Last week we were talking with some friends and the subject came up of how difficult it sometimes is to believe the truth about how much God loves us. So often we are plagued by thoughts about ourselves that aren’t true…things we’ve picked up along the way and have assimilated into our thinking. When I saw the following from Pastor Rick Warren, I thought I’d adapt parts of it and pass it on to you.
Long before psychology came around, God’s Word made it clear that “your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23, GN).
You're constantly talking to yourself — all the time. Your mind is talking to you! You're talking to yourself right now. Research indicates that most people speak at a rate of 150 to 200 words per minute, but the mind can listen to about 500 to 600 words a minute. That's why you can listen to me and plan today's dinner at the same time.
The problem is that a lot of us are like Job, who says, "Everything I say seems to condemn me" (Job 9:20 GN). He's saying, in effect, "Everything I say puts me down." If you are typical to the human race, you are your own worst critic. We often put ourselves down. We walk into a room, smiling, but inside we're thinking, "I'm fat. I'm dumb. I'm ugly. And I'm always late!"
When you put yourself down, who are you really putting down? We’re really pointing to the Creator who made us. When we say, "God, I'm worthless. I'm no good. I can't do anything," we're saying, "God, you blew it with me." That's why God says it's wrong to put yourself down.
How do you eliminate negative self-talk?
The Bible teaches the principle of replacement. "Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right…Think about all you can thank God for and be glad about" (Philippians 4:8 LB).
In other words, don't think about all those weaknesses in your life. Focus on who God wants you want to be and on what God wants to do in your life.
There isn't a better thing you can do to raise your confidence level than to start believing what God says about you. As I read through the Bible, chapter by chapter, and find a verse that speaks to me, I write it down on a card, memorize it, and then I affirm it back to God: "Father, thank you that I am valuable; I am forgivable; I am capable." Let God renew your mind because "your life is shaped by your thoughts" (Proverbs 4:23 GN).
I don't know any better antidote to low self-esteem (or to facing your hurts, habits, and hang-ups) than to read God's Word every day: Study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and apply it in your life.