In Hebrews 11:3, it says through faith, we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. We all get to frame our world. We get to use our words as building blocks to construct the reality that we want to live in starting inside our own thoughts. Those thoughts are our self-talk.
If you stop and take a minute and think about the things you say to yourself on a daily basis, you like I, might find that some of the things we speak out of our own minds or inside our own thoughts are very unkind. I sometimes find it challenging to be as kind to myself as I am to others.
So, I am working to re-train some negative self-talk patterns I have picked up in recent years. And boy is it a task! Self-talk is what you say to yourself as you go through the day, move through assignments, or even lie in your bed at night. It’s your confession of faith or your confessions of doubt to you. And as we become more aware of the things we say to ourselves, we also have to be aware of the things we say that God, angels, and demons are all listening to. They all come to manifest our words, especially the things we say to ourselves.
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Proverbs 18:20
Years ago I did a post about rumination. That’s saying negative stuff to yourself over and over again. It is the opposite of positive self-affirming talk. It’s the kind of talk that happens when you replay things that are negative to yourself over and over again so much so that you re-live the experience repeatedly.
To which I said to myself, just stop it! Scripture tells us to think about some specific things. We are To be strategic about what we pick to meditate on. God gives us a shortlist. But it is a powerful list of 8 things to influence our self-talk. They are 1) Truth 2) Honesty 3) Justice 4) Purity 5) Lovely 6) Good report 7) Virtue 8) Praise.
¶Finally, 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, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Whatsoever is true. O’ How many times we speak lies to ourselves. Saying things like I can’t do this! I’ll never get this right! Nobody wants to be around me. I’ll never get out of debt. These are all lies. And they are the kinds of things we say to ourselves that are in direct contradiction to what God has told us about us.
Whatsoever things are honest. Reminds me of a conversation a friend had about a guy she was dating. “Oh, we’re not gonna have sex tonight, we’re just gonna watch a movie and sit here on the couch.” This after multiple failures at abstinence. She and he both knew it was a lie. And to tell herself that lie and place herself in a vulnerable position was being dishonest. She was lying to herself. And setting herself up for failure.
Whatsoever things are just. Justification is about thinking of myself in ways that leave me guiltless because Jesus paid the penalty for me. Just thoughts bring my feelings and my actions in alignment with the will of God. And when I am not perfect and I make mistakes, I can repent, change and bounce back quickly. I am not broken because I fail. There is nothing to fix and there is nothing to prove. I trust the process of God working in me as I yield my heart and life to him. That’s how I want to think about myself.
Whatsoever things are pure. That’s guarding my thoughts and keeping them pure from carnality. I want to be Chase, Modest, just having clean thoughts. That includes my sexually inspired meditations (which will come!) But I choose to keep them under the influence of the blood of Jesus. I actively guard my heart so that I’m not thinking about things that are a violation of my relationship with God. I’m not meditating on things that put a wall between me and my secret relationship with him.
Whatsoever things are lovely. I should meditate on whatever is acceptable and pleasing or as the scripture describes it lovely. It’s to keep my thoughts focused on the pure, positive, and powerful in life and not on the negative outcomes, actions, and behaviors of people around me.
Whatsoever things are of a good report. This is a big one because my self-talk is influenced greatly by what I hear and see. in particular what I see in the media and on television. Media in all forms is an exaggeration. Media, social included, enlarges the exceptions and then replays them over and over giving the perception that what we see is commonplace. More often than not, those forms of information are the exception and not the rule. Most people aren’t shooting each other. Most people aren’t violating and hurting each other. Most people are good. But if I meditate on the worst of mankind, I bring that into my thought life and it has a negative impact on my self-talk.
Whatsoever things are virtuous. My self-talk should be influenced by things that are virtuous. These are things that have a positive right focused train of thought. They influence positive feelings and encourage beneficial actions towards others. They reflect moral goodness. They are influenced by modesty and purity.
The final category of things that my self-talk should be about are things that are worthy of praise. Years ago I remember hearing a quote that says look for the good in others and praise it. Find something commendable about what you are doing and talk to yourself about your positive actions. Because what is true of others should also be true of what you say to yourself.
These eight things are important elements of our self-talk. We often look at them in light of how we approach our thoughts about others. But we don’t always pay attention to how these things influence our conversations with ourselves.
I wrote a Decree several years ago as a part of a Bible study called She Lives by the River. FYI, you can still order a hard copy with a gift bracelet here. (https://stellapayton.com/product/1-book-1-bracelets-25/) I go back to this declaration quite often and read it out loud to remind myself of how I should talk to myself about the person I want to be. My self-talk is actively shaping my inner image of me.
We talk in the circle about everyone needing a HUB. HUB stands for Helping yoU Become. So whatever I am saying to myself, I am helping myself become the person I want to be. These declarations are designed to help you do the same thing.
Choose to be the best member of your own HUB! Have positive and powerful self-talk to you about yourself!