We all have an inner critic. At times this little voice can actually be helpful and keep us motivated toward goals—like when it reminds us that what we’re about to eat isn’t healthy or what we’re about to do may not be wise. However, this voice can often be more harmful than helpful, particularly when it gets into the realm of excessive negativity. This is known as negative self-talk (aka) ‘stankin’ thinking!
In short, negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that may be limiting your ability to fully believe in God and/or yourself.
I’ve heard it said, “Your faith can move mountains, but your doubt can create them.” Quiet as it’s kept, no voice influences your demise or rise as quickly than your own inner voice. Proverbs 18:21 cautiously admonitiones, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words.”
Overcoming negative self-talk means developing an accurate sense of identity (who you are) and living from that place. This internal resolution can be a matter of life and death. Why? Because every success or failure in life is first filtered through a sense of identity and your identity is found in only in Christ. Ephesians 2:10 confirms: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
If negative self-talk is not your issue than perhaps other people’s opinions about you are swaying the pendulum in the wrong direction. Well, Cornelius Lindsey said, “If you don’t make people’s opinion the source of your joy – their opinions can never be a source of your pain.” I haven’t found a scripture in the Bible that says, ‘The joy of the people is our strength, but I’ve read in Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.”
Bottom line, God made you and He is the only one that gives your life true meaning. He’s the most stable and unchanging force in existence. When you fully embrace your personal relationship with Him, you literally carry His presence inside of you.
The good news is that God’s word can deliver you from negative self-talk and the tired ole repetitive antics the enemy uses to immerse you into self-doubt, disappointment and confusion. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, you are given the battle plan for victory in this area: “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Did you know that you can’t hold two thoughts at the same time? This is one of God’s built in fail-safe that you can exploit to your advantage.
I’ll submit to you that if you change the way you think of yourself, the world around you will change and fall in line with how you see yourself! Paul confirms there is power in positive thinking. He said in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whateverthings are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”
The only way you will be successful in defeating negative self-talk and/or the erroneous opinions of others is to make Bible study, prayer, and meditation a lifestyle so that you can distinguish truths from lies. In your prayer ask God to silence every voice in your head so that you can clearly hear His voice. Ideas that argue against the truth or don’t line up with our Shepherd’s voice must be captured and made to submit to Him.
You are not defined by the negative self-talk conversation your have with yourself nor the senseless chattering opinions of other people. You’re a son or daughter of the living God and are hereby defined by Him and Him alone!
(If this message isn’t applicable to your situation please share it with someone who you believe can benefit from this word of encouragement.)