Thursday, August 29, 2013

Think About Things That Are True

Have you ever considered that you have mental conversations with yourself every day? I never really considered it until today when one of our nursing professors pointed out that we need to be careful how we talk to ourselves. It's so easy for us to want to avoid pride to the point that we go to the opposite extreme and belittle ourselves in our mind. Tearing ourselves down is NOT what Christ had in mind when the Bible says we are to be humble. 

Instead, God’s Word admonishes us to think about things that are “…true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8b, NTL).

It’s amazing how what we think about can completely affect our whole outlook. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man “…thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (KJV). Jesus also said that “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45b, ESV). In other words what we allow to fill our heart (and our mind) will come out in what we say and who we are.

Today, my professor challenged the class to speak to ourselves (in our minds) as we would speak to a close friend who we loved—honestly and truthfully, neither belittling ourselves nor puffing up our egos. She also asked us to examine our automatic thoughts. What do I think of automatically in certain situations (when I fail, when I win, when I just do “ok”, when someone else messes up)? Do my thoughts honor God? Or am I quick to demean myself or others?

The key to confidence is not self-love or pep talks to yourself but knowing who you are in Christ. This is our identity—we are the Bride of Christ—His Chosen Beloved. Instead of ruminating on our deficiencies or meditating on “how great we are”, let’s instead focus on Who Jesus is and who He says we are (Song of Solomon 6:3; 7:10).

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:3-4, ESV).  

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