“She hasn’t listened to them because she doesn’t care about me or my songs.”
“I’m a horrible songwriter. Why did I ever think to send them to her?”
This negative self talk bombarded my mind recently as I waited to hear back from my out-of-state cousin who’s a professional singer. I had sent her a couple songs I wrote to get feedback from her.
My Bible study leader has been teaching about self talk. Having her focus on this subject has made me more aware of how much negative talk goes on inside my head.
Here are more examples:
“I’m no good at this. I should just give up.”
“Why did she give me that look? She doesn’t want me here.”
“God doesn’t love me. If He did, He wouldn’t have let this happen.”
Negative self talk is often lies from the enemy which discourage me and/or keep me from doing God’s will.
For some this kind of self talk unchecked can lead to bad life style choices like drug abuse and even suicide attempts.
Once I’m aware, I can talk back to my self talk. Since it tends to immoblize me, talking back often springs me into action.
With my cousin I answered my negative self talk with, “She’s probably busy. I’m going to pray for her.” Then I sent an email asking about the songs. She wrote back quickly affirming she was superbusy and would try to get to them ASAP.
Ironically, in the midst of this I remembered someone had sent me songs weeks before that I’d failed to listen to because of being busy. How blessed I’ve been by those songs once I heard them.
Here is a verse that helps me in dealing with negative self-talk:
“Speak to one another (and to yourself) with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (parentheses mine) Ephesians 5:19 NIV
In Psalm 22:1 David directs his negative self-talk to God as a prayer:
“My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far off from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?” NIV
Then in verse 3 he says,
“Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.” NIV
In the midst of our negative self talk, it’s good to remind ourselves who God is. And to remember what He’s done for us.
Two places where David talks back to his soul have been such an encouragement to me and are great comebacks to my negative self talk, which is often based in hopelessness and a sense of betrayal by people or by God.
“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…” Psalm 103:2 NIV
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7 NIV
It’s been said, “It’s OK to talk to yourself as long as you don’t answer back.”
I’m learning, it’s essential we answer back when we hear negative self talk inside our heads or coming out of our mouths. We need to respond with truth from God’s words, from songs, from the heart of God Himself.
How about you? Have you tuned in to your self talk lately? If it’s negative, are you willing to talk back to yourself with God’s truth?