“I’m not as smart as him.”
“I probably can’t do it.”
“I’m not as pretty as her.”
“She’s a better mother than I could ever be.”
“I always mess things up.”
“I’m so stupid.”
“I’m not good enough.”
These are all thoughts that we’ve had, myself included. The last one especially. Philippians 4:8 says, “Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.” This verse is often used in reference to thinking purely, but the more I read it, the more I realize how broad it is. True, pure, good, beautiful. Those are a few of the words that really stand out to me when I think about negative thoughts.
God has really been putting a burden on my heart for speaking truth into the lies that others have bought into. This morning as I was looking to Scripture to find direction for my thoughts, I kept coming to the words “encourage”, “lift up”, and “life”. I’ve written about the significance of words in previous posts, because as a writer I have been able to directly see the weight of them.
Today, I want to focus on Ephesians 4:29. There are so many verses that state our obligation to encourage and lift others up. I use such a strong word, because the Bible doesn’t say, “It’d be kinda cool if you could…” it just says to do it! Not to do it only if you’re having a good day, or your mood allows for it. This verse says, “When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.”
I was recently talking to a friend on the phone who is nearing graduation and beginning to have plans for her future come together. Others have been starting to recognize in her the insecurity she holds and how that impacts her thought cycle. While we were goofing of and enjoying each other, she said a comment, that she probably figured was in passing. All I could hear in her words were lies, negativity and insecurity. I called her on it. She tried to move on, but I just could not let it go. In that moment, I could feel God speaking life into her. It was not my own thoughts, words or heart being spoken to her in that time, but rather God using me to reach her.
I’m not sure why this passion and burden has been set so strongly on my heart recently, but what is so beautiful about it is that I can actually do something with it! I can confront those words when they are spoken by others.
I want to challenge you to do the same. I believe that’s one of the best parts of relationships, is the ability to build others up! When you hear someone speak down on themselves, whether clearly or in passing, don’t just idly hear it and continue on. Stop the conversation, call them on it, and speak life into the negativity. Honestly, it is a challenging thing to do, it’s much easier to just let it slide, but I think this is one small aspect of what it looks like to love others as yourself. If I were to say things about myself that were flat-out lies, I would want someone to attack it and encourage me.
Just a thought to roll around in your mind!
Have a blessed day!