Change Your Heart, Change Your Life: How Changing What You Believe Will Give You the Great Life You've Always Wanted

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Out of your heart flow your words and actions. Change your heart, and you'll change your life.

According to best-selling author Dr. Gary Smalley, nobody has to live by the destructive subtle lies or believe the distortions of truth this world holds out to us. There are steps, strategies, and beliefs people can bring to their lives to either totally transform them or quietly improve them-and it all starts with hiding God's Word in their hearts.

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Change Your Heart, Change Your Life: How Changing What You Believe Will Give You the Great Life You've Always Wanted

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Out of your heart flow your words and actions. Change your heart, and you'll change your life.

According to best-selling author Dr. Gary Smalley, nobody has to live by the destructive subtle lies or believe the distortions of truth this world holds out to us. There are steps, strategies, and beliefs people can bring to their lives to either totally transform them or quietly improve them-and it all starts with hiding God's Word in their hearts.

Hiding God's Word in his heart radically changed the life of Smalley himself, and he is seeing it revolutionize the lives of people around him as well-from lust, materialism, selfishness, anger, stress, overeating, anxiety, and guilt, just to name a few. No matter a person's age, experiences, or previous patterns, this book will guide readers to the whys and hows of orchestrating their beliefs to forever change their lives and relationships.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849929939
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 517,436
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best-known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the award-winning, best-selling author or coauthor of sixteen books, as well as several popular films and videos. The Blessing and The Two Sides of Love have won Gold Medallions, The Language of Love won the Angel Award as the best contribution to family life, and his other titles have received Silver Medallions. His national infomercial Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships has been viewed by television audiences all over the world. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for over thirty years and live in Branson, Missouri.
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How Changing What You Believe Will Give You the Great Life You've Always Wanted
By Gary Smalley

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2007 Dr. Gary Smalley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-1964-0

Chapter One

Hope for You in All Circumstances

It seems normal today for people to feel discouraged, stressed out, hopeless, and even depressed. The pace of our lives is part of the problem. Everyone seems to be in a huge hurry to go everywhere, even if they're going nowhere. The tensions of the world add anxiety and uncertainty-terrorism, political turmoil, wars, and rumors of wars. And the disintegrating values of our nation don't help matters any. We are constantly egged on by advertising and our peers to want more and more things, entertainment, pleasure, and leisure, and this brings on the added stress of working harder in order to afford these things. These combined pressures bring many of us down, inducing more or less permanent feelings of discouragement, depression, envy, guilt, frustration, anger, and a host of other defeating emotions.

What if I could show you a way to rise above all that? What if I could show you a surefire way to live so that these pressures and negative influences would never interfere with your joy and satisfaction with life? What if I could show you a proven method of increasing your peace of mind, reducing stress to the point that it almost disappears, and increasing the satisfaction in your marriage beyond your wildest dreams? What if you were to hear negative words from your mate, experience difficulties in life as we all do, but you rebounded in less than a day? Would you be interested?

In fact, I can show you the secret to accomplishing all this and more. The secret is not original with me; I found the key to changing my life in God's Holy Scriptures. I discovered four awesome, God-given beliefs that, when embedded in my heart, brought about changes in my life far beyond what I ever dreamed possible. These principles work. I know they do because they worked miracles in my own life. And I know they can work in yours as well, because they are God's own principles for living and loving. They were written more than five thousand years ago, and I found them to be life changing for me. I've used them every day for over six years and I can't get enough. I suspect that you'll have the same response if what I write makes sense to you.

Wouldn't it be great if you suddenly found the willpower to lose all that unwanted weight in just six months? Wouldn't you love to achieve more of your goals and reap more benefits from your job? Wouldn't it be wonderful to experience the love and excitement in your marriage that you thought you had lost forever? It can happen. It provides more safety and love for your marriage than anything I know. As you fly through this book, you'll learn the secret to achieving all these dreams and so much more. And the secret is simple: all you have to do is change some of the beliefs that are lodged in your heart.

"Impossible!" you may say. "Surely just changing what I believe in my heart will not make such radical differences in my life." But it can. I am living proof that these four beliefs can change your life beyond measure. Discovering these beliefs has given me the most amazing and rewarding times in all my sixty-seven years, changing and enriching my life in ways I could never have imagined. Six years ago I didn't even know these principles existed. It was my psychologist son who introduced them to me. But when I began to put them into practice, the dramatic and exciting changes they produced in my own life led me to share them with people in my immediate circle. When I saw them change preteens, teens, and adults of all ages, I knew I had found something amazing that could turn a person's life around in just a few weeks. I couldn't wait to share these four beliefs with the world. That's why I have written this book.

The Power of Beliefs

To show you how putting the right beliefs in your heart can change you, let me tell you a story about my oldest grandson, Michael. The incident occurred when he was ten years old. I had just discovered the principle of beliefs, but at the time I didn't know just how broadly they would apply.

Michael walked into my house as discouraged as I've ever seen him. I greeted him and listened as he poured out his heart about how miserable he was.

"Grampa," he said, "Mom is driving me crazy. I can't live like this. Can you do something about it? Can you talk to her?"

The more I listened, the more I realized that his problem with his mom-Kari, my daughter-was nothing more than her insisting that he be responsible about her rules concerning household chores and homework. But what he wanted was my help in changing her so she wouldn't bug him any more and cause his unhappiness. I'm very close to Kari, and she is one of my best friends in life and a wonderful mother. I chose not to take his side or hers. I didn't talk with Michael about the need to be responsible and to give one's parents respect and obedience. Instead I decided to see if my newfound discovery of beliefs would work for a ten-year-old. So I asked him this question: "Is your mom making you unhappy or is she revealing some belief in your heart, which is the thing that is actually making you unhappy?"

He stared at me with that what-in-the-world-are-you-talking-about? look and asked me to repeat the question. I did, and then I went on. "Michael, would you do something with me that I'm almost sure will get you over your frustration, no matter what your mom says to you?" He agreed, and so I said, "You and I are going to learn three scripture verses and say them to each other every day until they sink in as new beliefs in our hearts. Are you in?"

"Yes, I'll do it," he replied. "Are you sure this will really work?"

"It has for me, and I've seen it work for a few others who have tried it. You could be my youngest guinea pig." I prayed fervently that it would work for him. I didn't want to disappoint him further. He looked deeply into my eyes and said, "Gramp, I have seen changes in you over the last two years; yes, I'll try this with you."

We did learn those three scripture verses, and we helped each other rehearse them several times per day for over a year. And then I think I witnessed a miracle. Here's the story as he shared it.

His mom picked him up at school one day and asked him if he had brought everything he needed to do his homework. He said he had. But after she had driven two miles through difficult construction traffic, he suddenly remembered that he had left something very important in his locker.

"Mom, can you take me back?" he asked. "I left my spelling book, and I need it for a spelling test tomorrow. I can't do without it."

"Michael! What is wrong with you?" Kari exploded in frustration. "Why didn't you think of this when I asked? How can you be so irresponsible? You're just like your grampa!" She was really at the poor kid's throat, and she kept up the verbal barrage, using the tough love method.

When he arrived at home, Michael sprinted through the woods to my house to share what had happened. He banged on my door, yelling, "Total miracle, Grampa!"

He told me the entire story, and then he said, "Usually when Mom starts in on me like that, I talk back, saying something like, 'Just put a cork in it, Mom. You've told me this a million times, and I'm tired of hearing it.' But this time I didn't say a thing; I just listened because all three Bible verses rushed into my mind. Then in the middle of her angry lecture I interrupted and said, 'Mom! Mom, wait!' She stopped, glared at me, and demanded, 'What is it now?' I said to her, 'Mom, I can tell by your words how much you love me, and because you love me, you want me to do better in school, right? I just want you to know how much I really appreciate that, and I thank you for loving me so much. Would you please forgive me?'"

Kari told me later that when Michael said this, her jaw dropped to the steering wheel. She got goose bumps and had to pull the car over because she could no longer see for the tears in her eyes. She told him how much she loved him, and she forgave him. Being overwhelmed, she said she felt like handing Michael her purse and telling him to go buy whatever he wanted.

My experiment worked. Michael simply changed a couple of beliefs in his heart, and that change affected not only his behavior but also his attitude and relationship toward his mother. Things did not suddenly go perfectly for him, but with the change in his inner belief, his parents and I saw the dramatic changes in his life. His discouragements and frustrations were lowered significantly. And over the past three years, he has increased the changes in his heart, and his mom wrote me a letter outlining those changes.

In this book I will tell you many other stories-several of them about my own experiences-showing how people with major life difficulties overcame them by going to the root of the problem and changing the beliefs in their hearts. I'll tell you of my own water-to-wine miracle of overcoming a lust problem, of marriages that seemed impossible to heal, of people caught in addictions they thought were hopeless, and many other examples of how changed beliefs produced changed lives. No matter what you are facing in your life, this could be your story as well.

Our beliefs usually come to us from our parents, or we pick them up from our culture. Thus we are likely to be as happy or unhappy as our parents were or as our culture is as a whole. But I don't want my happiness to be dependent on others, whether it's my parents or the culture in general. I know that God created me to be filled with joy (inner happiness that is not dependent upon my happenings), peace, and love; therefore, in the past few years I have learned to base my beliefs solely on Scripture. It is in Scripture that I have found the four major beliefs I am basing my life on today. I have many more I'm working on as you'll see in appendix 5, but these four beliefs are where I started to experience the best riches in life. These are the key beliefs I have been diligent to embed or hide in my heart so that they become guiding principles for everything I do in life. And I have found that they work. If we will conform our minds to these four key beliefs that were designed by our Maker, they will put us on top of everything that matters in life.

The result of embedding these four beliefs in my heart has been an almost complete victory over worry, judging others, irritations, lust, eating habits, anger, complaining, disharmony with others, and ingratitude. My stress level is now almost nonexistent. My health is much better than it has been since I was a very young man. But even if my health fails and chronic aches and pains begin to wrack me, I will still be able to maintain a grateful heart and remain joyful-all because of these new beliefs I have implanted in my heart.

Learn these principles and you will discover how to manage your own heart and reap the wonderful consequences of a much closer walk with God and harmony with others. You'll be thrilled at the growing compassion in your heart toward all people. It all comes as a gift from God when you learn to adjust your deepest beliefs to only a few of the most powerful living words in his Scriptures. Just think of it. God's Word is truth (John 17:17), and you will know this truth, and it will set you free! (John 8:32).

In these pages I will touch on many important beliefs from God, but my main theme will center on the four beliefs that I explain fully, beginning in chapter 10, as well as the five steps that can set you free, explained in chapter 5. Everything in this book prior to chapter 10 is preparatory and introductory to these four beliefs. If you get too curious, feel free to skip to these chapters. But I urge you to read the preparatory material as well. You may find that you have some bad beliefs that will be rooted out as you open your heart to the empowering truth of godly beliefs.

You may be way beyond me in this journey. You may already know these four beliefs and have them firmly hidden in your own heart. If so, that's great. For you this book may be just a testimony of a person who has just learned to walk with God and take his words and beliefs seriously. If you already know and live by these principles, you will be able to influence others so that these amazing beliefs can spread across the world.

Beliefs: The Key to Your High Quality of Living

One of the most powerful truths to come out of my discovery is that no one can make you unhappy. Your ability to be happy or unhappy is entirely in your hands. You will be as happy as the beliefs in your heart allow you to be, and no person or circumstance can make you happier or unhappier than that.

The idea that you control your own happiness is such a foreign concept that many people find it simply unbelievable. Humans do terrible things to each other all the time. They lie, steal, hurt, deceive, and even maim and kill. How can one possibly say that having these things done to you wouldn't make you unhappy? That's the way most of us reason, but, as I will show you in this book, it's a huge lie that's stuck firmly in the hearts of men and women. And I, along with a lot of them, have been clueless that it is a lie.

The lie is that someone else-or something else-is the cause of your unhappiness. As you will see, this simply is not true. No one is making you miserable. You are never, ever, a victim of someone or something else. Your happiness is always in your own hands. You are and have always been 100 percent responsible for the quality of your life. As I said above, you will always be as happy as the beliefs in your heart allow you to be.

Nothing and no one can take away your happiness or joy unless you hand that job over to others or to your circumstances. To find enduring joy and peace, you must learn to recognize and accept the reality that your Designer created the best beliefs for you to store in your own heart, and those beliefs determine your level of happiness. I can see now why King Solomon warned all of us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).

This truth seems so extreme that you may wonder if it will work in every situation. My answer is that if it can work for a person in a horrible World War II concentration camp, it can work for anyone. The now-famous Austrian neurologist Dr. Viktor Frankl suffered under Hitler in just such a camp. He endured terrible physical torture. And worse, his father and his wife died in these camps at the hands of the Germans. Yet he wrote, "The guards could control how much pain I was in, they could torture me, deny me food, but they could never control my thoughts." After the war was over and Frankl was freed, guards in his prison section wrote that they had never met a happier person in their lives. Isn't that amazing? A mistreated, tortured prisoner was the happiest person they knew. Happier than the guards who maltreated him! What would give this man such control over his emotions and the quality of his life in a terrible concentration camp where pain and death were constant companions? He had learned one of the greatest lessons in life. His happiness came not from how he was treated, but from how he thought about his treatment. He was in control of what he allowed himself to think about all day long.

Frankl had discovered the key to changing one's life. He discovered that there is tremendous power in learning to control your thoughts. As the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus said, "Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the view they take of them." When you learn the right thoughts and chew on them over and over, day after day, they will lodge in your heart as beliefs. Those new beliefs will become the controlling principles of your life. And then no person, no circumstance, no amount of mistreatment can touch you at the center of your being, which is where true quality of life resides. You'll get knocked over from time to time, but it's amazing how fast you'll get back up on your feet.

The key to a fulfilling life is to find the best and most truthful thoughts to think on day and night and store them in your heart as beliefs.


Excerpted from CHANGE YOUR HEART CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Gary Smalley Copyright © 2007 by Dr. Gary Smalley. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


One Hope for You in All Circumstances....................1
Two How You Formed Your Beliefs....................9
Three The Amazing Power of Your Beliefs....................18
Four Preparing Your Heart for Powerful Changes....................34
Five Five Steps to Changing Your Beliefs....................48
Six Coming to Grips with the Three "Deadlies"....................66
Seven The Deadly Lust of the Eyes....................72
Eight The Deadly Lust of the Flesh....................80
Nine The Deadly Pride of Life....................89
Ten The High Value of Loving God....................99
Eleven The High Value of Loving Others....................117
Twelve The High Value of Trials....................132
Thirteen The High Value of Forgiveness....................147
Fourteen How Your Beliefs Affect Your Eating Habits and Addictions....................161
Fifteen How Your Beliefs Affect Your Vocation....................174
Sixteen How Your Beliefs Affect Your Children....................187
Seventeen How One Key Belief Can Keep Your Marriage Thriving....................198
Eighteen My Final Prayer for You and Our Country....................215
Appendix One Kari's Letter....................218
Appendix Two Materialism Test....................221
Appendix Three Hedonism Test....................225
Appendix Four Self-Interest Test....................229
Appendix Five Gary's Top One Hundred-Plus Bible Verses to Hide in Your Heart....................233
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  • Posted November 22, 2014

    The author lays down a challenge to men to change their lives an

    The author lays down a challenge to men to change their lives and their marriages by hiding God's word in our hearts. It takes the reader step by step through the process of becoming a godly man. The author is surprisingly transparent about his own struggles, and this adds to his credibility.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    deep and insightful

    this books explores the terrain that has long been dominated by new age wriyers and gives a biblical grounding to the most important paradigm about life.Very dep and insightfuk

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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