Talk to yourself. Don’t listen to yourself.

There I was, just before the workout began, whining about what was ahead. Mainly I was nervous because the movements that day weren’t exactly in my exercise wheelhouse.

That’s when my friend told me, “Talk to yourself. Don’t listen to yourself.”

Huh. 

Well that just might be a good idea . . .

So I took her advice. I stopped listening to myself about how hard it was going to be and how I didn’t want to do it. Instead, I started telling myself that I could physically do it, and I would be fine.

I did, and I was. (And I lived to blog about it, apparently.)

Her motivation stuck with me—and not just for workouts.

We often spend too much time listening to ourselves in life—and we say lots of negative things. Mainly because, as the movie Pretty Woman reminded us, “The bad stuff’s easier to believe.”

What if we start telling ourselves, and our children and friends and family, phrases full of truth—especially God’s truth? Here are a few examples to get you thinking. (By the way, as you read through these, I know that in print some of the examples sound foolish and we think we’d never actually believe them. However, often our behavior and choices show that we really do.)

You can listen . . . 
I can’t believe I did that! I’m so stupid. I’ll just hide and ignore it until hopefully everyone forgets about it.
Or you can tell yourself . . . 
That was embarrassing. I’ll ask for forgiveness. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

You can listen . . . 
I can’t believe someone would post that on Twitter (or Facebook). I have to fire back a response right now to show them how wrong they are! 
Or you can tell yourself . . . 
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels” (2 Timothy 2:23).

You can listen . . . 
If I had a little more money, and just a little more in the bank, then I’d be secure. 
Or you can tell yourself . . . 
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

You can listen . . . 
Everyone needs to like me, so I won’t set boundaries on my time or energy. 
Or you can tell yourself . . . 
The God who designed me loves me, accepts me, and values me. While I like other people and being respected is a good thing, their opinion isn’t my top priority. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

You can listen . . . 
I want the guy to like me or I don’t want to lose him or I want to hear that I’m beautiful. I’ll send the picture. I’m sure he won’t share it. 
Or you can tell yourself . . . 
I am not free porn.

You can listen . . . 
I’m an ex-con, abuser, addict, gossiper, adulterer. I’m a disappointment to God. 
Or you can tell yourself . . . 
Thanks to Jesus, who died on a cross to take the punishment for all of my sins and came back to life to defeat death forever, my identity is no longer based on my sins. Now, “the LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

What are the voices you’ve been listening to? And how can you talk back? Check out Pastor Jared's video “The Voice That Matters” to learn more! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Buxa knows an awful lot about talking (to herself and others). Just ask her family and friends and the people she does CrossFit with and coworkers and anyone who sits next to her in the bleachers.