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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Biggest Cognitive Distortion

Thoughts always seem much clearer when thought at odd times, such as 5 am when I'm normally sleeping, but because I inadvertently set my alarm an hour early, I spent that hour between 5 and 6 in a semi-dream state, desperately trying to return to REM sleep. Here are my thoughts, not as lucid as then but still somewhat coherent. I think I'm still trying to work out The Record Keeper in my psyche.

God does not control. Satan's lie (after the pride one, yes, I know, I've read the texts and heard the sermons) was that God controlled His created beings. Satan promised "freedom" from God's perceived control and a third of the angels believed him. Once cast to earth, Satan managed to convince Eve that God was trying to control her too by setting boundaries around her. Eve didn't realize those boundaries (don't eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) were there to protect her and because God chose not to control her, she was free to make the decision to eat from that tree. Satan's lie, "you will be as gods," or in other words, you would have the freedom to do whatever you wanted, sounded sweet to her ears and so she listened.

When Jesus hung on the cross, He did so of His own accord. God the Father did not force Him to; Jesus chose to. He exercised His freedom so that we could be free. Satan had spent thousands of years trying to convince humans and beings from other worlds that God was controlling and freedom was found only outside of God's domain. It was only when Jesus died that the universe understood the depths that Satan would stoop to in order to control the world.

This is a lesson humans must still learn. We fight against what we perceive as control, Christians have tossed out the Sabbath because it's just "another rule," and they don't want to honour God by obeying His law. God's law is a safeguard; set in place to protect us so we can extend freedom to others. If I don't kill, someone lives. If I don't steal, someone has their belongings. If I don't lie, someone's reputation is intact. If I keep the Sabbath, someone is free to worship with me rather than work so I can have what I want.

The choice is still ours. Some of us kick and scream, insisting that we want to create our own freedom, follow our own rules, or throw out rules all together. Others cite verses to create an atmosphere of "Biblical control" such as wives submitting to their husbands. Neither speak accurately to God's character. God extends to us the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:6), draws us to Him with immeasurable love, and offers us true freedom that cannot be defined by the world's terms. Do we choose Him? Or do we believe a deadly cognitive distortion told us by a being that once lived in the light of God's presence and chose to look the other way?

I choose freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:13).

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