Thursday, August 29, 2013

Self Talk

by Tim Howard

Do you talk to yourself? You don’t have to fib, be embarrassed or hide the fact because all of us do a fair amount of self-talk. People might think we are crazy when they see us moving our lips as if speaking to someone nearby but I don’t think we’re unhinged. At least not all of us!
Truth be told: I even argue with myself and have been guilty of berating myself to some degree when there’s a failure to live up to my standards. I’ve learned, self-talk can be very helpful but it can also cause a lot of unnecessary pain if it’s not monitored.
King David talked to himself when he experienced a season of depression. In his discouragement and despondency, his conversation went something like this:
Psa. 42:5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.
When you talk to yourself it’s wise to speak truth!
Secular psychology says the key to health is to get in touch with your feelings. If you are angry, sad, hurt, discouraged etc. then vent your feelings.  Get them out.  Unleash them. But that's not enough because feelings are not always true.  The Bible doesn’t encourage us to ignore our feelings but challenges us to get in touch with the truth.  Getting in touch with your feelings is one thing but it's the truth that sets you free. 
When feelings become our focus and are allowed to drown out the facts, our self-talk will move us in the wrong direction.
The truest thing that will ever be spoken about you is what God says. For David, his feelings said: Everything is terrible. There’s no way out, I might as well give up. Elijah had a similar experience to David and it’s recorded in 1 Kings 19. The only difference is he expressed his emotions while David spoke the truth.
Elijah said: Life is terrible, I’ve had enough, I want to die. I’m the only one left. That self-talk ensconced and catapulted him into a deeper depression.
David, however, spoke the truth to himself. I may be feeling down, it may be difficult, the darkness may seem impenetrable but if I call on God, he will help. This season will pass. I will see the sun in the near future and my face will once again exhibit a smile. Why? Because God is on my side.
The results? He built a staircase out of the cellar while Elijah dug a deeper hole. David wasn’t doing an exercise in positive thought and talk. He was speaking the truth – about God and about himself. 
Be encouraged to monitor your self-talk. Check out what is being said and see if it is fact or feeling.  Ask God to help you stop the damning, degrading and damaging talk that goes on in your mind. Ask him to help you change the way you think and talk to yourself. It will make for a path that gets brighter and brighter. Proverbs 4:18

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