Your words matter. The words you speak to others and the words you speak to yourself, they all matter.

If you’re anything like me, you save your harshest words for yourself. You know those poison-laced words no one else can hear except you. They repeat themselves over and over again in the confined inner walls of your mind. You think since no one else can hear them, they don’t matter. It’s just your “thoughts,” what harm can they really do? Yet, over time, damage is done, and what was once an invisible wound begins to become visible — your confidence deteriorates. Your anxiety worsens. You start settling for less than your best.

Listen, we must stop this negative self-talk. Be kind to you. Start taking your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and if you wouldn’t say that to your best friend, then by gully don’t say it to yourself.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:39 that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Think back to the words you’ve spoken to yourself this past week. Have they been loving? Have they been grace-filled and encouraging? Or have they been words of accusation, ridicule and shame? If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we first have to love ourselves. Learning to speak encouraging words and intentionally stopping the negative self-talk is a good place to start.

If Jesus wouldn’t speak to you that way, then why are you? Be kind to yourself. Don’t just make a point to speak life-giving words to your friends, coworkers, family, and neighbors – make a point to speak them to yourself, too.

So,let’s make a pact, shall we? I need to grow in this area in my life, and I think maybe I’m not alone. Care to join me? In an effort to begin speaking to myself as a friend, I’m going to:

  1. Begin each day with a prayer of gratitude for the way God made me.
  2. Memorize 2 Corinthians 10:5 and put it into practice in my life. Intentionally stop the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
  3. Reach out to a trusted friend and ask her to pray for me in this area of my life. I think being open and sharing about the struggle helps to lessen the power of the critical words that I hear.
  4. Focus on the truth that God loves me, is always with me and has a plan for my life. There is nothing I can do to make God love me more or less than He does right now.

How about you, sweet friend? Care to join me?

Let’s talk: What other items would you add to a “speak to yourself as a friend” list?

Love God Greatly,

 

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