Words, said either in the privacy of the mind or spoken aloud, are powerful. Written across the pages of history are phrases uttered at crucial moments that turned the course of world events. At the beginning of World War II, Winston Churchill told the British people that even thought all of Europe might fall, ‘We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end—we shall fight on the seas and oceans—we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.’ And the free world rallied to the task.
Look back through the pages of the Old Testament. David as a young man, affirms his faith to King Saul and then to the giant Goliath. He tells the king, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine’ (1 Sam. 17:37). Then, as David goes out to meet the giant, Goliath curses him. And David responds with powerful words; ‘I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand’ (vv.45-46). And history records the results.
Now that is not to say that the words in and of themselves are miracle workers. They are the reflections of what is in the heart and mind of David. And they release within David’s life the power of God. They are an extension of his Self-Talk during the years prior to that event. They are an expression of his faith.
Words Release Faith
Most of us think of faith as being trust in some positive benevolent deity. But faith is a process of life. No one is faithless. It is not a question of whether we possess faith or not. It is rather a question of where we place our faith. And our Faith is a process that works in releasing life-changing power in either a positive or negative direction.
For example, have you ever noticed how much more tired you feel after yawning and saying, ‘I’m so tired?’ You feel more tired because your Self-Talk has just released power in the direction of tiredness.
In the same way, recent studies have shown that people who begin to talk about the possibility of divorce often find themselves proceeding inevitably in the direction of divorce. Later they comment on how they felt trapped by their words. Things were not that bad, but talking about divorce gave power to that possibility.
All these examples illustrate the importance of our Self-Talk. We all talk to ourselves, sometimes out loud, but most of the time in the privacy of our minds. The result is always the same–the things we say determine the way we live our lives.
What are you in the habit of saying? What kinds of expressions would your family or friends recognize as being typical of you? You may have simply passed off some of these remarks as not being serious or even as jokes. But what you say and think is a very important indicator of where you are placing your faith.
Take some time now to make a list of the kinds of Self-Talk you usually make. What kinds of things do you say out loud? What kinds of statements do you make about yourself in your thoughts? For example, do you say or think things like:
“I can’t do this job; its too hard.”
“I’m always late. Guess I’ll be late for my wedding, even.”
“I’m so shy, I couldn’t talk to him.”
“I can’t lose weight. Nothing I do will help”
Write down some of the statements you make.
Now make another list, writing sown some of the statements you want to begin to make about yourself. For example you could change the above statements to read;
“I don’t like this job, but step by step I can do it.”
“I’ve had a habit of being late, but I can change my schedule and be on time.”
“I can lose weight, and I will find how I need to do it for me.”
For more help and encouragement, join us at our next New Life Weekend.