Replace and overcome negative thoughts
"Why did you do that? Don't you know any better? There's no hope for you. What were you thinking?"
These negative thoughts and many more plague our minds on a regular basis.
Indeed, we must ask ourselves, "What WERE you thinking?"
Words of life, creativity, productivity and words of death, paralyzation and isolation are all in the power of our own tongue.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34) The mouth speaks with the words that fill our heart.
Let's dig a little deeper to understand the root of destruction.
Let's also understand that overcoming negative inner dialogue takes a lifetime. It's our job to replace and overcome negative thoughts.
The good news is that as we get better at renewing our mind and believing what God says about us, we can diminish the negative impacts more easily.
Take note of what comes out of your mouth or spoken, "under your breath" when you think no one can hear you.
Our words can raise a red flag on an area of our lives that we, thankfully, have the power and authority to do something about.
That's good news.
The power of the tongue is in our responsibility. We choose how we will speak of ourselves, others and the situations we are facing. (Proverbs 18:21) Words are creative...they bring forth life or destruction.
When we are young, there are many adults who affect our lives as we're growing into our teens and early adulthood. They have a huge influence in how we will speak about ourselves and others when we are adults.
Here are three areas I can proactively change my personal world and the atmosphere wherever I am.
#1. Speaking to children and teens. My words help create their self-esteem, self-worth and script to become their inner dialogue.
Whether I'm upset with them or tired or at the end of my rope...I must make a quality decision in this area.
A quality decision is one that I will never back away from. It is the plumb line I choose to dictate how I will act, react and behave no matter what I'm feeling or experiencing.
Speaking to "little's" or to teens and young adults, my words need to be edifying, encouraging, lovingly correcting and filled with respect for them as an individual.
What I speak to them and how I respond in front of them will add fuel to their inner dialogue throughout their lifetime...and beyond...as they, too, will influence others throughout their lives.
#2. Speaking to adults. Adults are children in grown up bodies. The life they've lived has given them baggage to carry. Most are loaded down with invisible weighty suitcases...that you can't see. What triggers them may not be your triggers and vise versa.
The Bible shares with us to be patient and forgiving with one another and to make allowances because Christ forgave us and loved us. (Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:2)
#3. Speaking to myself. As an adult, I have the awesome privilege of deciding how I want to continue parenting myself. I can play all the old, destructive tapes every spoken over me OR I can push the delete button.
Pulling down mental strongholds (inner negative dialogue) is a God-given power that we possess. Once we hear the negative thought beginning to form in our mind...we can discipline ourselves to stop it immediately before it can take hold. Initially, this takes practice...however, it is a skill worth developing.
The dividends of catching these negative forming thoughts before they start speaking to us in our minds will pay off handsomely.
Replace that whisper with your "loud" inner voice declaring what God says about you. "I am a peace maker. I am a happy person. I am a blessed individual. I am fun to know. I am learning new skills and able to accomplish my goals. I am content knowing God is with me and I have His help every step of the way. I have the mind of Christ. I am operating with His wisdom in this situation. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Let that "loud" inner voice fully form into words that you speak out loud or under your breath.
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my lips be pleasing in Your sight, O God." (Psalm 19:14)
Meditation means to murmur. Usually we think of the word murmur as complaining. However, it really implies the "under your breath" talking that we do quietly to ourselves.
It can complain and whine which will be counterproductive or it can be positive and up lifting. Our choice.
No matter what I'm feeling or experiencing at the moment I get to choose to let the words of my mouth and those spoken under my breath be words of life, faith and productive for growth.
I have a huge responsibility to put a guard on my mouth and my heart. (Psalms 141:3, Proverbs 4:23)
These are my domains to maintain. We are the master gardeners over ourselves.
Like a thermostat, I can set my own temperature, with words that will define the atmosphere that I move around in.
(A future topic will cover setting boundaries on how we allow others to relate to and talk to us.)
Otherwise, I'm like a thermometer that allows everyone and everything to dictate how I think, feel and speak.
Choose this day whom you will serve. Our choice. Our words. Our life.
Live a life well-lived. Be EPIC. Everything's Possible In Christ.
Dr Judy Bauer
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