Today's entry is for "Yes to God!" Tuesdays
Not just the words we write or the words we say to others, but the words we say to ourselves. Why is it we can receive 50 compliments and one criticism, and it’s the negative we believe? See, I knew all along that’s how I really am. Everyone else was just being nice.
This is S.O.P for me. How many compliments or affirmations have I received only to toss them aside because a few negative comments seemed to hit the real truth? I fill my thought closet with untruths, pulling out just the right outfit of self-condemnation for the occasion. They’re like familiar friends (or as the saying goes, with friends like this, who needs enemies?). Who cares if most of these “garments” are out-of-fashion, threadbare or too small? They’re mine. All mine.
My friend’s single moms’ Bible study just started studying Jennifer Rothschild’s Self Talk, Soul Talk. Knowing my inner dialogue she recommended I read the book. Then when Lelia at Write from the Heart announced the same book for her online Bible study, I felt God give me a nudge. Go ahead, give it a try.
Because of all the chaos in my life with our home renovation and my deconstructed office, I missed the first two weeks, but I’ve been reading along. This week we’re on chapter 3.
Each of us runs a soundtrack, both good and bad, inside our souls. Sometimes it’s a whisper. Other times it’s a high-decibel assault. According to Rothschild, “The thoughts that run through our minds become the inventory we store away in our closets. And out of that inventory we daily draw truth or error—powerful, life-shaping beliefs that go on to influence both our feelings and our actions.”
While we can’t remove the negative thoughts, hurtful memories and untruths from our minds, with God’s power in us, we can defuse their ability to control us. (The way I see it, it’s our only chance.)
And it all starts with wisdom.
Our behavior (the fruits we display) is rooted in something deeper. As Jennifer says, “Our assumptions are the root, and our thoughts are the fruit. The root of wrong thinking is always faulty assumption. The root of right thinking is always an assumption based on truth…The fruit of hypersensitivity grows from the root of pride and an unhealthy level of self-conscious thinking…The fruit of perfectionism springs from the root of low self-esteem or insecurity.”
Defensiveness, anger, loneliness, intolerance. These fruits all grow from an unhealthy root? Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of it that way.
Change can start when we’re able to identify our “roots.” According to Rothschild, the way to this wisdom is threefold:
- Ask God for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
- Choose to revere God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
- Receive wise counsel..be it from a wise friend, pastor or godly counselor. “Wisdom is with those who receive counsel.” (Proverbs 13:10)
So far, Self Talk, Soul Talk sounds good on paper, but I’m traveling its pages a bit skeptically. After all, I’ve played this negative inner dialogue for a loooooong time. Can Ms. Rothschild’s book provide an “aha!” moment and open the door to real change? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try.
Of course, in the end, this isn’t a journey I travel with the author, but one I travel with God. And I do believe, with Him all things are possible.
What about you? What's filling your thought closet? Do you want to join me for some early spring cleaning?
Parting thoughts from Jennifer’s interview with Patsy Clairmont:
- REFUSE things that are inaccurate, unkind, or unedifying.
- REPLACE them with what is good, pure and just.
- REPEAT the process for as long as it takes to bring my thoughts under control.