Fragrance of Flowers — Day 13

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What Your Mind Says About You

As you begin to read this post I want you to take a moment and ask yourself and then answer this question: How do you rate yourself spiritually on a scale of 10?

Now that you have done that let’s see what Yashua, from the words of scripture, says about you.

Psalm 139:13-17, For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 37:4-6, Delight yourself in YHVH; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to YHVH, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.
Jeremiah 31:3, YHVH appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
Song of Songs 2:4, “He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.
Song of Songs 6:3, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…
Song of Songs 7:10, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.
Isaiah 43:1-3, But now, thus says YHVH, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. “For I am YHVH your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
Isaiah 54:5-8, “For your husband is your Maker, whose name is YHVH of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth. “For YHVH has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,” Says YHVH your Redeemer.
Revelation 22:17, The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

Now that you have answered the first question I want you to answer a second question: What can you learn from a person rated one point above you?

And then there is a third and last question for this 13th day of the counting of the Omer: What can a person rated one point below you learn from you?

Article: Neural Responses Reveal Our Mind Bent

Most of us hold unrealistically optimistic views of the future, research shows, downplaying the likelihood that we will have bad experiences. Now a study in Nature Neuroscience last October has found clues to the brain’s predilection for the positive, identifying regions that may fuel this “optimism bias” by preferentially responding to rosier information.

Tali Sharot, a University College London neurology researcher, and her colleagues asked 19 individuals between the ages of 19 and 27 to estimate their odds of experiencing 80 unfavorable events, such as contracting various diseases or being the victim of a crime. Participants were then told the actual average probability of each before repeating the exercise.

The participants revised most of their estimates the second time around, but 79 percent of those tested paid much more attention when their actual risk was lower than what they had initially guessed. After getting the good news, these subjects rated their risk for these events as significantly lower than they did earlier. In contrast, when they had underestimated their odds of meeting with a particular misfortune, they made less drastic revisions to their guess or none at all—clinging to their earlier belief that they would probably avoid the bad luck.

Using functional MRI, the researchers found areas in the prefrontal cortex, where conscious reasoning takes place, that were active when participants received information that was better than anticipated. The greater the difference between the subjects’ initial guess of their risk and the true probability, the more activity appeared in these regions, hinting that they contribute to positive error correction.

Activity in another part of the brain, the right inferior frontal gyrus, changed in response to discouraging information. There, however, activity did not correspond as closely with the magnitude of error in the participants’ initial risk estimates, matching the poorer correction later. That inconsistent neural response was observed most clearly or most often in individuals who scored higher on standard tests for optimism as a personality trait.

This finding jibes with past studies that observed an optimism bias in about 80 percent of the population. Its absence can signal anxiety or depression. Yet being overly optimistic has consequences, too, Sharot says, preventing us from taking some precautions to avoid harm or misfortune. Realizing the brain’s partiality may be half the battle. “If you are aware of the optimism bias, you can commit to actions or rules that will help protect you,” Sharot notes.

I included this article because I think the findings in the above research have a reflection on how we see ourselves spiritually. YHVH is serious about us; are we as serious about Him? He says to be holy as He is holy — do we take Him seriously by taking a firm stand against evil or do we fudge the edges and optimistically think “it’s okay, God knows my heart?”

At the beginning of this post I asked you a question; how do you rate yourself on a scale of one to ten? Would you change your rating? Did the rating you gave yourself truly reflect the real you or the optimistically inflated you? What does the score you gave yourself truly reflect?

Assignment Day 13: Meditate on 2 Chronicles 7:14, …My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.”

Now ask and answer these three questions again.

1.) How do you rate yourself spiritually on a scale of 10?
2.) What can you learn from a person rated one point above you?
3.) What can a person rated one point below you learn from you?

Yashua said in John 8:31-32, So Yashua was saying to those who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”