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  • Dr. Jackie Minor

SAY IT OUT LOUD!

If you are an educator, I suspect you talk to yourself. Many people talk to themselves to some degree. As for me, I am an out-loud processor. How about you? Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? If so, you will be relieved to know that this is not only normal but also healthy! If not, maybe you should start!

I did a Google search on the definition of self-talk. Here is what I discovered.

Self-talk is your internal dialogue. It's influenced by your subconscious mind, and it reveals your thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas. Self-talk can be both negative and positive. It can be encouraging, and it can be distressing. Much of your self-talk depends on your personality.

There is no question our internal dialogue influences our thoughts, feelings, and actions. In this time of uncertainty, our self-talk could be the difference between our managing this pandemic effectively or letting this pandemic manage us. It is important to use this natural tendency to talk to ourselves in a productive and purposeful way.

What influences our internal dialogue? It is basically what we are consuming. What are we reading? What are we watching? To whom are we listening? Ultimately, we are what we consume. We have to be our own best gatekeeper. Whatever we let in eventually comes out. I feel certain this is why we are given this advice in Scripture.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Each of these verses focuses on our mind. Our thoughts are shaped by what we focus on, what we allow to enter our minds, and what we absorb. I believe one way we can guard of our thoughts is to talk to ourselves! While internal dialogue is good, there is value in speaking out loud. Personally, it feels more personable and forceful when I say my words audibly. Most professionals agree; speaking aloud helps keep us focused and motivated. (1 ) If this is true, what exactly should we be saying out loud to ourselves?

If we look at this through a worldly lens, we might be tempted to settle for positive affirmations. While positive affirmations can be good, they lack power if the focus is on our own willpower. As Christians our power comes from a higher source; therefore, our internal dialogue should be characterized by truths based on God’s Word. When we speak these truths aloud, we squelch the enemy’s attempt to use our words against us. Our spoken words can become weapons for the battle of our hearts and mind. Consider the strength we can gain as we claim God’s promises.

· “I can do this because Christ will give me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

· “I am exhausted, but I can endure this challenge.” (Isaiah 40:28-29)

· “This is frustrating, but I will figure it out with God’s help.” (James 1:5)

· “I don’t understand why all this is happening, but I trust that God knows best.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

· “I am uncertain about the future, but I know God will provide.” (Philippians 4:19)

Sometimes life is tough. Right now everyone is trying to manage the pandemic, discern who to vote for, and promote racial harmony, not to mention handle all the various issues life throws at us. It’s okay to acknowledge hurt, frustration, and concern, but don’t hang out there long. Experience peace and victory in the midst of hardship by audibly speaking the truth of God’s Word.

Another great way to audibly talk to yourself is through music. As I was writing this blog, the Lord brought to mind a song we used to sing often in church. Believe it or not, it was written by two former high school English teachers, Gloria and Bill Gaither. I’m sure many of you know the song; it is called Because He Lives. I put a link at the bottom of this blog. Give yourself a blessing today by clicking on the link and reflecting on the message. The chorus of this song is something we should all say aloud to ourselves each day.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives All fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future, And life is worth the living

Just because He lives.

Never underestimate the power of self-talk, especially during times of unrest. We can live full, victorious lives when we speak God’s words of life. Give yourself permission to audibly talk to yourself! Say it out loud!

Because He Lives

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB3un06HUSY

Background on Self-Talk

1 https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-i-talk-to-myself#make-the-most-of-it

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