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The Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your... Audio CD – Unabridged, December 1, 2006
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Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. If readers suffer from negative thoughts, they can take heart! Joyce Meyer has helped millions win these all-important battles. In her most popular bestseller ever, the beloved author and minister shows readers how to change their lives by changing their minds.
She teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks. And she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage, family, and ministry that led her to wondrous, life-transforming truth--and reveals her thoughts and feelings every step of the way.
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About the Author
Joyce has written nearly 100 inspirational books. Her bestsellers include Power Thoughts; The Confident Woman; Look Great, Feel Great; Starting Your Day Right; Ending Your Day Right; Approval Addiction; How to Hear from God; Beauty for Ashes; and Battlefield of the Mind.
Joyce travels extensively, holding conferences throughout the year, speaking to thousands around the world. Joyce resides in St. Louis, MO.
- Publisher : Faith Words; Unabridged edition (December 1, 2006)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 6 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1586215345
- ISBN-13 : 978-1586215347
- Item Weight : 6.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.88 x 5.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #531,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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C1: Joyce starts with scripture. The issue with scripture is it is open for personal interpretation. Readers of the bible can decide what it means to them personally, which means that scripture is not objective (not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts). She goes on to speak about the devil (as if he is real) and how this super-powerful supernatural being can, and often does, influence people in order to mentally and emotionally pull people away from the christian god. Regarding the devil (Satan): Is this being all omnipresent? If not, how can it be influencing everyone on the planet? Can this being read minds? If so how did it get the power to do this? The only explanation would be that the christian god gave him this power. Can Satan directly influence people’s minds? Again if he can then the christian god gave him this ability knowing full well exactly how he would use it. Are there lots of other demons with this power who are also influencing people? Again, god would have to be responsible for all of this as he is all knowing and all powerful, right? God knew this would happen before he created the universe, right? Joyce goes on to give an example of a couple who is struggling in their marriage. Both the man and women had tough upbringing with less than perfect parents. They developed less than perfect behaviors because of these influences and it is causing issues in their marriage. I don’t see where the spiritual part plays a role here. We all learn behaviors when we are young and don’t get to choose our parents (but if you believe in a god, then god made this choice for you). We need to deal with these bad behaviors as we get older. Counselling is often a good idea. I’m not seeing why a god is necessary in this situation. Plenty of people resolve these issues without religion. One comment Joyce puts out there is that the woman should be submissive to the man because, according to the bible, the man is the head of the household. This is not good advice. Each human being, in the relationship, has their own strengths and weaknesses. The focus should be a partnership with each person handling things which align to their strengths. This is how a relationship should work. Who is in charge should be determined by who is best suited to be in charge and not be determined based on one’s genitals or whether your chromosomes are XX or XY.
C2 – 7: These 6 chapters get very repetitive. She provides a lot of bible verses. She gives examples from her and other people’s lives about how negative they were and how they improved using her plan. There is plenty of discussion of paranormal intervention from a god and the devil. She encourages people to stay positive, to keep reinforcing your positive thinking by praying and being aware of your thoughts so you can focus more on the positive then the negative. This is nothing I haven’t heard before in self-help books, other than all of the paranormal aspects. I have read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale and he did a much better job than Joyce. In C6 Joyce speaks of “mind binding spirits.” She claims, “Two days in a row I heard this phrase coming up out of my spirit: mind-binding spirits.” Then she states: “The thought of evil spirits lurking around is rather creepy, but they exist.” Really? How can she possibly know they exist in reality? Can she demonstrate these things exist in any verifiable way? What exactly are they? Did god create them? Are they fallen angels? What mechanism can I use to determine if these spirits actually exist? People can imagine all kinds of things and “feel” them in emotional ways; however, this does NOT make them real. It is amazing that someone can just invent something in their mind and then tell others that it actually exists in reality. In this chapter she also has a section called “Decide to Believe.” She states that “As Christians, we need to learn to decide to believe.” Sorry Joyce, but belief is NOT a choice. Believe is a result of information you receive being compared to information you currently have in your brain. If the new information is convincing enough, your belief will change. If not, your preexisting belief will remain. Here is an example: If someone makes a mundane claim such as they have a 1 dollar bill in their pocket I will most likely tentatively believe this claim. This is because I understand (have information) that 1 dollar bills are common and fit nicely in a pocket. If someone claims they have 1 million 1 dollar bills in their pocket I cannot believe that claim because I understand that, based on reality, it would be impossible for 1 million 1 dollar bills to fit into a standard size pocket. I cannot choose to believe this outlandish claim is true. I must be convinced by more evidence provided by the person making the claim.
Part 2 [Intro] Joyce starts this section speaking about the condition of our minds. She makes this statement “…a critical, judgmental, and suspicious mind should be considered abnormal for a believer.” As an agnostic atheist I find believer not only tend to be this way toward me but have little choice be based on their religious beliefs. Just read 2 John 1:9-11 and 2 Corinthians 6:14. Just believing the concept of being sent to hell because of non-belief causes Christians to be this way. I’ve actually had Christians say that I choose not to believe (belief is not a choice by the way) because I just want to live a sinful life, or because I don’t want to obey god’s rules. Joyce also mentions Satan again and how he will aggressively fight against the renewal of your mind.
C8: Here Joyce speaks of the mind and spirit working together which she calls the principle of the mind aiding the spirt. She is speaking of the holy spirit which dwells within a person. Really? Can she demonstrate this to be true? She then claims that the holy spirit knows the mind of god and that it will reveal god’s wisdom and revelation to our spirit (soul) who then provides this information to hour mind (brain). This is starting to sound like the telephone game which is confirmed when she states that our mind often misses what the spirit is attempting to reveal because it is too busy. So, god’s system is broken? So, Satan and mind binding spirits can do a better job of influencing people than god and the holy spirit? She then recommends prayer as a way to better understand. Joyce then goes on to speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues has been demonstrated to be false. Several videos of people speaking in tongues were show to different people who claim to have the gift of interpretation independently. Each interpreter gave a completely different interpretation of what was being said. Linguistics experts have examined people speaking in tongues and the associated interpretations and have concluded that the person speaking in tongues is not speaking a language and is a “meaningless but phonologically structured human utterance, believed by the speaker to be a real language but bearing no systematic resemblance to any natural language, living or dead.”
C9: Joyce speaks of a wandering mind, which is simply the inability to focus on something. I agree this is an issue for most people, but it isn’t the devil that is causing it. Our minds wander especially when we are listening to something that is not interesting enough to keep our focus. You can work on this without any religious aspects.
C10: Joyce speaks of the confused mind and then attempt to connect confused (lack of understanding; uncertainty) with reasoning (the action of thinking about something in a logical, sensible way). Joyce then makes this outlandish claim, “Satan frequently steals the will of god from us due to reasoning. … What god leads us a person to do does not always make logical sense to his mind. … It is always nice if the spirit and mind agree, but if they don’t, we should always choose to follow the spirit.” This is truly frightening. Basically, Joyce is saying if you realized something is unreasonable you should disregard that and go with what your emotions are telling you to do. In 2001 Andrea Pia Yates drown her 5 children in her bathtub because she felt god told her to do it. Yes, she had mental issues, but still. What about the men who flew planes into the World Trade Center? They believed that they would be rewarded by there god for their actions. If something seems unreasonable you SHOULD stop and question it to determine what the best course of action is. Just because you believe your “spirit” it is telling you to move forward does not mean you should. Please remember you may have a gut feeling to do something, but hopefully your ability to reason will stop you and help you decide if you are making a good decision. Later Joyce says, “…Do not rely on reasoning. Reasoning opens the door for deception and brings much confusion.” WOW!!! I’m not sure why I’m surprised that a person who make her living on trying to convince people to believe things that she cannot demonstrate to be true wants people to abandon reason. So, to sum up, Joyce is saying thinking is a bad thing. I could add so many more horrible quotes from this chapter, but hopefully I’ve said enough to help some people understand the danger of following the advice in this chapter.
C11: Joyce speaks of doubt (a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction) and unbelief (lack of religious belief; an absence of faith). Joyce tells a story of a man who was sick and god showed him that a demon that was lies to him. (Can this story be demonstrated to be true and some verifiable way?) She claims that faith comes from god and doubt and unbelief come from the devil. This all relates back to the last chapter. Doubt is a good thing. When you have doubt it is because your rational mind is considering whether or not the decision you are about to make is wise or unwise. If I am standing on a cliff over a body of want and plan on jumping into the water I may have doubt about this action which can drive me to reconsider; this is good. Sometimes taking a leap of faith can turn out to be an incredibly bad decision. We all make good and bad decisions in our lives. It is unavoidable. But in many cases doubt is a benefit. As for unbelief, I’m sure Joyce would agree that unbelief is not a bad thing for every other religion that has ever existed with the exception of her own particular brand of Christianity. Then Joyce claims that doubt is a choice. NO doubt is not a choice and nor is belief. Belief is about being convinced of something and doubt is not being convinced. Being convinced is a result of information you have acquired being compared to preexisting information, and the new information is more viable. What would it take to convince you that Islam is the one true religion? You can’t choose to believe it is, you must be convinced. You don’t choose to doubt that it is the one true religion you are not convinced. Joyce goes on to unbelief being disobedience but seeing how it clearly is not a choice how can it be. If you tell your child that they must stop breathing is it disobedience when it is not possible to do as you requested?
C12: Joyce speaks of an anxious and worried mind. She claims this is an attack from the devil. (when will she demonstrate this guy exists?) Worry is a normal part of being human. Worry actually can protect us from harm. Worry can drive us to take action. If I worry that my house isn’t safe because I live in a dangerous neighborhood; I may invest in an alarm system. I agree that excessive, irrational, unnecessary worry is detrimental to our live and our health. People who suffer from this should seek help from a counselor. Naturally Joyce blames Satan for this issue and god is the solution.
C13: Joyce moves on to a judgmental, critical, and suspicious mind. Joyce states that these behaviors are detrimental to relationships, and I agree that they CAN BE if handled in the wrong manner; and, of course, Satan is responsible with which I disagree. I covered this above in the intro to this section of the book. I will add that these 3 behaviors can be beneficial when they are justified and are handled correctly. For example: I suspect my child is stealing money from his friend (suspicious). I confront him in a calm and respectful manner and he admits to doing so. I tell him that I disapprove of his actions (critical) in a calm manner. I explain why what he did was harmful to his friend. I tell him he must admit this to his friend, pay him back what he owes, and apologize for his actions and that he will be grounded for 1 week with no TV or video game because of what he did (judgmental).
C14: Joyce speaks of a passive mind. She states, “…you will not change your behavior until you change your thoughts.” I agree with this statement. Your mind (brain) drives everything you do. If you want to change your behavior you must change the reasons for those behaviors which are driven by your brain/mind. If you want a better life you must change your thoughts and beliefs in order to take action to make the change. If you believe you are not good enough to get the job you must teach yourself that you are and take action to get the training or schooling to get that job. I’m not seeing any requirement for a god here.
C15: Joyce moves on to the mind of Christ. Joyce states, “As Christians, you and I have a new nature, which is actually the nature of god deposited in us at the new birth.” She may feel that this is true, but can she demonstrate this is true? She gives these steps: Step 1: Think positive thoughts. Sure, it is good to focus on the positive. Then she speaks of depression and give steps to overcome it which involve a lot of focusing on god. However, there are people who have depression cause by physiological reasons who require medication. I strongly advise these people to seek actual medical help. Step 2: Be God Minded. To sum up, think about god a lot. Pray, read the bible, etc. Step 3: Be “God-Loves-Me”-Minded. In other words, try to convince yourself that an all-powerful entity exists, and you are very special to him. Step 4: Have an exhortative mind: Think nice thoughts about other people which will drive you to be nice to people in real life. (this is good advice). Also do a lot of praying for others. This is more helpful for the person praying than the person for whom you are praying. Prayer lets you feel like you are doing something for that person, but really you aren’t. It is the equivalent of me saying I’m going to send good thoughts your way. Step 5: Develop a thankful mind. I agree. I am thankful for so much every day. My family, my friends, my job, my house, access to clean water, medical assistance, abundant food… I can go on and on. However, I see no valid evidence of a god or a god providing these things. Step 6: Be Word-Minded. So, this is about the bible. First the bible is completely open to personal interpretation which makes it an unreliable pathway to truth. Second, there is many things that Christians avoid in the bible because it is absurd or atrocious. Read Exodus 21, Leviticus 25, Ephesians 6, Leviticus 20, Genesis 19, 1 Peter 2, Deuteronomy 22, 23, & 25, 2 Kings 2, Psalm 137.
Part 3: This section is about people’s excuses.
C16: Joyce speaks of a person’s future being determined by their past & present. She gives the example of abuse she experienced in her youth. Three is no question that our lives are strongly influenced by our past and present. However, we can learn from our circumstances and past events which can lead to better (or worse) beliefs and behaviors. In some cases, counseling can help these situations. All people, regardless of religious belief, can lead good lives regardless of their pasts. If believing in a god helps you, then more power to you. But it is demonstrably true that a belief in a god is not required to make positive changes in one’s life.
C17: Joyce speaks of not wanting to take responsibility. This one is easy, learn to take responsibility for your own life. I don’t see where a belief in a god is required.
C18: Joyce speaks of people who want things to be easy. Joyce claims that sometimes god makes things intentionally difficult to teach us something. I’ll cut to the chase. Life can be difficult and every person who has ever lived has no choice but to deal with it. We can learn from it or keep repeating the same mistakes. This is how we grow as people. If you think that god is intentionally making things hard to teach you something, OK. Either way you have to deal with it.
C19: Joyce speaks of people who feel they are addicted to grumbling, faultfinding, and complaining. Yes, there are people like this in the world (although it would be a nicer place if there weren’t). Again, she talks about god having good reason for suffering (the story of Joseph). I agree that this is bad behavior that we all should avoid. However we are emotional beings and sometimes we just can’t help ourselves.
C17 – C25 These chapters are very similar. They are about people’s bad behaviors and attitudes which prevent them from having a happier life. Just like the rest of the book she included plenty of bible verses, testimonies (of others and herself), some reasonably good advice, along with supernatural claims which she assumes to be true.
I have read much better self-help books (The Power of Positive Thinking that I mentioned earlier in this review) than this one in the past. I understand that Joyce knows her audience very well and this book panders to their beliefs. But some of her supernatural claims must be demonstrated. Blaming supernatural entities such as Satan, demons, and mind binding spirts for peoples’ mental, emotional, and behavioral problems is not the right way to show people how to find healthy resolutions to these issues. Attempting to convince people that there are supernatural ways to resolve those issues is not helpful either. I will admit that Joyce does sprinkle in some decent advice. However, there are much better resources available to help people get beyond their issues.
Please excuse any typos.