Thought. Tuesday. 8:30am: I am not good enough.
Thought. Thursday. 5:15pm: You aren’t a good mother. You could be doing so much more.
Thought. Wednesday. 6:30am: You are too fat to wear that dress.
Thought. Monday. 1:00am: Just go to bed. You have nothing of importance to write anyway.
Thought. Wednesday. 2:00pm: You are the worst human being. I hope you feel guilty.
Thought. Monday. 4:00pm: You are the worst teacher for your son. He will never learn to read.
All of these thoughts, I have said to myself. All of these words have gone through my mind, not once, but repeatedly. All of these words and much more.
Thoughts. Words. We frame our world with them. We kill ourselves with them. We kill our hope. We kill our self-esteem. We kill our confidence. We kill our desire. We kill our song. We kill our joy. We kill our peace. We kill our beauty.
The words we tell ourselves on a daily basis can either give life or bring death. For most of my life, mine has been slowly killing me. I have not spoken "gracious words like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24)
Am I being dramatic? I don’t think so. Think back to when you were a little girl or a teenager or any moment in your life when you thought you were invincible. Think back to when you thought you were you were the greatest ballerina, superstar, veterinarian, doctor, nurse, zoo-keeper, Barbie, Hello Kitty mommy - think back to that moment where you thought you were beautiful.
What happened between “I am a princess” and “I am too fat to wear this”?
What happened between “I am so beautiful in my tiara and heels” and “Layers of makeup will help me not look so old and tired”?
What happened between “Watch how I take care of my baby doll. I am such a good mommy” and “I can’t even get my son to tie his shoe. I am a failure.”?
Words happened. Words we told ourselves. Words others told us. Words framed our thoughts and for some of us, kicked our confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, pride, joy, happiness, and beauty out of the picture.
The Bible often speaks of the tongue and its power. I want to take a look at three verses and how they pertain to us today. These three verses speak of the tongue and its ability to heal or kill. How are your words killing you today and how can we find the answer in the Scripture to bring healing again?
1. Death and Life are in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
This verse is so powerful. Our tongue, our words, our speech have the ability to bring death or life. On a daily basis are you bringing yourself life? I can be honest and say that I’m not! I speak more harshly to myself at this time in my life than ever before.
Death: You are ugly. Your hair is destroyed. You are getting wrinkles. Your legs are too scarred to wear a knee-length dress. You can’t wear yellow because it looks gross with your skin-tone.
Life: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knows very well. For when I was still in my mother’s womb, You knit me together like a beautiful tapestry. You picked every hair on my head. You layered my skin on top of my bones like a craftsman. You created the length of my legs with Your mighty hand. You SKILLFULLY created every part of me. I will praise You and worship You because You created me to be . . . Me. (Psalm 139:13-15)
2. Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:21)
My soul has been in trouble and my spirit has been weak. Sure, there are external situations that have lead me to have a down-trodden season. But Proverbs 21:21 warns us not to keep giving into trouble with our words. We must guard our mouth and guard our tongue when thoughts come in that could weaken our soul.
Death: You are a failure. Your business is failing. You will never be able to raise and support your son. You have nothing. You are nothing.
Life: The Lord knows His plans for me. He plans to prosper me and not to harm me. He plans to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills will He not provide for me? (Psalm 50:10).
Do not worry about your life and your future, the Lord takes care of the ravens and feeds them. How much more does He love me? Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t toil or spin and yet year after year, they grow. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe me? (Luke 12:22-34)
3. The tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. (Psalm 52:2)
Are your words cutting you down? Do you find yourself happy and content at one moment and a thought pops into your head that cuts away that happiness in an instant? Our tongue has the power to cut, like a razor, working deceitfully - working to cut down and spin the lies we tell ourselves.
Lately, I have been telling myself (and others) how tired I am . How exhausted I am. How I need a break and a rest. And in return, I have been lazy. I haven’t been working as hard. I have no desire to write or create. I can see the direct correlation between my words and my attitude.
My words cut down my productivity so I can’t write, can’t create, can’t inspire - I believed a lie which says I am always too tired to write, create, inspire, encourage, breath life.
Death: You are exhausted in mind, body and spirit. Sleep away the day. Don’t push to write anything tonight. You deserve a break. Just sit. Don’t write anything tonight. Tomorrow is another day.
Life: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) Yes, my body is tired and my mind is weary. Lord, my Spirit is weak, but You give power to the weak, and when I have no might, You increase my strength.
You said that even the youths shall faint and be weary, but Lord, I wait on You. I know You will renew my strength and I will mount up with wings like eagles, I will run and not be weary, I will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
Instead of speaking to ourselves, the lies, the negativity, the evil, we must start speaking the Word of God and His promises over our thoughts and over our lives. If we are to be all that God wants us to be, we have to start thinking about ourselves as He thinks about us. We have to start reminding ourselves who we were created to be.
Here are three steps to take when the words come like a flood and we begin to frame our world with death instead of life.
1. Guard your tongue.
"I will GUARD MY WAYS that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle . . .”. (Psalm 39:1)
Guard your mouth and your thoughts against anything that tells you that you aren’t good enough.
2. Praise Him! Sing! Worship!
"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1) "O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise." (Psalm 51:15) "And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long." (Psalm 35:28)
3. Give Thanks.
Thank Him that you are alive. Thank Him that you have been given another day to make a difference. Thank Him for putting shoes on your feet and clothes on your body. Thank Him for His words that bring life. Thank Him for helping you to frame your world with Life!
“In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13) "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
When we frame our world, our thoughts, our lives - with the promises of God, we will see immediate results. I promise you. Speak life over yourself and your children, your home and your work. Speak life over your thoughts and purify anything that doesn’t encourage and uplift you. "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24) Let's start speaking kind and gracious words over ourselves to bring healing to our minds, bodies, and souls.
When we begin to change how we think, we begin to change how we act, we begin to walk with our head held high. In turn, our homes are blessed, our children are happier, our work is a blessing and not a curse and we begin to see ourselves as Christ sees us.