What do you say to yourself on a typical day?
If you wrote it all down, like a letter to yourself, what would it look like?
Would it look like a love letter?
I think our lives read like a letter, a testimony, our words and actions witness to the truth and value we hold, the things that matter.
“You show that you are a letter from Christ…
written not with ink..
but on tablets of human hearts.” (II Corinthians 3:3)
What am I writing on the tablet of my own heart?
What words am I speaking? Sometimes I engage in ‘stinking thinking’ (televangelist Joyce Meyor’s apt description of unhealthy thought patterns).
Words can wound. Words can cut. Even words to myself.
Our thinking is referred to as our ‘thought life’.
If you are like me, my thoughts tend to be a bit self focused, judgmental, analytical, dare I say, critical? Here are some examples:
- ‘Why did I do that?’
- ‘I wish hadn’t ___’.
Our thoughts can be a self critique as we move through our day. Our analysis of our every choice, our nonstop examination as to how our life is working.
I believe my words to self need a rehaul. Major renovation. Home improvement!
I want to speak words of grace to myself. Nourishing words. Healing words. Words that reflect God’s love towards me.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive…as the Lord forgave you.”
I suggest we receive our heritage and clothe ourselves with compassion, and begin with our words to self.
Treat ourselves tenderly, with compassion, as the ‘dearly loved’ ones of God.
Let us offer ourselves forgiveness – for mistakes made both past and present and offer ourselves ‘gracious favor’, the definition of blessing.
If you are anything like me – perfectionist seeking, driven, hard on myself (a wee bit self bitter, if I am honest), you’ll understand…
We need grace, pure and simple.
God’s divine and gracious favor, and with that a heaping measure of forgiveness and favor offered towards ourselves.
Let go of our striving. Let go of our image, our expectations for clean houses, children with controlled behavior, perfect functioning lives.
No further qualifications need be met.
It is done. Finished. Cease striving.
Let us begin by speaking truth to ourselves, through blessings. Some specific ideas:
- Listen to what we are saying to ourselves. Push the Stop or Pause button when we begin a negative comment. Invite God in to help reshape that thought.
- Bless yourself. Give gracious favor. Forgive yourself readily and offer yourself a kind word, instead of a harsh one.
- Now the hard one – Try blessing some part of you that you may have been especially hard on (maybe it is a part of your body you wish were different). Bless that body part! Thank God for it. Bless its hard work in keeping you functioning.
You and I are the ‘dearly loved’ ones of God, may our words reflect this truth and may His love permeate our hearts, this day….
**I wrote this post Valentine’s Day 2015. I’m republishing it, because it is a favorite post and one of my all-time favorite pictures! I need to hear the truth of being God’s “Beloved” over and over. Blessings, Beloved!