Although some would say that people who talk to themselves are manifesting signs of insanity or dementia, we speak to ourselves all the time. Every day.
Often the things we speak to ourselves are lies.
These lies take on a variety of shapes. For example, some of the lies concern our identity and what we must do in order to be loved and appreciated, or at least what we must do in order for people to like us and not be disappointed. Some lies about the nature of God are that he is distant and doesn't care, that he is impotent to make any difference in your life, or that he is working against you to ruin your day and bring hardship into your life and that you must face your struggles and stress alone. Therefore, we wake full of anxiety and fear, living a day full of frenetic activity or mind numbing distractions.
Let me suggest an alternative.
Rather than simply deny the lie, actively speak the truth to yourself.
As a daily exercise, within the first five minutes of your day, speak these seven gospel truths to your heart and embrace them at the depth of your soul.
- I am fully forgiven. Fully. Completely. No stain remains.
- I am perfectly righteous in my Father's eyes. Jesus has borne the rags of my sin upon a cross so that I can be clothed in and credited with his moral record.
- I am dearly loved. I'm not merely tolerated. I'm treasured. This is who I am.
- I am indwelt by the presence of God. Because nothing is impossible for God and because his resurrection power indwells me through the Holy Spirit, I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Yes, I can and will love my spouse, children, neighbors. And I can and will love my enemies.
- I have nothing to prove today. No one's opinion of me ultimately matters except that of my heavenly Father.
- My Father is in total control of every event in my life, my children's lives, etc. I can trust him, even when things look really, really bad. He is working all things for good, even through the worst of events like the cross.
- There are thousands of gifts in my life for which to give thanks. It may be difficult to see them in the moment. But if we look with our lives tethered to the cross, we'll begin to see them.
Tell you what. Even if this moment right now is not within the first five of the day, why not go ahead and speak them to your own heart. Right now. And believe.
Jesus himself said that "the truth will set you free." May you experience that freedom today which can set your life on an entirely new trajectory.
I'd love to hear about what kind of difference speaking the truth to yourself is making.
If you are a young(er) pastor/leader who is interested in learning more about how God's grace in Jesus can be the defining truth of your life and ministry, feel free to check out The Timothy Fellowship.