The past two weeks we have been talking about how our thoughts can influence our actions, and ultimately our destiny. This week, we met negative thinking head on and learned how to begin changing those broken records into Truth, and training our heads and hearts to hear God!
The next, most obvious, question is: “Once we start doing that, how can we know/trust if what we are hearing is from Him, or just ourselves chatting away in there?” Here’s a quote I LOVE from Jennifer Rothschild and her wonderful Bible study, Me, Myself, and Lies.
“My friends, our Master’s words are gracious and authoritative…Truth is always authoritative and gracious! Authoritative words should never be harsh, and gracious words should not be without power.” Jennifer Rothschild.
In other words, when God speaks to our hearts with correction and conviction, those words will not be condemning, but instead, constructive and forgiving. And when He speaks grace to us, those words inspire us to action; they are not simply empty compliments to build our egos.
So what does that mean to us on a daily basis? How can we know the self-talk we are hearing is God(ly) or not? Well, let’s take the first part of that quote – “Authoritative words should never be harsh…”. If we are hearing guilty thoughts instead of constructive thoughts, those words are NOT from Him:
An example would be when you make a parenting mistake (‘cause it happens to all of us…!). If, afterwards, you are replaying that scene in your head and you start “hearing” something like: “You stink as a parent. You could’ve handled that so much better. She is not going to forgive you for that one. You better hope no one heard that. You’re never going to get this right”, you can pretty much guarantee THAT isn’t from God. There is NOTHING constructive in those words at all.
If instead, you’ve prayed about it, given it to God in sincere apology and ask Him to speak Truth into the situation, you are more likely to hear something like: “It’s okay. Everyone misses the mark sometimes. You are a good parent. Pray for patience and ask forgiveness. Remember that the righteous person, even if she falls 7 times, still gets back up! Next time, ask me for help and I will give it.” That is constructive.
On the other hand, what about those times we are pumping up our own egos at the expense of sitting in judgment of others? If you are “hearing” some rather inflated comments about your own accomplishments that have no power to move you – or anyone else – forward, that’s probably your flesh or the enemy talking.
For instance, you’re sitting at school pick-up and watching a disheveled child walk out of school with things falling out of his backpack, with shoes untied, anxiously waiting for a parent who still isn’t there to get him, when seemingly all the other parents have picked up their children. If you hear, “You are such a great mom! I mean, look at that poor child. His mother can’t even make it here on time to pick him up. Plus he has dirty clothes and broken shoe laces. And for goodness sakes, why doesn’t his mom get him a bigger backpack? Your daughter would never look like that. AND you’d never be late to get her. Just wait til you tell your friends about this tomorrow at lunch.” Talk about some powerless and empty compliments!
But if instead you hear, “I’ve graced you with the tender heart of a mother. Go over and offer to sit with that child until his mother gets here. I made that child just as I made yours. I made his mother, just like I made you. And I love them just as much as I love you. Go share that love because you know in your heart it is the right thing to do and I know you would want that loved shared with your child when she needs it. And if you do this, you will be filled with such joy and love that you won’t even be tempted to share any of this at lunch tomorrow. I have loved you with an everlasting love. Go and share it.” Again, you can bet that’s God speaking powerful and action-oriented Truth to you.
God wants us to stop beating ourselves up and calling ourselves names. He also wants us to stop pumping up our own egos through the beating down of others.
So give yourself, and everyone else, a break. Take Truth in, and allow His power to change the FACTS of your life. Memorize scripture and make it your own, as an amazing tool in infusing this power into your daily life. You will be blessed in doing so, I promise.
Up Next Tuesday: Healing Power…with a “Touch” of Faith!