Fighting Negative Self-Talk with Praise

Words hold power. So does praise…

Posted in , Oct 8, 2015

Fighting negative self-talk with praise.

“It happened again,” my son said. He came through the kitchen door and slumped on the corner chair, the household conversation place.

“Again?” I asked. I wiped my floury hands on a checked towel and pushed a pizza crust into the oven. “What did he say?”

My son relayed the conversation. I winced. Then my mama-defense kicked in. I tried to push it away while we talked.

My son had a friend who consistently spoke unkindly to him. Put-downs. Insults. Words and jokes that held sting. My normally confident boy was beginning to bruise.

“You can’t let this go on,” I said. “In a friendship, we sometimes have to speak truth in love. And the truth is, a friend shouldn’t speak to you like that.”

My son and I talked about non-combative ways to handle things. But while we were talking, an interesting truth moved through my mind.

Sometimes I allow the same type of negativity in my thought life. It’s not acceptable either. So why do I let negative self-talk score and slander my soul?

I’m not any good at this. I could never do that. I’d like to try, to go, to become, to be…but I’m not made for that. That kind of stuff is for people more gifted, qualified and more able.

Binding, condemning self-talk. It will batter my spirit if I let it. It’ll pull me down and tether me tight and hold me in choke-hold of doubt if I allow it.

But I don’t have to.

Because there’s hope.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3, ESV)

Perfect peace. That’s sweet water for a spirit-gone-dry with negative self-talk. And the key? Keeping the mind stayed on Him. Releasing the grip of self-focus. Pulling my thoughts away from my weaknesses, short-comings and not-enoughs and residing in the thought-place of His glory.

His strength.

His goodness.

His provision.

His love.

I shouldn’t succumb to the damage of unhealthy thinking any more than my son should accept consistent, discouraging words from a friend. Standing there, in the mess of a kitchen and in the depths of my son’s heart, I vow to do better.

My boy and I talk a bit more about how to work through this tough circumstance. At the end of it, he’s encouraged and so am I.

Perfect peace.

Now that’s something to think about…

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