Imagine a day in your life when you’re completely unaffected by what others think or say about you—including what you think about yourself! Seems impossible, right? Believe me, I get it. The self talk struggle is real. But I’ve learned how to take my self talk and make it obedient to Christ. Let me explain.
When I was young, I was sexually abused in my own home and was labeled “stupid.” Sure, I heard some good comments too, but my self talk rehearsed the negativity. Isn’t the negative the easiest input to believe? And why not, because I already felt worthless, insecure, and unloveable.
One day, early in my career, I heard myself utter these words as I hit myself in the head, “I am so stupid.” It was the first time I heard this negative self talk out loud, though I had been repeating it inside my mind for years. I needed new words to live by.
But this day was different. I paused for a moment and had a single thought intersect my typical rehearsed self talk: I am a CPA at one of the world’s largest public accounting firms; maybe I am not actually stupid. This simple, truthful thought began a life-giving process inside me that I can only explain as God’s healing work.
My habit of negative self talk released the power of death in my life. And I didn’t fully realize its grip until I began to feel the life-giving effects of fighting it with truth! Proverbs 18:21 NIV says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
When we rehearse negative self talk, we eat of the fruit of those words like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think it, we will speak it. When we speak it, it’s like giving it life. Whoa! I do not want to eat the words I used to speak about myself! How about you? Have you examined your self talk?
The best way to fight negative self talk is by replacing it with what I call God talk. God talk is recognizing that you may be weak, but in Him you find everything: strength, endurance, and acceptance. God talk is what God Himself would tell you if you asked Him for His opinion of you.
Whenever I hear negative self talk vomiting from my mouth, I stop and replace it with God talk!
Negative self talk: I am worthless.
God talk: I must be valuable if Jesus paid the price of His life for me.
Negative self talk: I never follow through on anything.
God talk: With Jesus, I can endure all things.
Negative self talk: There’s nothing good in my future.
God talk: Before I was born, God knew me and already had a hope and a future for me!
Negative self talk: I am insignificant.
God talk: God knows every last hair on my head.
Faithfully speaking God’s words in place of my negative words will protect my heart. It has grown my love bank so that I have more love to give! God has healed my deepest wounds, and He desires to heal yours!
Make a list like mine. Read it. Replace your negative self talk with God talk. As you hear your own words reflecting truth, you will be changed!
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV