Self-Talk

Most of us dread business meetings, but we enjoy conversations with friends. However, our most important conversations are those that we hold with ourselves in the privacy of our own minds.

We have often been warned against pride; however, pride—thinking too much of ourselves—has its inverse. Thinking too little of ourselves spawns negative self-talk. What do we grouse about to ourselves?

Self-Talk about God

When life has gone awry or has devolved into a tragedy, it is easy for us to think, God may love everyone else, but He doesn't love me. We tell ourselves, He doesn't care what happens to me.

'Beware of allowing self-consciousness to continue, because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity,” warns Oswald Chambers.[1] Feeling sorry for oneself is common. We generate self-pity by continually brooding over the wrongs done to us. That's when it becomes sinful.

Denying God's love for us is an untruth. David speaks often about God's 'unfailing love” (Pss. 31:16; 32:10; 33:5,18). Jesus assured us of His love when He admonished His followers, ''Love each other as I have loved you'” (John 15:12, italics added). The apostle John wrote, 'This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10, italics added). Telling ourselves that God doesn't love us is false. God does love us and cares what happens to us. Committing ourselves into God's loving and faithful hands frees us from grousing and self-pity.

Self-Talk about Others

We may control what we say about others, but we allow our minds to castigate others freely. We may think, He doesn't really love me, or, She thinks I'm dumb. I can't do anything right, as far as she is concerned. That may or may not be accurate; we can't know unless we are told so. One well-known Christian writer said our attitude is more important than facts, the past, education, money, circumstances, failures, or what other people think, say, or do. We choose daily what our attitude will be. Life, he wrote, is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. [2]

Self-Talk about Ourselves

We say to ourselves, I'm stupid. I can't do anything right. God couldn't love someone as foolish as I am. Since we are made in God's image, berating ourselves makes us critics of God. God designed every cell when He created us in our mothers' wombs (Jer. 1:5; Ps. 139:13). He made each of us who we are, and when we ask for His help and guidance, He will help us to grow into the character that pleases Him.

Giants did not defeat the ten spies who entered Canaan. The spies' perception of the giants terrified them. They told Joshua, ''We seemed like grasshoppers'” (Num. 13:33). What they said to themselves about themselves demoralized them.

'The mind is its own place,” John Milton said, 'and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Let's offer our self-talk to God. Only He can help us keep these most private conversations positive and pleasing to Him.



[1] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1935), August 20th entry.

[2] Charles Swindoll. Available online: http://quoteland.com/author.asp?AUTHOR_ID=1310.