Tell Yourself the Truth
It is early Tuesday morning. Sun streams in through the breakfast nook window. Birds sing. Coffee brews into a large, glass pot. But, something else is brewing inside Sam. A swirl of negative self-talk runs through Sam’s head. It’s one of those mornings.
“Why can’t I balance all this? That article was due yesterday! If my clients only knew how behind I am, they’d never come to me for help! I must not a very good counselor. Why do I overcommit? I am overwhelmed. I am so disorganized. I should know better! I should!”
Replay or Replace
In what ways can you relate to Sam’s internal dialogue? Sam is facing what we all face sometimes – a stream of negative thoughts (mostly unconscious) that sometimes creep up on us. Even as people helpers who empower clients to change their patterns of thinking, we can sometimes allow negative internal dialogue to be the narrator of our own situations. Moses, one of the greatest leaders used by God, must have struggled with his thought-life too. In Exodus 4:10, he says, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (NIV). Sam, Moses, you and I have a pivotal choice – replay the negative dialogue or replace it with the truth?
The Third Word
“Wait a minute,” Sam catches his thoughts, as he pours the rich, dark coffee into a mug. “These thoughts aren’t true. I am growing in my abilities as a counselor. I may be feeling disorganized today, but my worth comes from being a child of God! I may not have all my work done, but I am being used to make a tremendous impact in the lives of my clients. I am effective. I may feel weak today, but God promises that my weakness is a platform for Him to show off His strength! This day will turn out better than I think. God’s working in me!”
The third word is the word a person uses to complete an “I am ” statement, says Steven Furtick, in his book Unqualified. When we tell ourselves the truth, we finish off an “I am ” statement with a third word that captures our true identity in Christ. Sam is learning to replace negative third words, like “I am disorganized” with “I am learning.” Galatians 2:20 provides an example of a Biblical “I am” statement, when Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ, and no longer live, I, but Christ lives in me…” (DBT). Consider all the little places you will invite the truth of God’s Word to provide third words to complete your “I am” statements. Changing your third words will be instrumental in switching negative internal dialogue to telling yourself the truth – I am loved, I am full of purpose, and I am empowered by God’s Spirit.
Sam sips his coffee. He smiles to himself. His day is reframed in Truth. “I am a conqueror,” he says to himself as he walks out the door to work.
To be even more effective at helping the people in our spheres of influence, we learn, like Sam is, to tell ourselves the truth by changing the third words we speak to ourselves.
Your Third Words
Pour your own cup of coffee, and flip through the pages of your Bible to look up Paul’s insight in Philippians 4:8 or read Moses’ encounter with God in Exodus 3-4. Ask the Lord to reveal to you what He wants you to learn about third words and telling yourself the truth. With prayer and focus, you can change your third words and replace negativity with trust and truth.
Posted on: June 15, 2016, 3 p.m.