Creflo Dollar - How to Change Wrong Perception
Tonight, I want to talk about something that I think is a really big deal and something that is happening right now. It's really stopping a lot of people from the change and the transformation that God really wants them to experience by beholding Jesus. And that is a wrong perception of yourself, perception. You've got to change how you see yourself. And I guess I'll start off tonight by asking you to examine your life and ask yourself, "How do I see myself"? How do I see myself? I can remember having a just a huge hunger to just want to do more for God. I want to have impact in what I'm doing. I don't want to waste my time, I want every day of my life to have some kind of impact on people, or where God is concerned, where the kingdom was concerned.
And the Lord kept asking me this question, and it went on for at least a year, "Who are you"? And I kept saying, "Well, what do you want me to do"? And he said, "Who are you"? I thought I knew who I was. I could've got religious and just start quoting a lot of things. One time, he said, "Who are you"? I said, "I'm Creflo Dollar". He said, "You still don't know who you are". It was so much deeper than your name, "What's your name"? He wanted to know from me, "Who are you"? And then finally I got it that who I am is not based and determined by somebody on the outside. Who I am has been determined by the Jesus that has moved on the inside. I am the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
And I learned that everything that God will do with a Christian is when he comes to the point to realize his identity in Jesus Christ. Because everything else from that point on flows from your faith, that believing no matter what happens in your life that I am the righteousness of God by faith. And the profile of a righteous man, I think it's in Psalm 112, the profile of the righteous man can then be shed abroad in your life because you know who you are. I'm the righteousness of God, and in a sense, I'm saying, "I have a right to what you've promised me. I'm the righteousness of God. I have a right to be bold, and to be strong, and to be effective, I have a right because I know who I am in Christ Jesus".
And then once I began to recognize my identity in Christ, number one, it became very clear what my assignment was, what I needed to do to have an understanding of that. When there's confusion about your life, and what you're supposed to be doing, and all that kind of stuff, you need to check out your perception. How are you seeing yourself? And are you still seeing yourself based on the mistakes that you've made? Are you still seeing yourself, you know, based on, you know, the insecurities that were in your life? Are you still seeing yourself based on maybe the wounds that occurred in your life that you've not acknowledged and you've not dealt with? And those things have assisted in shaping the perception that you have of you. Who are you, how do you see yourself?
Now, and I know maybe this sounds like a motivational speech, but this is so deep and so right to what God's trying to do in your life. And it's so limited by a person who refuses to change how he sees himself, a person who refuses to change that wrong perception of who he is. So, your perception has to do with the way you think. Your perception has to do with the way you process information. It has to do with the way you view situations around you and how you view situations in your life. And sometimes, we have conditioned ourselves through time that things will always be the same.
And so, we've got to break that mentality. And if we're going to see change in our lives, we must raise our expectations, we must believe, we must begin to understand even what Jesus declared in Mark chapter 9 and verse 23, where he said, "All things are possible to him that believe". We've got to stop replaying our mistakes. How often are you replaying your mistakes? When you have time to lounge around the house, how far back do you go and walk yourself up replaying your mistakes? Stop replaying how we used to be. The past is over, say that, "The past is over". So, treat it like it's over. It's over, treat it like it's over. You've got to understand how the enemy plays this game, it's right here. Your mind is the arena of faith. You've got to know how he plays this game.
Now, Proverbs 23:7 is where we want to start here tonight. Proverbs 23:7, it's a familiar Scripture, but the more and more I get a chance to look at this and to weigh it into how people are living and what they're going through, people are going through a lot. There's a lot of stress going on in our country right now, division, all this kind of stuff that's happening. And now it's the time for us to allow the God in us to begin to shine so brightly that a worried, stress-filled world can look at you and see the light that you carry, and ask why is it that you carry yourself the way you carry yourself, it's an opportunity for us to witness. This is going to be an opportunity for a great revival to hit this country, that's what I'm believing God for, amen?
I'm not going to choose sides, I'm not going to choose Democrat, Republican, I ain't doing all that. I'm a Christian, I choose Jesus. And in the midst of all of that, God Almighty will show himself strong on both sides of the aisle, amen? Verse 7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he". As he thinketh in his heart, so is he. So, the way you think will determine what you believe about yourself. "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Eat, drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee".
And one of the things you need to understand is we must paint a new picture of ourselves with the Word of God. I got to paint a new picture of myself with God's Word, not with my past, not with my mistakes, and not with my regrets. I paint a picture of myself with the Word of God. I refuse to accept my old image. And the devil will keep bringing your old image up. Every time you declare, "I'm the righteousness of God", he'll keep bringing it up. He wants you to see yourself according to your past. He wants you to see yourself according to your mistakes. He wants you to see yourself according to your regrets. And ladies and gentlemen, I know what I'm talking about right now. You have got to paint a new image with the Word of God so you can see yourself as God sees you through his Word.
See yourself the way God sees you. See yourself the way God sees you. See yourself the way God sees you. You don't think it's important? I'll tell you how important it is. When you're at home by yourself and you're believing for God and you need a breakthrough, and all of a sudden you realize that that day, you are spending more time seeing yourself based on what you used to do, what you did 'cause you're figuring, "Do I qualify it? Does God even love me enough to do that?" just 'cause you're not seeing yourself right. And you're viewing yourself in such a wrong way that you're not even giving yourself an opportunity to walk in the faith where you can believe God and know that you're a child of God, you're the righteousness of God by faith, and that your past and your past image will not stop you from achieving what God has put you here to achieve.
Well, how do I see myself? Well, 2 Corinthians chapter 5:17 says, "See yourself as a new creature". 2 Corinthians chapter 5:17, "See yourself as a new creature". 1 Peter chapter 2:24, "See yourself as healed". So, if sickness is on your, see yourself as healed. I see myself as healed according to 1 Peter chapter 2:24. Romans chapter 8:37, Romans 8:37, "See yourself victorious". See yourself victorious. Let me do that again, "See yourself as a new creature". 2 Corinthians 5:17, "See yourself healed". 1 Peter chapter 2:24, "See yourself victorious". I mean, right in the middle of a battle where everybody is saying there's no way you're going to win, and you see yourself victorious.
It is time for Christian people to start walking in such victory that we gain the attention of the world. Amen? See yourself victorious. And then 2 Timothy 1:7, "My God hasn't given me a spirit of fear". See yourself fearless. See yourself fearless. Even when you sense that fear is there, see yourself fearless. If you'll see yourself in this way, in a sense you're holding up a shield of faith. So, when the opposite comes your way, it just keeps absorbing those arrows that are coming to try to knock you out of position where your identity is concerned, which then affects your behavior, and then it really affects how high you go.
You ever heard your attitude determines your altitude? How high you go and the perception that you carry in your life just draws a lot of things to you based on your perception, based on how you see yourself. You walk around as a woman with low self-esteem, you're going to draw some kind of abusive guy because he sees that low self-esteem as well, an opportunity for him to try to take advantage of something. You see yourself. I mean, I love strong women. I have strong women, I have raised strong women. My heart goes out to the folks my kids date because I think, "You ain't going to make it. You are absolutely too weak to be married to her because that ain't going to last long, bro. That ain't got but like one time to happen and that's it".
You've got to stop walking around and saying, "I'm fat. I'll always be fat. I've got fat genes. I got fat cells and fat blood, and I got fat parents". You got to stop seeing yourself that way. You got to stop talking about yourself that way. Don't measure yourself by a scale. Don't measure yourself by a mirror. Measure yourself by the way God sees you and what he says about you. Again, look at Romans 12:2 and 3. You know, I want to look at verse 1. He says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies", there it is, "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your", what? Just reasonable service.
Verse 2 and 3 is what we should pay attention here. Verse 2 and 3 says, "And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you can prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God". Verse 3, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith".
Now, let's read this in the Amplified. I want Amplified just verse 2 and 3 for you. This Scripture is talking about and giving the key to change. The Amplified verse 2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, to this age. Don't be conformed to the fashions". You know, "Don't be fashioned after and adapted to its external", and he calls it superficial customs. "But be transformed", and it has in parenthesis changed, be changed. How, how? I want to change, how? I want to change, how? Be changed how? By renewing your mind. By the renewing of your mind. What does it mean to renew my mind? It is to exchange your thoughts, your ideas, your way of thinking for God's thoughts, his ideas, and his way of thinking. Literally, you're getting into the Word and you rely on that Word to transform the way you think.
And so, you can change by the renewing of your mind. And renewing the mind, as I said before, is not a one time event, it is a lifetime process. It is something that you do the whole time. You know, I used to think if a person just got born again, everything would change. And every one of us who've gotten born again, we now understand that everything did not change the day we got born again, right? But something supernatural happened when you got connected with the church and you started getting in the Word, understanding the Word. Your thinking was being renewed. The ideas were being renewed. And then as a result of that, you notice change.
You see, a lot of people in our families may think you're wasting your time here. But what they don't understand is that the more you hear from God's Word and the more you understand from God's Word begins the transformation in your whole life. And you look up one day and you're like, "Who am I"? It's because of the Word that you're hearing. It's not because we came in, we did cartwheels, and we were flipping around and all that kind of stuff. It's 'cause we came in, we sat down, and we opened our ears to hear. And we began to hear something, and it got on the inside of us, and it challenged our old way of thinking, and it challenged our old ideas about something.
And then Jesus came in and began to work on the inside of us. And who would've ever thought that just by simply coming and getting in a church where I can get the Word preached to me enough to go home and study that Word that a change would take place? Whoo, glory to God, that a change would take place. Hallelujah. And people want to change. I mean, I meet people every day, they want to change, praise God. And it's available. The entire renewing of your mind, the most important thing you can do as a human being on the planet is to get born again. But the most important thing you can do as a born again Christian is to renew your mind. A whole lot of things that are not happening, that are not changing, the questions you have, I believe at the root of it all is being serious about a day to day renewing of your mind. Don't make it an event, it's a life.
When you do something crazy, you know what it's saying? I need to renew my mind there. I need to renew my mind there. I'm not patient, I need to renew my mind there. You know, I fly off the handle, "I need to renew my mind there". And if you miss it, only thing you're saying, "I need to renew my mind there. Let me go and get some Scriptures". See, it makes sense to me now, I thought it was just religious things. But let me go get some Scriptures concerning self-control so I can meditate on those things, read them, because obviously I need to renew my mind in that area. And he says, "You're renewing your mind by its new ideas, its new attitudes".
Look at verse 3, and this is so powerful, why? This is so powerful, why am I renewing my mind? Why am I renewing my mind? Why is that important for me as a Christian to renew my mind? You know, a person gets born again and he think that takes care of his addiction. He thinks that takes care of his bad habits. He thinks that takes care of his lack of fruit of the Spirit. It doesn't. But as he starts renewing his mind, why? He says in verse 3, "For by the grace, God's unmerited favor of God given to me", he says, "I want everyone among you not to estimate, not to think of themselves more highly than he ought".
So, he says don't go to the extreme. Don't think more highly than you ought, but don't even think more lowly. He's saying, "I want you to think of yourself the way I'm telling you about who you are". And he calls that sober thinking, sober thinking. He says, "Among you not to estimate and to think of himself more highly than he ought, not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance". That's so close to narcissism, isn't it? He says, "But to rate his ability with", what? "With sober judgment".
Now, look at verse 4, sober judgement. He says, "For as in one physical body we have many parts, organs, members, and all of these parts do not have the same function of use". And it goes down and talks about the uniqueness of who you are and all of the faith that has been given us to do what we need to do. I want to challenge you guys to reevaluate the process of renewing your mind in your life. Don't let that process stop. Don't go home and just kind of not get in the Word anymore like you used to. It's a valuable time to renew your mind and to see yourself the way God sees you. It's a valuable time for you to paint your image with the Word of God, to paint the perception of you, and it can be seen through God's Word.
So, you got to stop seeing yourself just like when they talk about. I'm over exaggerating these things because I really want you to see it. Stop seeing yourself as dumb. "Well, I've always been dumb". You think I was dumb, my granddaddy was the dumbest person I ever met before in my life. "You know, when somebody tells you a joke, you know, I'm the last person to get it, I'm so dumb. I'm the last person that graduated, I'm just dumb. I'm the last person that passed that class, and I had to go through it three times". You got to stop seeing yourself that way. You got to stop talking about yourself that way. It's not funny, you really believe that.
If you just listen to what people say about themselves, they're just verbalizing and articulating what they really believe about themselves. And that perception is what's stopping a lot of things. You got to stop seeing yourself as a failure at home. "I'm not really a good parent. I've tried, but I just don't know if I can raise my kids right". Devil tried to play that on me. And then I finally realized, "You know what? My mom and dad were no perfect parents". And I said, "I ain't no perfect parent". And whatever I didn't do right, you're going to have to do what I did, trust in the Lord to help you out wherever you didn't get no help.
But what I'm not going to do is walk around with the guilt and allow you to shame me, you who ain't never been a parent, to try to judge my parenting skills. I did the best I could. And what you couldn't get from me, you got a daddy, his name is Jehovah, and you're going to have to go to him just like I did, and he'll make it all right, amen? But I'm not going to let you shame me, and I'm not going to shame myself. I'm not going to go around and talking about, "Oh, I was just a terrible parent because, you know, I was just trying to do what God wanted me to do and Lord, forgive me". I ain't doing that.
Okay, I did it, can't go back and fix none of it. You need to go ahead and take advantage of me now 'cause I'm really awesome now 'cause I know more now than I did before. And you can't get no new daddy. You can get a pretend daddy, a sugar daddy, all them other kind of daddies, but you ain't never going to have a daddy like this. You understand what I'm saying? So, you've got to be careful not to allow somebody to project the wrong perception your way. It's like I'm not going to accept that. I'm not going to accept that, you know?
You know, shame, Satan loves using shame. Our society is filled with the technique of if you mess up, you're going to be shamed. I never thought I would see shame used as such a weapon right now. That's why you can't hardly find any good people to run for office because they don't want to have to go through the shaming process. I mean, it's just so ridiculous, it's just like, you know, I can't run for office because, you know, I wasn't perfect. And neither will whoever is running for office. Don't do that to yourself. Perception, man. If we're going to change, if we're going to see change, we're going to have to make sure that we change our perception of our own selves. Stop seeing yourself as poor. Stop seeing yourself as poor.
You know, I heard somebody say to me one time, "I'm turning this thing off, this just ain't enough Scripture". See, you got a serious issue. I'm not trying to use a lot of Scriptures tonight, I'm talking to you. You know, sometimes you need a good talking to? You ain't changing no better if I give you 35 Scriptures. I'll talk to you, and then I give you some Scriptures to go with it next time we get together. But right now, you need a talking to. Perception is one of those things that people think is okay. And they're not understanding, baby, you need to be honest about how you see yourself. And you need to change that with God's Word because that's stopping your transformation.
God's trying to show you who you are, but you can't even hardly receive what he says about who you are, what he says about your identity because you're perceiving based on the past and based on all the wrong things that he's not even using anymore. Got to stop seeing yourself as poor. "I'm just as poor as a church house mouse. I'm from a blue collar family. We've always had a blue collar income. We're going to always make blue collar money". And the reason that you're always going to make some blue collar money is because you have a blue collar perception of yourself, and that needs to change. "I'm always the one that has to be told what to do. I could never initiate things myself or figure out how to do things. I'll never grow beyond what I've attained".
People say that stuff. They say it like it's cool to say it. You talking about you. I know there's nothing wrong with a blue collar job. That's not what I'm saying. But you got to start seeing yourself as the owner of the company rather than just working for it. Your perception is keeping you grounded. God's made you the heir of the world and you think the only thing you can do is a blue collar job. No. Find out how to do the work and then find out how to own a company that does that work. Why not you? When a person is stuck in life it's because they're stuck in thinking, and they're stuck in thinking because they're stuck in perception. And the way you perceive yourself will kidnap your thinking and your thoughts and make them stay in line with how you see yourself.
You got to change how you see yourself. The most valuable thing I ever got a hold of is I've got to see myself differently. I can't see myself even the way others see me. I just can't do that or I'll be stranded, and I'm not going to be stranded because God has so much that he wants to do for you and he's trying to get you to see what he sees. And guilt and shame and all those things we're talking about, they are trying to strand you. He's trying to get you to see what he sees. He sees something so awesome, so successful. And if you discover the grace over your life and the will of God for your life, you begin to see what God sees.
I don't want to get to heaven and just be this like spiritual bomb because I don't even pay attention to what he was saying. I didn't dig deep into what he was saying. It was just kind of religious, I don't know the word I'm trying to get, I want to grab this, man, I want to live this. You know, I don't want to just say it so you can think I'm a Christian, I want to live this. I want you to see me and ask me stuff and then I tell you how I see myself and you like, "Oh, yeah". Perception. But you know what the world will say. If you start seeing yourself like God sees you, they'll call you arrogant.
I remember in the early '80s when Fred Price just made you just proud. Fred Price used to come on his television broadcast. First time I saw him was always late at night, and most people catch him after they come home from the club, while they high. And it was very unusual to see a black man on television teaching the Word of God, displaying excellent. His haircut, he had a fro that was perfectly trimmed. Fred was sharp. Had a little pin right down on his tie, had his Bible, and would walk around like an instructor of the Word of God. "Who is that man"? "That's Dr. Frederick K.C. Price". "Evidence, Evidence Does your life" You understand what I'm saying?
Frederick K.C. Price. I mean, man, it was something for you to sit there and look at. "Look at this guy. Listen to this guy". He could articulate. He used great grammar, and every now and then he would throw out a big word you're like, "Oh"! Now you don't even know what it mean, "Oh, but he heavy. You heavy, doc". And people would say he was arrogant because he just decided to believe what God said, and he decided to carry himself the way God said, and he decided to see himself the way God said, and that's why you got to be delivered from people in order to deliver people. You can't help nobody being in bondage to folks. That's a lot of folks' problem. You're more concerned about what they say instead of what he has said.
See, I sense something getting ready to break off up in this, I can't get it out of my head something getting ready to happen. Oh, hallelujah, I'm talking about there's a opportunity that's coming from down the street, around the corner, behind a building with your name on it. I believe that with all my heart. You will not be able to take credit for it. It's going to be the Lord's doing. You will not be able to take credit for it. And I'm telling you, I don't know each of your lives individually, I don't know the things you are confronted with, the things you're facing, those things that put pressure on you, you might be, you know, you just never know what people go through.
I mean, just because they're not looking sad doesn't mean they're not going through something. Just because they're shouting or even at Bible study doesn't mean that they're not going through something. But this phrase I've been saying for the last few weeks, especially in those morning seminars, is that your lowest point can become your launching pad to your greatest promotion. And you have got to ask yourself if you're in a situation, "Why am I in this situation"? I just believe that you're getting ready to be launched into your greatest promotion and I think it's something about stretching your neck out like you hunting and looking for something like a chicken when he walk around and rooster around.
You know, somebody said, "Why you got your neck out like that"? "'Cause I'm looking and I'm expecting for something". Praise God. "I am in expectation for something". You know, I believe when you're in expectation, then your expectation can be fulfilled. But I just don't think a lot of people are in expectation. I am expecting something. I mean, I sense it with every part of my being that something is getting ready, and I'm talking about something good and I'm expecting. How many of you are expecting? Get in expectation start changing your perception of yourself and quit going around thinking that, that ain't for you. Yeah, baby. You fixin' to go to another place. It's going to demand the explanation from your relatives.
"What she thinks she doing". "I just changed the perception of myself. I just got tired of seeing myself the way God does not see me. I just started looking at myself through his lens and I see something wonderful, anointed, amazing, equipped;" somebody that's not afraid to step out and do what God is leading you to do, somebody that is not afraid to be an owner and not just a worker, somebody that is not afraid to get that degree and get another one if he has to, and to compete in this world and to run for office because they're Christian and they tired of seeing stuff. I just believe God, you know, my faith is like this.
You better watch out. World Changers is already everywhere. You will be shocked. I can't go nowhere without bumping into a World Changer. I go down to that Gold Dome, World Changers all over that place. God's ready to use you. "I don't know about the millennial generation". I do. They're going to be awesome. They're going to be awesome. They're going to be ready to take hold and take charge and go to the next place. You know why? You're not going to see yourself in the wrong way. Your perception changing in line of God's Word is going to produce another spot of great expectation for what God wants to do in your life, amen?
So if you wish to see change in your life, you need to start talking about your dreams. That's awesome. When's the last time you talked about your dreams, the things you want to see in your life? Tell somebody. Tell somebody. "I don't want to tell nobody. Because, you know, if I tell them and they don't come to pass, then". No, no, folks used to tell me, "You better be careful what you say. The devil might hear you". I want him to hear me. "Better be careful. The devil is busy. You better not say that. The devil is going to show up 'cause, you know, if you start saying all that good stuff, then that's why the devil show up to stop". No, the devil show up, he know he can't stop you. You just got to let him know he can't, you got to let him know what you know. Start talking about your dreams, not your shortcomings. You need to see yourself in a new way. You need to talk about yourself in a new way and things will begin to change. Perception has everything to do with your mind.
Go to Philippians chapter 4 and 8. Let me show you something real quick. Perception has everything to do with your thinking. And to deal with a wrong perception, you've got to deal with inferiority. You've got to deal with inferiority. "Finally, my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise", look at what he said about it, "think on these things, think on these things".
What are you thinking on? What do you spend the most of your time thinking on? That's huge. You got to change that. You got to do like Philippians 4 and 8 and think on the right things. So of course we're going to have to pick up with this, but inferiority is something that, you know, you can't deal with your perception, that inferior attitude is what really runs people perception when they're not looking at themselves the right way. So let me give you a definition of inferiority so we can stay together. It's a persistent sense of inadequacy. It is a persistent sense of I feel inadequate. I feel inadequate. I feel powerless to change. I feel small. I feel unimportant. To feel as if you just fall short. It's just not enough.
Listen to those words and ask yourself, "Does this describe me in certain situations in my life"? Because the Bible says, "For we all have sinned and", watch this, "come short of the glory of God". That's inferiority, a persistent sense of inadequacy. Where do you feel inadequate? For we all have sinned and fallen short. I don't have to ask Christians anymore. "Well, that ain't me. You know, I got the Holy Ghost". Locate that area where you're feeling inadequate, feeling powerless, and when I use the word powerless, it's like, "I don't believe I can change. I don't believe I have the power to change. I feel small, and especially around other people, I just feel small and insignificant, and I've been on a search for significance and I feel small".
Isn't it amazing how you may desire to want to be like somebody else and you have no idea that they desire to have what you have? "I feel unimportant. I feel unimportant. I feel short". These are things if we can deal with them honestly, then we can deal with the temptation to abide in inferiority. "I am not inferior". Why? Because of my acceptance of Jesus Christ, I am not powerless. Why? Because of my acceptance of Jesus Christ and what I received, who I am by faith in Jesus Christ, I am not powerless to change because of Jesus Christ who has equipped me with the power to change and to be everything that he called me to be, in Jesus' name.
I'm going to stop right there and let y'all go home and do that. You are not going to ever be defined by a wrong perception. I don't know which one of them civil rights leaders said it, but they said, "I am somebody". Amen.
Lift your hands up. Let's go into a worship for God, and I want you to just thank God for what he said about you. I want you to see yourself as the apple of his eye. I want you to see yourself as his beloved. I want you to see yourself as the righteousness of God by faith. I want you to see yourself as victorious. I want you to see yourself as fearless. I want you to see yourself as someone that's strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. And all of the wrong perceptions about yourself, you're going to leave it here and you're going to walk out of here with a new perception of who you are, in Jesus' name, amen. Come on, give the Lord a big handclap.