Hi everyone. Rob here.
I wonder how your self-talk’s been this last week? What have you been telling yourself? I ask this because of the enormous power our self-talk wields over our lives. It has more power than facts, more influence than mentors and more impact on our souls than nearly every spiritual activity you can think of. Think of two people about to abseil down a cliff face. One says, “The rope’s got me, I trust my instructor and I can do this” compared to someone saying, “This is scary, what if disaster happens, I can’t do this.” Who is going to succeed in abseiling down the cliff face? Easy choice isn’t it? Two people can face the exact same challenge and will have two very different experiences because of self-talk.
The challenge of faith is to have such a relationship with God that we are telling ourselves what he has already told us. We hear what he thinks about the challenges we face, decisions we need to make and so on and repeat what he says to ourselves. Our self-talk becomes God talking to us and our hearts and minds responding to that. We may want to say, “I am really busy.” But if we pause and ask God, “how do you see my life right now,” we may hear, “You’re not busy but you do have some priorities mixed up.” That can become a beautiful dialogue with God that creates change and a new freedom of heart that saying, “I am busy” can never create.
I have been needing to practice this because for the last few months I’ve been working in a supermarket. I was hoping my search for part-time work would lead to something more intellectually fulfilling, and, let’s face it, high paying and ego stimulating. In reality this work is great because I can leave it behind when I get home, there’s flexibility and cheaper groceries! But reality and self-talk don’t often match. My ego, to my surprise and horror, put up a fight and there were days when I just wanted out. During this time God’s Spirit has kept nudging me to lay my ego down and embrace the situation. I have been doing that and will need to keep doing that. My ‘self-talk’ has changed from “this situation sucks” to “do your job, play your part and let Spirit work.” It is infinitely more freeing and joyful.
It’s a reminder to be grateful for now. God has you where you are right now for a reason. That reason may be to learn some tough lessons. It may be to mature and grow character. It may be to experience something great or to give the best of who you are into a place that really needs it. “God, what have you got for here” is a good starting point for changing our self-talk. Because, let’s face it, the problem with self-talk is that it’s about self, right? We don’t have the best perspective on our life. That privilege belongs to God; our life-giver and source of meaning, purpose and unconditional love. It’s his perspective I want, his words of love I want and his Spirit to show me the steps I must take in order to follow Jesus in this world.
May your perspective be changed this week as the eyes of your heart are opened by God. May your self-talk be filled with the words of his grace, love and hope and may you know joy in the journey in Jesus’ name.