By: Janelle Keith
tobyMac has a song that reminds of what I learned to do waaayyyy back when… It’s called “Speak Life”. And from the first time I heard it, it’s reminded me of my victory of when I started to give myself some grace. It has literally spoken life…to my heart and it has changed the way I feel about me, and life in general.
Why do these lyrics mean so much?
“Well it’s crazy to imagine,
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion,
Mountains crumble with every syllable.
Hope can live or die.”
I began to put them into practice by speaking life to myself. One of my all time-blue-medal-life-time achievement awards goes to:
With God’s help I have kicked the habit of the negative talk in my heart and mind.
…and that’s the way I like it!
I can honestly say I don’t do it anymore. And wow…what freedom I have since the day I ditched that bad habit.
It has literally poured days of God’s blessing in our house and in my own life. When you speak life to yourself, you will speak it to others. When you harness your tongue and mind to speak kindness, God’s Holy Spirit speaks life to you.
You can change your world and the world around you just by being kind to yourself.
Believe me I know.
I used to carry a big word stick around with me, beating myself up for my bad behavior. I carried the weight of my own extra weight in the form of shame, guilt and just plain ‘ole trouble with me on a daily basis.
I wasn’t smart enough…or good enough, or …well you get the picture.
Perhaps you have been doing this in your own life. Here’s what God’s Word says:
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushed the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
God made us in His own image, that includes our tongues. Jesus dwells inside of our hearts when you accept Christ as Savior, and when you say negative things to yourself, you are saying them back to God.
What a slap in the face of Perfect, when the imperfect says God’s “workmanship” is not good enough. There’s freedom in the proclamation that we aren’t enough. We aren’t supposed to be enough without God. We are only complete with the identity in Jesus Christ. So therefore we will never measure up to be enough without Jesus.
…and that’s the way I want it.
So how do you kick the bad habit of negative self-talk? Speak life to yourself as well as others.
It’s the small things that no one sees that result in the big things everyone wants. If you can’t say something helpful, skip it. Make a list of 100 compliments about you. Do it…it’s so freeing. And then carry it with you wherever you go. You will be surprised how God will write those on your heart.
Now that you have those 100 good things about yourself, say those 100 good things to yourself everyday if you have to.
We are God’s children. It’s time to encourage ourselves and the world around us. We can’t encourage if we are busy sowing seeds of discouragement to ourselves. Even David encouraged himself:
“but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6