Words Matter: Especially the Ones We Say to Ourselves
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
There are so many things I’m not good at.
And apparently I have an inner monologue determined to record each and every one of them from the past year.
There’s a voice in my head that tells me I am not enough. Some days it’s quiet and other days it’s super shouty.
It’s the strangest thing to discover the back of your brain muttering mean things to yourself.
The voice is so ordinary, so routine by now that I rarely stop to investigate. I just let the words run through my veins until they seem like a normal part of my DNA.
This house will never be clean.
You’ll never get caught up on the laundry.
Your words won’t match up to hers.
You’ve never lived up to your New Year’s resolutions.
You’re never going to get caught up.
You’re going to start another year already behind the curve.
You’re just not good at this.
I heard that voice in the car today. I was sitting in a coffee shop parking lot in our minivan. Alone. Maybe that’s why I listened without just letting it wash over me. Maybe that’s why I tuned in to the nefarious whispering I’d been ignoring until then.
I listened and almost couldn’t believe what I heard. I was surprised, actually. Kind of amazed that I was capable of such petty meanness to myself. Because the thing about that voice is it’s a nitpicker. It delights in destroying the DNA of a day, a dream, a moment … bit-by-petulant-bit.
But when I tuned in, the voice sounded more and more like static. Fuzzy, harsh, unforgiving and small. My friend Holley Gerth calls it "devil static" – the noise that tries to drown out the truth God is speaking into our lives and through our lives. The noise that crackles and cackles and tries to poke fun at who we are growing up to become. The noise that tries to derail us out of sheer embarrassment.
I told that voice off today.
Yes, I talked back to myself in an empty car.
I spoke out loud the words that have been spoken over me by The Word — by the Voice who speaks the only words that matter.
As our key verse reminds us, "… we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand," (Ephesians 2:10a, ESV).
I called out that small voice in my head with all its mean and miserable words. And in doing so I could almost hear it deflate. I addressed that no-voice with my whole attention, reciting my inheritance in Christ, my royal claim as a child of God, my significance because of Him. Because He is enough I am chosen, cherished and beloved. And I could hear the static fizzling.
I am not nothing.
You are not nothing.
We are daughters of the King. We are bought at a price. We are loved.
And there is a much greater Voice, a voice with all the rich, resonant tones of Truth so filled with love for us that unlike that devil static, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
With singing. Not hissing or criticizing or comparing or mocking, but with singing.
Hold onto that as we head into this New Year. That the words we say to ourselves matter because the God who is The Word says we matter. And it’s time we start believing Him.
Dear Jesus, help me see myself through Your eyes and Your words this year. Teach me kindness to myself and compassion to others. Make me a word sister to my friends and a word model to my children. Give me the gift of Your Word in my life and make them a lamp to light my way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (NIV)
Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)
Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What lie have you been saying and believing about yourself this past year?
What Truth from God’s Word can you use to replace the lies in the coming New Year?