Okay, so who is it? Did you know the average person speaks around 16,000 words each day? (I suspect I might be a little above that number) But that number reflects words that are actually spoken. How about the words seldom uttered, but often heard? If you are wondering where this is going, consider this quote, “The most important person you listen to every day is yourself.” Although I understand the idea, I think it is best to say, “The most common person you listen to every day is yourself.” It’s called self-talk. We all do it. Some of us (me being one), actually talk out loud at times. So, let me ask you a question, “How good is your self-talk?”
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for
necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Some may think I am going down some sort of psychobabble road, but I ask that you give me just a minute of your time. As Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, he speaks to them about the power and benefit of helpful words. The idea is simple, say what can help someone to grow and serve Christ. Well, wouldn’t that same principle apply to self-talk? The only difference is that I am talking to me, rather than someone else. The words that are “powerful” to another’s walk with Christ are equally as powerful in my walk. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” Contrast that with Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Words can make such a difference!
Okay, so let’s go a little deeper. I wonder if some of you are like me; that is, some (if not much) of my self-talk has been influenced greatly by what others have told me, especially during my youth. (Some may call them parenting tapes.) Sadly, for all too many of us, reflecting back on those days, cause internal turmoil. This is one of the reasons the transformation of the mind is so critical (Romans 12:2).
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Here is my idea; let’s replace those “tapes” and often times, negative self-talk, with transformed, God centered self-talk. Let’s begin by accepting (and repeating to ourselves) this fact from God to you. The Psalmist writes, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:14). Say it again, only this time replace the “I” with your name. What would happen to our spiritual growth if we took God at His word and discarded everything else?