Positive self-talk is a challenge I am continually working to master. This is an area of constant sin/struggle for me.
It’s much easier for me to see the best qualities in another, give grace and encourage a friend to stop criticizing herself, than it is for me to believe/do this for myself.
I’ve always been highly critical of my every move, to the point that I place impossible expectations upon my shoulders and feel the need to “punish” when I fall short of measuring up. This perfectionism mindset leads to disappointment, hurt, obsession and ultimately, pulls us away from God.
Through my last 5 years of trial and growth, I’ve learned to talk to myself the way God does. Practicing this mindset is teaching me how to shut down negative thoughts whenever they pop up!
When you feel condemnation sneaking in, when your thoughts toward yourself are negative, when you question your worth or your purpose, and when you find yourself working to earn your salvation, combat those lies with His truth!
In the midst of negative thoughts, remember five truths that God says of you.
1. You are made in my image.
Because we are made in the image of Him, negative labels of ourselves simply are not true! I would never describe my Heavenly Father as stupid, ugly, failure, disappointment, less than, unloveable, or worthless. So how can I possibly use those words about myself if I believe I am made in HIS likeness?! If I honestly believe that my Father is who HE says HE is, than I MUST believe that I am who He says I am! Being created in his image means we are inherently like Him. Yep, sin has gotten in the way, but because of Jesus we are being made new everyday and will one day be fully restored to His likeness! See Genesis 1:26-28
2. You are not condemned.
Jesus set you free from the chains of sin and the law of death . You are forgiven (the second you ask for it) and set free! Jesus doesn’t condemn you, therefore, you should not condemn you! When we fall short of His glory it’s easy to sentence ourselves to punishment. Although we ask for forgiveness, we get stuck in the filth of our past sin and rather than living in gratitude of HIS GIFT, we stay chained to our guilt. Right where Satan wants us. Because Christ has broken our bondage to sin, we have the ability to do good. Don’t stay in the muck of your mistakes, accept your forgiveness and walk forward in your freedom, seeking to obey Him! See Romans 8.
3. You were created for MY purpose.
We get so wrapped up in wanting all the answers NOW that we feel unimportant when we are unsure of God’s purpose for us. We live in a comparison culture- it’s far too easy to feel we don’t measure up or that our contribution to the world is without value. God says over and over in His word that you are a “chosen” people, “honored”, and “precious” in His sight. We were created by God, for God, to help Him carry out His ultimate plan. He has plans for you!! We may not see the importance of every season of life, but those who love God can rest assured that every detail of their existence is being used for the GOOD. We were made to glorify Him to the ends of the Earth. We were made to make disciples, to love and care for others, and to be His handiwork! Even if you don’t see it- He is using you! See Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 2:10.
4. You cannot find true satisfaction outside of me .
Have you ever said to yourself, “When I have my dream ___ then I will feel like I’ve made it!”? I certainly have. The world tells us we have to earn love and approval of others in order to be valuable. As we strive for our perfect (unattainable) body, career, relationship, house, bank account, and all around glamorous life, we quickly realize that “making it” by the worlds standards leaves us empty, every time. We were created with a glory ache deep in our souls that pushes us to seek out an answer to the void that remains within, no matter how successful or happy we are. That aching is for eternity! It’s a need that can only be fulfilled by the one who formed you. It’s a hole that will be filled entirely once we get to Heaven. No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to receive ultimate satisfaction on your own. See Ecclesiastes 3:9-13, John 6:35, Psalm 107:9.
5. Fill your heart and mind with goodness.
The Bible tells us to set our minds on things above, not on things of the Earth. We are commanded to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds! One of the best ways to get rid of negative thoughts, especially towards yourself, is to flood your mind and heart with so much truth that there is no longer any room for the lies. Satan will always try to tempt us by snickering lies in our direction, it is our choice whether or not we believe what he says. How do we know what is true and what is a lie? Simple: We become so familiar with what GOD says about us and to us, that we have no space in our lives for anything else. Fill your soul with goodness, friends! See Colossians 3:2-10, Philippians 4:7-9, Psalm 25.
No matter how diligent we are in study and prayer, negative thoughts about image, character, and identity, are inevitable to arise. Next time you feel those lies bubbling up, remember what God says of you:
“You are made in my image,
You are not condemned,
You were created for MY purpose,
You cannot find true satisfaction outside of me,
Fill your heart & mind with goodness.”