We all are aware of the fact that we should speak kindly to others, encouraging and edifying them through our words. But what about speaking to ourselves? Even though we may not actually speak out loud to ourselves (which I do at times but don’t always want to admit it!), most of us probably do some mental self-talk. We may not realize how harmful these words can be.
I read an interesting book recently entitled The Gift in You, by Dr. Caroline Leaf. She gives much scientific information proving that if our thoughts and words have harmful or “toxic” emotions attached to them (such as saying something negative to ourselves), harmful chemicals are released into the body which negatively impact our health. We hinder our abilities to use the gifts God has given us. She asks a very thought-provoking question: “Are you paying attention to what words you are saying and what words you are receiving into your spirit?”
When I examine my self-talk, much of it is untrue and is not based on Scripture at all. My “deceitful tongue” says, “I can’t do this; This is too hard; I have no purpose; It’s hopeless.” These words crush my spirit and deny Scriptural truths. No, I can’t handle my pain and problems alone, but I will persevere through them by God’s power. I do have a purpose – God created things for me to do before I was even born. Yes, my life is very hard at times, but God has blessed me with His presence, power, and victory.
Although our self-talk will not completely heal all our physical problems, it does bring benefits. Aside from releasing positive chemicals rather than negative ones, positive words develop more joy, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit in us. We benefit physically and spiritually, and we may become even better at encouraging others as well.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, make me more aware of the words I speak to myself. Help me speak words that are encouraging rather than harmful, to myself as well as to others. Amen.