Book Study: James Part VI, Taming the Tongue: Self-Talk

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” James 3:9

Do you struggle when you hear gossip? (Please see Taming the Tongue, Part I,  posted February 19, 2012.)  Do you struggle with holding your own tongue? (Please see Taming the Tongue Part II, posted February 26, 2012.)  How should you handle yourself when the subject of gossip is you? (Please see Taming the Tongue, Turning the Heart, posted March 4, 2012.)

Maybe you have not struggled much with gossip about others, but have you accepted negative thoughts about yourself?  Maybe you accept words from the voice in your head; words laced in negativity, terms which tear you down instead of confirm who you are in Christ.

We are instructed in II  Corinthians 10:5 to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive”.  Our negative thoughts are not from God. So if we think one, it is time to take it captive and kick it out!

When we turn to Philippians 4:8 we are told, in essence, to keep our thoughts positive. If it is not certified truth, don’t waste time and energy thinking about it. If it’s ugly, ignore it. If it’s demeaning, cast it out of you head.  Don’t believe or entertain the negative thoughts which can bombard you.

Ever notice how negativity congregates when you are tired, feeling unsuccessful, or when you just received bad news?  The enemy wants negativity to be your constant companion, especially when you are exhausted, and you are feeling too weary to shrug it off.

But, even when the world appears to be coming apart at the seams, you can muster the strength to cast out negativity.  Claim Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Even when you are tired, even when you feel beaten down, Christ can give you the strength to firmly say “no” to negativity and guide you to refocus your mind on all that is true, nobel, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy. Christ proclaims “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Trust Him!  Claim His promises and ask for His help.  He will not fail you!

We all need to think about our words: words we roll off our tongues towards others, and words we resonate in our minds towards ourselves. The enemy is prowling around like a lion,  searching for someone to devour: you. Do not give him any ammunition!

Do not allow any words to be used against you: spoken, or in thought.

Reflections:

1) Consider your self-talk.

2) Pray, asking God to show you how you can honor Him in you thoughts about yourself.

3) Read and memorize Philippians 4:8.

4) Consider how you talk to others about yourself.  While we should not brag by any means, cutting ourselves down does no one any good, and certainly does not glorify God.

5) Pray, asking God to help you glorify Him in words, through speech and thought, concerning His creation of others and yourself.

Thank you for reading and for your comments!  Please let me know how you deal with negative thoughts.  We are called to help one another and encourage one another.  Your suggestions, experiences and thoughts are invaluable to all of us!

Please return by Monday, October 8, for the next post!

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