Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:46

Practicing Healthy Self-Talk

Written by  Doug Hudgins
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Have you ever noticed how much you talk to yourself? Throughout the day, hundreds of internal impromptu monologues are performed on the stage of your mind. As you interpret the experiences of life, you do so largely with words. The content of this self-talk can be constructive and helpful, or very misleading and even destructive. Research shows that we can speak to ourselves at a rate of over 1,000 words per minute. At that rate, you can very quickly talk yourself into going in a positive or negative direction. In order to avoid out of control, confusing and possibly hurtful responses in life, and to live in a way that is pleasing to God, it is important to learn to think biblically and to talk to yourself rather than just listen to yourself.

 


Romans 12:2 tells us that rather than being conformed to this world, we are to be transformed by renewing our minds. This is where biblical self-talk comes in. The Bible is filled with directives and principles for living. In fact, 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God has provided all things needed for life and godliness. In order to grow in your relationship with Christ and others, it is necessary to study God’s Word and seek to understand these truths for life.
These truths from Scripture are intended to influence the way you will think and respond. When situations present themselves, ask yourself, “How can I view this event and respond to it biblically in a way that honors the Lord?” After you have determined what Scripture has to say about the situation, you will be prepared to respond internally by directing your thoughts, and externally by guiding your actions according to the biblical principles you have identified. As a Christian, you must learn to speak the truth to yourself in your heart (c.f. Psalm 15:2). 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that God’s word is useful and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness… One of the benefits of using Scripture in your life to teach, reprove, correct, and train is that you become conformed to the mind of Christ by disciplining yourself according to the Bible.

Throughout the book of Psalms, there are various examples of how the Psalmists used biblically accurate self-talk to direct their thinking and change the direction of their thoughts and moods. In Psalm 73, Asaph was discouraged because he had been looking at the ways of wicked people around him. It appeared to Asaph that the wicked had it easy. Asaph began to doubt that pursuing righteousness was worth the effort. Then Asaph went to church and was reminded of God and His ways. Asaph was reminded that even when he strays into negative, unbiblical thinking, God is still faithful. God is still in control. At this revelation, Asaph was grieved at his behavior. He repented and acknowledged God. Asaph finishes the Psalm by reminding himself about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. In Psalm 121 the Psalmist begins by reminding himself that his help is in God and his strength is in the Lord.

In Colossians 3:2 we are told to set our minds on things above and not on things of earth. A parallel passage in Ephesians 4:23 tells us to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. Setting our mind and renewing our mind by God’s word requires that we pay close attention to our thoughts. We must take them captive and control them by constantly dwelling on God’s Word and actively speaking truth to ourselves. As you go through your day, pay attention to what you think about and what you say to yourself. As you put off your old fleshly ways and begin to think and speak in accordance with biblical directives and principles, you should begin to see your life being transformed more readily into the image of Christ. Don’t be conformed and corrupted by worldliness. Train yourself to be cleansed, renewed and transformed by directing yourself to listen to God’s Word. You will be pleased with the resulting changes in your life. More importantly, so will the Lord.

Last modified on Friday, 08 June 2012 23:09
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