God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to.
Winning the war of words inside your mind means learning to defy your inner critic. Charles Spurgeon warns, “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” The internal chatter, those lies that we carry inside ourselves and believe, keep us from accurately and actively hearing God’s voice.
Our most immediate problem isn’t the devil on our shoulders but a deeper reality about the condition of our hearts and minds. Eighty percent of our thoughts are not only devoid of any power to help us but actively work against us. Those thoughts are filled with incoherent, repetitious speech. They are incessant and compulsive in nature, filling our minds with wearisome talkativeness. These thoughts inundate us, they are designed to wear us out until we don’t want to try or until we have no idea what to do or how to answer our growing list of doubts and deficiencies. Most people go through life thinking God never speaks to them when in fact He’s always speaking. To everyone. Always directing. Sometimes warning. Sometimes affirming. But we hear so little of what He says because our consciousness of His voice is obscured by our mental static.
At its worst this static prevents us from becoming what we could be. It leaves deeds that could have been accomplished lying undone. It is the Enemy’s (Satan) goal to lure us into accepting his lies and limitations at face value. Insecurity is a powerful source. When we allow the static of our thoughts to produce insecurity we allow insecurity to override God’s purpose in our lives, implying that God did not get it quite right.
Here is the thing….. The voice you believe will determine the future you experience. God has not chosen us blindly. He has chosen you while totally knowing even the worst parts of you, then you no longer have to live up to anything. Insecurity cloaks itself in the guise of comparison. Nothing can kill contentment and feed insecurity like comparison. Remember: every weakness you know about yourself, God knows in greater detail than you could ever imagine. He knows the defect as well as what causes the defect.
Before you were born-before any of your defects were apparent you-they were absolutely apparent to God. That did not stop Him from calling your name and setting you apart. He placed you on the earth at certain time for a purpose, His purpose. Because in Christ, who you are matters infinitely more than anything you can or cannot do. God has created you, has given His Son for you, has sent His Spirit to live inside you. He restores broken people and gives strength to the weak. You are now empowered though your identity in Him and His strength in you. This is the antidote to insecurity.
God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to. Winning the war or words inside your mind means learning to defy your inner critic. The voice you believe will determine the future you experience.
What is the static inside or your mind telling you?
(Source credit: Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick)
(DISCLAIMER: This is not talking about allowing someone to physically touch you. This is about being kind and loving even when it is hard)
A few years I had the privilege of working with a wonderful Christian Counselor. We used to joke about how she was my Paul and I her Timothy. I started working with Dr. Sherry Baker as her intern. I helped to co-facilitate her weekly anger management groups. I loved each weekly meeting because I learned something new from each person I had the honor of working along side.
Anger eats you up from the inside out. If you are a person who easliy gets angry and often takes it out on others, it is time. It is time to begin working on loving others with as much passion and committment as you feel in your anger.
I have been thinking about the lesson on “Taking the Hit.” It is easy to fall into the pattern of needing to be right. It is hard to apologize to someone who is angry even if you think you are right, and really and truely mean it. It is hard to invite others to bring to attention those moments when we are not being our “best self” and listen with a loving open heart.
Sometimes when I am not my “best self” and I am struggling with conflict I ask myself “do I want to be right” or “do I want to be happy.” I find that things usually turn out for the better when I lovingly “Take the Hit.”
Take the Hit
The next time anyone gets angry with you, don’t try to stop them. Don’t walk away from them. Don’t get angry back at them. Don’t get combative, don’t get defensive, and don’t explain yourself.
Just stay there listening to them until they are done speaking. Take the hit. You can take the hit. And then apologize to them for what they are angry at you for, and say you’re going to do your very best not to do it again. And try to mean it with your heart!
While you’re at it, tell them for future reference, that you want them to express their anger and truth to you – you can take it and that you know you sometimes need to hear it.
Tell them this even if you think it’s not true.
Even if it isn’t true, take the hit. Take the hits no matter what.
“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
Research shows the truth is that words actually have long lasting and profound effects in the development of children and in relationships. Often times we forget that what we say matters. We live in a society that so frequently is filled with words that are negative, discouraging, and judgmental. In relationships, words of anger are fueled by unmet expectations and bring discontentment setting the relationship on the course of destruction. As parents, words of disappointment and harsh rebuke can shatter a child’s self- esteem and make them feel unworthy of love. Phrases such as, “Hey stupid”, ‘ What is the matter with you?”, “Can’t you do anything right”, “I hate you”, “You disgust me”, and “Don’t you know how to listen” are spoken to both child and partner alike. These types of words can create messages of, “I am not worthy to be loved”, “I am worthless and have no value to anyone”, “I can’t do anything right”, that play over and over in person’s thoughts creating a negative self- image. God instructs us in Proverbs 15:1 that “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Our God tells us there is a definite difference in the way others respond to soft and harsh words. Soft words turn away wrath and harsh words stir up anger. WOW!!!!
Just as words can tear down a person, words can build a person up. God tells us in Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” He encourages us to choose our words wisely and to use them to build each up. We are to use words that help someone want to be a better Christian, stay clean and sober, perform better in a race, score higher on a test, be a better spouse, and teach our children that they are worthy of love and affection. The words we use can bring healing to soul and body. Something as simple as the words we choose can help a person heal both emotionally and physically.
Sticks and Stones can break bones. Broken bones hurt and typically leave visible wounds. Usually time will allow the body to repair and the visible brokenness disappears. Contrary to the poem, words DO hurt and cause internal wounds which cannot be seen. Healing from these internal wounds, internal brokenness, feelings of unworthiness, feelings of being unlovable and shattered self-esteem is sometimes very difficult.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” cannot be further from the truth. Words Matter. My prayer for each of us is that we take a moment and reflect on the message we want to convey and the words we choose to convey it.
May God Bless each of you and may your words be ones of encouragement and love.