I talk. I talk a lot. Sometimes too much. I can keep a secret. I’ve matured to a place of discretion, and most of the time I know when, where and in front of whom to say what. Yet and still, I’m a communicator. Conversation and words are my thing. At times when my husband and I disagree, I find myself analyzing what he says , and breaking those words down to what he means. Drives him bananas. (sorry, honey.) Knowing this about me, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my primary love language is WORDS OF AFFIRMATION. When my husband tells me I’m a good wife and mother… I feel loved. When my daughter tells me I’m pretty….I feel loved. When my son thanks me for “the best dinner ever” (because let’s face it…tacos really are the BEST DINNER EVER)….I feel loved. When my friends text and say they appreciate me….I feel loved. Words are just my thing. Sadly, I’d noticed that while I value words of love received from others, I do not value the words I speak to myself. I am my worst critic. I know my deepest secrets, worst shortcomings and flaws. I notice every time a new mole appears on my face and without a thought I say, “Eww. I look ugly”. I tally up every chore I didn’t accomplish in a day and without a thought I say, “You’re lazy”. I was praying one afternoon while attempting to clean my room. I HATE cleaning our room. There are certain things I’d like for our room that we just haven’t been able to finish or have. So instead of our room being an oasis, it can sometimes be a reminder of the things we don’t have.
Every time I began to pay more attention to what I want and don’t have more than I acknowledge what I’ve already been given….negative words are soon to follow. My mouth follows the direction of my mind.
As I was praying (let’s be honest….I was complaining), the Holy Spirit sort of interrupted me and made me aware of the negativity spewing from my mouth. It was like hot lava. So hot that I couldn’t keep it in my mouth. So hot that it left a trail of damage behind it. I began to think about my every day conversation. While I have a pretty good prayer life and consistently make time to spend with God, I had made little progress in allowing Him to transform the way I perceive myself. I was so convicted. It was evident to me that I often spent time praying scripture over and encouraging others, all the while speaking defeat and hate over myself. I knew I had to be intentional about changing the way I talk to and over myself.
I asked my friend Antracia to attack this head on with me. I knew I’d need someone to be accountable to .
For the last week 1/2 I’ve been writing down almost every negative comment I’ve said out loud to myself. For each negative comment, I then write and say something positive dealing with that same issue.
For instance….the most frequently used comment I’ve made in the last week is “I’m OLD.”
I’m replacing “I’m old” with “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.
Just today I realized I say “I’m tired” WAY TOO OFTEN. I’m replacing that with ” I NEED STRENGTH. The joy of the Lord is my strength. “
The more I “watch” my words , I am utterly embarrassed by some of the things I’ve been confessing over myself. Seeing them on paper makes it real and I have no choice but to confront what desperately needs to be changed.
Maybe you’re like me and readily have something nice to say to someone else, but consistently speak negatively about yourself. Will you take the challenge to watch your words?