Self, how are you doin’ today?

SelfOn a long drive home after visiting our son stationed near the Gulf of Mexico, my SunTanned Feet Man and I sang along to an all 80’s radio station to pass the time.  We were ‘naming that tune’ and trying to retrieve artists’ names from the dusty storage files in our brains.  It was fun to reminisce.

Suddenly, we heard the first few notes of a quirky song by Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime.  (I’m pretty sure you weren’t expecting Talking Heads, but feel free to click on the title to listen)  Our eyes met, we giggled and started singing along bobbing heads back and forth in the punk rock rage of the 80’s.  Some of the words are here (below) as well, and I hope you will at least breeze through the lyrics to catch the theme of talking to yourself.

Once in a Lifetime   (click here)

Talking Heads
And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

And right about now you might be asking yourself, “Self, how did I get here?”  Well, good, because I’ve also been asking myself some probing questions ever since that silly crazy wacky 80’s song got stuck in my head.

I’ve decided it’s healthy for me to ask myself good questions.  Self-talk is probably the biggest chunk of my used vocabulary on any given day.  For people who have conversed with me often, I’m talking more like a boulder than a pebble.  So, if I’m going to spend this much time and effort talking to myself, I might as well practice speaking truth to myself.

In my imagination, I can see you (if you’ve stuck with me this long) nodding your head. We all practice self-talk, whether we are aware of it or not.  In fact, if our self-talk is not renewed daily with the mind of Christ, we are probably our own worst enemy.  For most of us, self-talk can be one of the most effective tools of God’s enemy – Satan.  The way in which we converse with ourselves can keep us bound up, hostage to our stinkin’ thinkin’ and sidelined from the abundant life Christ offers through His finished ‘once and for all’ sacrifice on the cross.

I personally don’t think Satan or any created being has the ability to read our minds. Only the triune God is all-knowing.  (I’ll leave the theological debate for those much smarter than myself.)  The main point is that I have too often accomplished the enemy’s dirty work of destructive self-talk while he takes the day off or at least a coffee break.  By the time Holy Spirit has pulled me up out of the pit I’ve talked myself into, there’s a whole lot of clean-up work to be done – never mind the time wasted and opportunities lost.

Sometimes I have to ask, “Self, how did I get here?”

Since it’s much easier to hear stinkin’ thinkin’ self-talk coming out of other people’s mouths, I am 100% sure this nasty self-talk problem is an epidemic.  So, what are some practical tools for turning our self-talk into a mighty victorious weapon for living the abundant life Christ promised His followers?

Ephesians 1

  1. Self, we’re going to recognize we are not alone. (Deuteronomy 31:6 & Hebrews 13:5)
  2. Self, we’re going to fill our thoughts with words of truth. (Psalm 119:11 & Philippians 4:8)
  3. Self, we’re going to open up the conversation to Holy Spirit influence. (John 16:13)
  4. Self, we’re going to seek wisdom and healing in the dark, deep and hidden places. (Daniel 2:22 & James 1:5)
  5. Self, we’re going to put on the armor Father has graciously given us to wear as we go out to battle. (Joshua 1:9 & Ephesians 6:10-13)

{Pause for a disclaimer.  I’m not in any way proclaiming Talking Heads or this song as gospel truth; however,  Holy Spirit can use anything to teach truth.}

Ponders:

  • Is destructive self-talk something you recognize as a problem to overcome?
  • In what way do you feel vulnerable to this cycle of stinkin’ thinkin’ and the resulting negative self-talk?
  • Do you recognize particular triggers – people, scenarios, stresses, etc – which bring on the downward spiral of lies?
  • Do you want to be free?
  • Will you confess this behavior to God?  Will you ask Him to teach you how to have the mind of Christ, speak the truth, encourage yourself in truth, and live victorious ready to serve Him fully?
  • Will you ask a trusted person to walk this healing journey with you?

Let’s put our eyes on Jesus…and shine!


4 thoughts on “Self, how are you doin’ today?

  1. Was amazed this past week at how quickly I reverted to self talk from years ago and went down this very slippery dark slope. Thank you for words of truth.

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