I decided to go with this thought again because I think there is so much we need to consider about this subject. In a recent conversation with a friend, I realized that our internal self-talk can be so detrimental, and perhaps even downright dangerous, to our growth in Christ.
Many years ago I came across a book by Shad Helmstetter called, “What to say when you talk to yourself.” It was a very thought-provoking book and it helped me realize for the first time that the chatter going on in my head was having a profound effect on my life.
Currently I’m reading a book by Steve Backlund called, “You’re crazy if you DON’T talk to yourself!” This too is a great book, not so much about defining the chatter going on in your head, but to make you think about what exactly you’re allowing that chatter to say to you. Backlund reminds us, “that Jesus didn’t think His way out of the wilderness… He spoke truth to invisible beings and to the mind-sets that sought to restrict and defeat Him.”
We really owe it to ourselves to get savvy to this concept. One of the voices in our head is not a friendly voice; it belongs to the enemy of our soul and he just loves to twist, contort, and otherwise lie to us about the condition of our lives and our relationships. Backlund contends that we are indeed supposed to talk to ourselves and also to talk to the things in our lives, allowing our relationship with Jesus Christ to blossom and thrive as we proclaim Biblical words and truths into and over our daily circumstances.
Let me give you an example. I used to have a big problem with speaking negatively. It wasn’t that I saw myself as a negative person, because I didn’t. But someone close to me bluntly stated one day, “you are one of the most negative people I’ve ever come across!” At first I was offended and angry. But once alone, I started praying about this and asked the Lord to show me what exactly they were referring to. Over time, I realized they were right. I totally had a negative viewpoint about life. I had a hard time trusting others because I feared their motives. I was suspicious of people instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt. I found I actually expected negative things to happen to me. And do you know what? Negative did follow me and my cozy little life around! Shocking truth!
I’ve worked at attempting to have more positive expectations about life. I can still get caught up in the negative (oh, so sad a fact that once caught in this lifestyle, it’s difficult to change that skew), but I try hard to allow for more positive things to happen in my life and, in my head!
One thing I know. The Word gives us instruction about such things, most of them related to what we say with our mouths. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19.
I invite you to take a listen to the voices in your head. Are they life-filled? Or are they full of negative thoughts? Very often what is happening inside our head matches up with the words that come out of our mouths; our words have tainted our thinking so much so that our minds have now embraced what the enemy wants us to — that life is hard, and there’s not much hope.
You see, your ears hear what your mouth proclaims. This is hard to come to grips with in the beginning. Negative talk equates to negative thoughts and the enemy loves to chime in with his two cents, in total agreement to your conclusions. And to make matters worse, he then adds his own commentary to the mix. And the more you agree with those thoughts, the more they rage, the more they come out of your own mouth, no matter your intentions. Sadly, this is the exact point at which we begin to speak things out loud we truly didn’t mean to. And therein lies the truth of “death and life are in the power of the tongue!”
But when I practice speaking good things, I’ve noticed there’s a correlation then to what thoughts are running in my head; my thoughts begin to fall in line with what I’m speaking. I love that the more I speak about good things, the more I come to expect those good things in my life. And if you’re tracking with me here, you begin to see that your words become contagious to your thinking.
Paul says it best: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT). Paul was such a loving teacher and his words still ring true today.
Fix your thoughts. Webster’s defines the word fix as: to make (something) whole or able to work properly again : to repair (something); to deal with or correct (a problem). That’s a definition worthy of repeating. Fix your thoughts, make them whole, able to work properly again.
Do you have issues with negative thoughts in your life? Do you seem to attract the negative? Do you struggle with an automatic response of negative? You’re not alone. No, far from it. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this and invite you to leave a comment on what you’d like to change in that area of your life or, how you have conquered this problem.
Let’s all adjust whose voice we’re listening to, shall we? And let’s start proclaiming the Light and Truth of the Word and allow it to do it’s transforming power in and through us.