She was saying negative things about me. With my attention focused elsewhere, I was susceptible to harm from these words. Despite their power and ugliness, I did nothing to stop their onslaught. I allowed them to linger, settle, and become part of how I perceived myself. The lies were clever and potent, their impact ricocheting through my being.
Why can’t I stop her? How is it I permit her to continue to inundate me with negativity and falsehoods. Who is this woman, you ask? It’s me. I am the one who speaks the callous sentiments. It’s called self-talk. We oftentimes don’t realize how we speak to ourselves. We send messages such as:
You’re fat and will never lose this weight.
Your hair is awful and looks like it was cut by a weed eater.
You will never be as popular as your friends.
You’re stupid. Why did you do such a dumb thing?
You don’t have what it takes to get that promotion.
You’re ugly; no wonder he left.
We wouldn’t make these statements to our worst enemy, so why do we speak them to ourselves? In many ways we are self-defeatists. Sometimes I sling mud all over myself and resemble a three-year-old who discovered a mud puddle for the first time. We’ve reiterated the falsehoods so long and so frequently that they’ve become part of our belief system.
How do we combat this bombardment? There are three ways to change your thinking from negative to positive.
1. Trust what God says about you. Zephaniah 3:17 is the perfect picture of an adoring God: “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.” All throughout scripture God showers us with love—from revealing that we are fearfully and wonderfully made to demonstrating we are worthy of His attention and care. The truest thing about you is what God says, not your own ideas or messages of the world. Trust His words.
2. Capture those thoughts. Second Corinthians 10:5 exhorts us to demolish arguments that set themselves up against the knowledge of God and to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. This means we examine the statements we say about ourselves, grab the ones that are not true, and march them to the throne for God to demolish them and replace them with what is true. The responsibility of filtering the negative self-talk resides with us. Step back and watch those scrolling words and nab the lies.
3. Dwell on what is true. Philippians 4:8 tells us to dwell on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. I challenge you to make a list of all of your positive traits. Think about them, post them on your mirror, and whenever a lie is thrown at you, replace it with something about you that is admirable and dwell on it.
We must become like David and slay the giant. Pick up stones of truth and hurl them at the negative statements that come your way. You are worth it.
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/