Tell yourself the truth: Putting a stop to the negative messages in our minds

loving jesus meditation positive god-talk scripture truth Aug 26, 2020

If I’m being honest, last week was a bit of a roller coaster here. Some great moments, and some rather tear-filled ones. I’m still feeling a little whiplashed.

And, you know, that’s life. Ups and downs. Good days and hard days. This too shall pass. We know all of this, but when we’re in the middle of it—when the roller coaster is raging and twisting, and your stomach is in your throat—it’s easy to feel like we will be stuck there forever.

That’s when the whispers of the enemy can get loud in our heads. I don’t know what your enemy tells you, but here’s a small sampling of the messages I hear: “You are a failure. You constantly let people down. You have nothing to offer anyone. What makes you think you will ever do anything worthwhile?”

Tell yourself the truth

Friends, too often the “enemy” is ME. We tear ourselves down! And we’re not even creative about it, guys. Those words that I just shared—and others that I will just keep to myself thankyouverymuch—are the same ones I have wrestled with for years. Every time I think I’m past them, something happens to knock me off course, and those familiar messages begin to play again. And I’m guessing that’s true for you, too.

So it’s time to change the tape. Stop believing the lies of your past, of those who have hurt you, even of your own mind, and start telling yourself the truth. Let’s replace those messages that drag us down with words of life, words that will bring us joy when we get up in the morning and give us hope for the darkest of days.

It’s not actually about you (or me)

Here’s where I might surprise you. You might expect me to share messages that tell us how great we are, how loved we are, how capable we are. And I’m not saying those things are bad—we actually will get to those. But that’s not where we start.

If we really want to experience things like love, joy, peace, and hope, we don’t start with us broken humans. We start with the One who is love. The One who is our source of joy. The One who gives us peace and hope.

We open God’s Word and look for what it says not about us but about God, and we allow those words to strengthen and encourage us. Here are just a few to get you started:

  • “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.”  1 Chronicles 29:11
  • “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:4
  • “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7
  • “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
  • “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1:3
  • “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” 2 Peter 1:3
  • “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2
  • “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Read through that list. Then read it again. Pick one or two that stick out to you, pray them back to God, and keep them close by so you can review as needed. Remember who is in control—and who isn’t (hint: that’s us). Remember who made you and put you here on this earth, knowing every one of your days before you ever took a breath. He’s got this.

Lift up your head

Once we have the proper perspective, now we can reevaluate the words we say to/about ourselves. The Bible does tell us who we are, but that’s not its primary purpose. The main goal of the Bible is to help us know who God is. Only when we take the time to see his power and glory can we properly understand what His Word says about us.

So as you read these words, remember all of the things we have just read about God. Remember that this is the Creator of the universe… and this is just a small portion of what he says about you:

  •  I am forgiven. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” Ephesians 1:7
  • I am loved. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” Jeremiah 31:3
  • I am God’s masterpiece. “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.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
  •  I am never alone. “[The Lord] will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

So, my friend, lift up your head! Throw off the weight of your enemy’s whispers—whether those whispers come from another person, your past, or even your own head. And choose to focus on what God says about you instead.

Where do I go from here?

It feels good as you’re sitting here reading this, right? It sure feels good as I type it. But then we go back to reality… so how do we carry these messages with us? Well, I have a couple of suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Pick one or two verses to print or write out, and carry them with you. You can use ones that I listed here or check out a slightly longer list I compiled here.
  2. Check out Sarah Geringer’s book Transforming Your Thought Life. She does an excellent job of providing Scripture for a variety of situations and emotions, and helping her readers to use them to change the tape that we play in our heads. (Note: This is an affiliate link, which means I may receive a small commission if you use this link to make a purchase.)
  3. Start a list of God sightings in your life. Write down when you have seen him at work. List things you’re thankful for.
  4. If you really need to change your outlook on yourself, spend some time thinking through your strengths, talents, and passions in relation to who the Bible says you are. Find some “I am” statements that are personal to you, write them down, and keep them where you can see them. If you’re not sure what I mean or you want a little help getting started, check out this tool I created. (It’s free!)

My friend, today is the day to stop listening to the enemy. Don’t let his (or her) lies have a place in your life any more. Instead, replace them with the truth. And “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16) in this new week.

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