Self talk. The voice inside your head that builds you up or tears you down, saying things like:
“Keep going. Don’t give up!”
Or things like:
“Why bother? I may as well quit.”
That negative voice reminds me of Eeyore.
You know Eeyore. Winnie the Pooh’s gloomy little friend.
Niggling in the back of my consciousness, nothing is off-limits:
- the 10 lbs that crept on over the holidays
- the time I wasted today
- not reading as much as I should
- a bad attitude
- past mistakes
- future uncertainties
I give Eeyore more attention than he deserves, letting his words bounce around my brain too long. I know better. Wise King Solomon said,
Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.
~Prov 4:23 (NLT)
The Apostle Paul expounded,
… take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
~2 Cor 10:5 (NIV)
It sounds easy enough, but why isn’t it?
Negative thoughts weigh us down mentally and physically. They cause us to feel anxious and frazzled, or depressed and lethargic. God designed a wondrous connection between body and soul, so it’s hard to renew your mind when your body is off-kilter!
Last week I shared a few simple tips for keeping your body functioning at its best. (SIMPLE, I promise! Check it out: New Year, New Body) When you take care of your body, especially your brain, your thinking becomes clearer and it’s easier to recognize wrong thoughts.
Once you’ve taken the wrong thoughts captive, replace them with God’s Word. Memorize verses and promises that speak God’s truth into your life. A few favorites:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
~2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield,
He bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does He withhold from him whose walk is blameless.
~Psalm 84:11 (NIV)
We know that all things work together
for the good of those who love God:
those who are called according to His purpose.
~Romans 8:28 (HCSB)
Don’t despair if you don’t know verses that apply to your situation. (That’s either Eeyore or the enemy. Ignore them both.) The verse I’m personalizing this week is Jeremiah 1:19,
[Wrong thoughts] will come against me but they won’t defeat me,
because God is with me and will rescue me.
Jehovah Shammah, our Constant Companion, is with us and will rescue us from ourselves. How great is THAT? He’ll lead us to scripture that will help build our faith. Some good places to look are:
- Bible studies and devotionals
- Christian Music
- Sermons and interviews
When you search for godly encouragement, you’ll be amazed at the things He brings across your path. But when wrong thoughts pop into your head, remember Martin Luther’s explanation:
Thoughts are like birds that fly overhead.
You can’t control them, but
you can keep them from building a nest in your beard.