How you talk to yourself can change your life! So says Nelson Searcy and his writing partner Jennifer Dykes Henson in their new book, Tongue Pierced. When the Psalmist says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O God, my Rock and Salvation” (Psalm 19:4), he may be addressing our internal as well as external dialogues. What we say matters to us and it matters to God because our “meditations” enhance or diminish the embodiment of God’s vision in our lives.
Many people practice self-talk that is destructive of our overall well-being and hinders their success in life. Sometimes we even verbalize our negative attitudes about ourselves. I have a friend who often says “I’m an idiot” when she does something wrong. I know a child who, when he is admonished for hitting his little brother, states “I was a bad boy.” When I hear such language, I wonder what they are saying to themselves internally. I know that my own negativity stalls me spiritually, personally, and professionally.
While I do not agree with the new age affirmation, “you create your own reality,” I believe that there is some truth in the statement that “our thoughts shape who we become, for better or worse.” How we speak to ourselves shapes us and opens or closes us to possibilities and the energy to achieve them.
In the course of my career, I have written two books, based on Paul’s affirmation, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing your mind.” (Romans 12:2) I believe that the use of affirmative self-talk changes our unconscious images of ourselves and eventually leads to a greater sense of alignment with God’s vision for us. Over the years, I have taught spiritually-grounded and progressive biblical affirmations to pastors and laypeople. In fact, I believe that the Bible is a book of affirmative faith. Scripture begins with original wholeness, not original sin. Although all have sinned and fallen short, our finitude and imperfection is understood by the best of biblical thinking only in light of God’s unmerited grace and belief in us.In my own text Holy Adventure: 41Days of Audacious Living, written as an alternative vision to Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, I chart a variety of biblical affirmations and counsel repeating several times daily the ones that resonate with your personal growing edges, especially when you begin to doubt your giftedness and self-worth.
Here are some affirmations that I have found spiritually transformative, based on biblical wisdom:
I am created in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27)
Wherever I am, God is with me. (Psalm 139:7)
I am awesomely and wonderfully created. (Psalm 139:14)
I give light and seasoning to the world around me. (Matthew 5:13-16)
I am the light of the world; I give like to those around me. (Matthew 5:14)
I see Christ in the least of these. (Matthew 25:40)
God’s light shines in and through me. (John 1:9)
I am open to God’s transformation. (Romans 12:2)
The good work God has begun in my life, God will bring to fulfillment. (Philippians 1:6)
I am guided by the mind of Christ. (Philippians 2:5)
I work out my wholeness with awe and energy. (Philippians 2:12)
I shine like a star in the sky. (Philippians 2:15)
I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
God will supply all my needs. (Philippians 4:19)
Christ is in me, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:28)
These affirmations are good news that will change your perception of yourself, energize your life, and enable you to become God’s companion in bringing beauty and love to the world.