weekend.