Breaking Destructive Thought Habits That Grieve Holy Spirit

Anytime you use your brain by turning it in a certain direction, you move toward creating a pattern.
Anytime you use your brain by turning it in a certain direction, you move toward creating a pattern. (Pexels)

Today you are a worthy man or woman of God. That's true, regardless of your beliefs or behavior. You have a choice to define what you want to believe worthy is. Becoming a person who sees himself or herself as worthy isn't easy. That's because believing and receiving that you are innately worthy is hard work. More important, it is consistent work.

Think about the relationship you have had with worthlessness and the voice it has had in your life. This relationship may have been decades in the making. You ran to worthless throughout your life and found worthless was always there for you. Worthless would give you the answer to try harder or the excuse not to try at all. Worthless has been your long-term friend and a well-established relationship for you.

I know it may be challenging to believe that worthless has been giving you something. However, you have kept this relationship going for decades so there has to be something that worthless is providing for you. Maybe it's been keeping you from things. Maybe you've been blaming it for issues in your life. Maybe it's helped you to not confront people or to accept less in areas of your life. Maybe it's kept you unemployed or prevented you from contributing to society. Maybe it's given you excuses for not engaging in life fully with your gifts or abilities. Maybe it's kept you afraid and helped you receive pity, help or support from others.

For every relationship, you can create a list of losses and gains from it. In the relationship with worthless, what it has given to you over the decades is often smaller than what it has actually taken from you.

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Worthless can take things from you that you don't see. They are things that worthless kept from happening. For instance, it kept you from starting a business, getting an education and waiting for sex. It kept you from saying no to abortions that would not have happened. It kept you from relationships you could have had, from a certain career, and from a different relationship with your family or children.

Anytime you use your brain by turning it in a certain direction, you move toward creating a pattern. Over time if you are consistent with this behavior you create a habit. Many people who struggle with worthlessness have created a thought habit about themselves, such as "I can't,"  "I'm not good enough," "Nobody will love me," "I'm stupid," "I always lose" and so on.

These thoughts grieve the Holy Spirit for sure. He knows what it is like to create and sustain you and the unlimited gifts you have. So what should you do when you get a worthless thought?

One idea is to place a rubberband around your wrist for 30 days. Every time you think or speak a worthless statement, snap the rubber band. If you quote a positive scripture or thought after snapping the rubber band, that can be helpful as well. At first you will be snapping it quite a bit, but soon your brain will say, "Stop it!" and won't allow the negative patterns.

If after snapping a few times a thought persists, call someone. Tell them the lie you're thinking about and let them pray for you.

Another effective way to fight worthlessness is with pictures to help combat the times your worthlessness wants to creep back in. Many times your worthlessness will try to sneak back in through pictures. Worthlessness knows how your brain works and how powerful pictures are. Vivid, reinforced pictures are quickly accessible to the brain's memory.

A helpful picture for combating worthlessness is one in which you are having personal success: enjoying yourself, your marriage, family, career and other relationships and activities.

As someone who has experienced the positive picture of being worthy and living a happy, fulfilling and balanced life, I know this picture helps fight off a worthless attack when it wants to sneak its ugly head in. On a sheet of paper, take a moment and write down what you think your life would be like if you were to maintain worthiness in life. The following situations could be included in your response:

  1. The friends you would have
  2. Your career
  3. Your marital status
  4. Your relationship with your children
  5. Your health
  6. How you feel about yourself
  7. Your spiritual lifestyle
  8. Recreational interests or hobbies
  9. Anything else you see for yourself in a positive future of being worthy

Take this picture and practice it two or three times a day for three to five days along with the feelings that go with it. This picture can be yours. After the hard work that comes with a healthy, worthy lifestyle, there can be fulfillment in every life area: spiritually, emotionally, your health, marriage, friendships, family and financially.

My hope is you experience this picture. I have experienced it, and I know you can too.

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Worthy. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website,, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at

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