Negative Self-Talk

Winter depression sad woman with Seasonal affective disorder girl grief stricken alone at home window thinking negative thoughts. Mental health banner panorama background.

Envision a day in your life when you are completely unaffected by what other people say or do. Seems impossible, right? Trust me, I get it. When it comes to being critical of ourselves, we all have an inner critic. The world says that the little voice in your head can actually be helpful in keeping you motivated towards your goals. For the Believer, the Holy Spirit is our voice of conviction and transformation that pushes us towards our purpose and destiny. On the other hand, when the voice you hear is negative and it brings you down this is not God this is the voice of the enemy. Negative self-talk is something we all have experienced, and it creates significant stress and can cause us to become depressed, not only is it harmful to us but to those around us if we are not careful. Here’s what you need to know: negative self-talk does not only have an effect on your mind, your life, those around you but it also impacts your health.

Negative self-talk can sound like you are just “keeping it real” so you say things like, “I should avoid this because I’m not good at it”  or it can sound down right hateful “ and you say things like, “man, I can never do anything right because I’m so stupid.” It may take on the view of just being realistic about a situation. For example, “ I just got a C on this test. I guess I suck at Math”  then it escalates into fear, “I’ll probably fail this course and never get my degree.” Being realistic about a situation as it relates to negative self-talk may sound like there is no harm in that but not only are you limiting yourself, you are liming God. Is there any situation that diminishes the power of God to make changes in your life or are you having confidence in your own ability to change?

Because of this, not only can it be extremely frustrating and stressful, but it can hinder your progress. It can affect you in some seriously damaging ways. Study shows that negative self-talk has been linked to mental heath issues. Focusing on negative thoughts leads to decrease motivation and a greater feeling of hopelessness. This type of negative internal dialogue has also been linked to depression so it’s definitely something we need to ask  the Holy Spirit to help us with. Those who engage in daily negative self-talk tend to be more stressed out. Partly, because their reality is having an inability to achieve the goals that they set for themselves. This is both due to not seeing God properly and themselves. This means this is due to perception that comes with a behavior (i.e. limited thinking, perfectionism, depression, relationship issues etc.).When your thoughts are negative it influences your mood. Start shifting your perceptive instead of looking at things that are wrong praise God for the things that are good. Say it aloud: “Lord I may not have the money I want to have, but I thank you that I’m not under a bridge.” Lord I may not have what I want to eat, but I thank you that I’m not going hungry.” When praises go up, blessings come down. Combat your negative thoughts with the Word of God. Mediate on that Word until it gets in your spirit.

When God doesn’t change your circumstances around

my way your way

God could deliver you today—He has the power—to deliver you from whatever situation is causing you irritation, frustration and pain. And since He can, you probably feel that He should. Why would God delay when He can deliver you today? How often do we beg God to give us something we want or to get us out of something that we don’t want? We plead for Him to change our circumstances. We implore Him to bring a change.

Sometimes, however, God says no, or wait or seemingly nothing at all…

Can I help you today? Stop begging God to change your circumstances and start praying for God to change you.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be persistent in prayer. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pray more than once. But sometimes we need to understand that His grace is sufficient. Paul prayed three times for God to remove his thorn in the flesh. Now, we don’t know what that thorn was, but it bothered Paul so much that He prayed three times for it to be removed. And God said my grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:8). We can sling snot, cry or do whatever we think may change God’s mind, but if He chooses not to remove your circumstance, He will give you the grace to go through it. God knows what’s best for us, better than we know what is best for us. We may think our plan is best, but if God doesn’t remove your circumstance, its because He has a better plan. Wow, that’s humbling! But who are we to tell the God who upholds the world by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3) otherwise?

Still, we beg and plead for a change in our circumstances….

Lord, why this financial hardship!”

Lord, “I can’t take no more of this!”.

This prevents me from being a witness and sharing the gospel. I’m being hindered from glorying your name, because I am in this circumstance.

Do we really think God doesn’t know what He’s doing? Do we really think we know better for our lives than God does?

Welcome to going through trials and tribulations

Not what you wanted to hear huh? What if we lived our lives in such a way that we see everything that happens in our lives through the lens of Romans 8:28?

Having to ride the bus because you don’t have a car? Perhaps God wants you to share the Gospel with someone on the bus.

Raising a rebellious child? Maybe there will be someone who crosses your path who God wants you to mentor and they need to see God’s peace through you in the midst of a heartbreaking situation.

Your circumstance may be to humble you or another or maybe to introduce you or another to a peace that surpasses all understanding. The circumstances you find yourself in will serve in the purpose and plan our great God has for your life.

Put it all in His Hands

Whatever it is, unwanted circumstance you face, big or small, remember to put it all in His Hands. No matter how difficult your circumstances, God’s grace is sufficient to see you through!