I know that comparison and a spirit of negativity are wrong, but it’s hard to just stop negative thought processes without having something else to turn to. I’ve thought a lot lately about the power of other’s words in my life, and I've been challenged to create a habit of speaking words of life and encouragement to others. Is it possible that searching for good things in others to compliment could help to build a more positive thought process in me?
If I’m honest, I sometimes feel like I have to keep up appearances with God. I can fall into thinking that I have to get my act together because He is so holy. But God already knows me fully and completely. So who am I trying to impress?
As a quiet young girl who tried her hardest to say as little as possible, Colossians 4:6 encouraged me to make use of my words and be intentional. This shifted my perspective. Instead of doing my best to use as few words as possible, I started to view my speech as a way to point others to Christ.
It was a Friday night and my mom and I were going to be the only family members at home, so we decided that it would be a good time to watch a chick flick. I grabbed my phone and pulled up my notes app where I had a list of movies that people had recommended. But before picking any random movie off the list, I looked up reviews about each movie to see if their content was wholesome (I’ve learned by now not to trust just any suggestion!). I read review after review and wasn’t comfortable with what I saw. I finally gave up and asked myself for what must have been the millionth time, are there any good chick flicks without a slew of sexual innuendos, dirty language, and scenes where women are portrayed as sex objects?
For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to become a wife and mother. In my mind, the ideal scenario was to start dating in late high school, get married fresh out of college, and start a family not long after. The only problem was that there was never a guy in the picture. I finished high school without dating anyone, so needless to say, things didn’t start out the way I had imagined.
For as long as I can remember, my biggest insecurity has been my quiet personality. I’m not overly talkative, I’m not super outgoing, and I’m not the life of the party by any stretch of the imagination. Don’t get me wrong - I love to have fun. And the friends who know me well have plenty of stories. But I remember coming away from so many parties and get togethers beating myself up for not saying enough. I felt like I had nothing to offer in group situations and wondered if people really wanted me there.
We all have those people in our lives who are difficult to love. You know who I’m talking about - It could be a co-worker, or an in-law, or a so-called friend. Something inside our stubborn hearts bristles at the thought of serving these people. But Jesus asks us to follow His example in loving those who make our lives difficult. God can work through these people to bring about our sanctification and to make us more like the image of His son.
If we surrender our fears and stresses to God day by day, we can be present in the moment instead of adding to that mile long agenda. When we submit to God and trust Him, we are released from the self-absorption that comes along with holding on to our fears. This is when we are free to invest in others and be a presence in their lives.
At Christmastime especially, I can find myself dreaming about what it would be like to have that special someone. We all have a desire to be loved, and this desire can show up even more at this time of year. We like to indulge this desire by filling our time with over-romanticized forms of entertainment.
Believe it or not, negative self talk is a form of conceit. We think that we’re the center of attention and that everyone is watching us.