The other day while I was cleaning my kitchen I happened to walk by the trash can.
Whew! It had a very strong wrank smell.
"Someone needs to take out the trash!," I thought. But alas my husband wasn't home that day, so it was up to me. Poo!
Right then I had a choice to make. I could either get the chore over with and get rid of the smell, or let it sit there, filling the whole house with its potent aroma.
I was in the middle of doing this chore when it occurred to me that we make this same decision everyday with our hearts.
We do this with the nasty words people tell us or the lies we tell ourselves. Everyday we have a choice to either take out the trash and empty out all the negativity inside of us, or we can keep it inside, letting it fester. This can make negativity seep out into the other areas of our lives.
I battled insecurities almost daily. I thought it would be something I would out grow. That once I became an adult thoughts of "not being good enough" would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it isn't.
I'm a person that is prone to self-loathing. I expect excellence from myself and when I don't achieve the goal that I set, I don't always give myself grace.
Which is silly because God gives me grace, and am I greater than God? No. So, I should be able to give myself grace easily, but I don't.
Instead I let the thoughtless words of others run wild in my head. They "back-up" my harsh thoughts about myself.But these thoughts do not produce better actions. They make me shut-down. It makes me want to quit. Sometimes these thoughts make me spew garbage out to others or they make me want to stay home.
Alone...mostly to sulk.
I've heard it referred to as self-talk. We can have negative self-talks or positive self-talks. Both effectively cause a response, but only one leads to productive grow, success, or courage. Psychologists also call this cognitive distortions.
Good thing God has given me a sound mind, which means I can change my thoughts.
In fact, Colossians 3:2 implores me to think on the things that are above. The "things above" are the things of God and how He sees the world. Other people's hurtful, thoughtless, and tactless words cannot stay lodged in my heart.
Sometimes the garbage is from others and other times it is from myself.
Either way, I constantly have to choose to either focus on those negative thoughts or something else. It's a choice I have to make.
There's nothing good about keeping garbage around. It never magically turns into something sweet smelling...even with Febreze infused trash bags.
Rotten things just smell rotten.
Which is why it is important to remember Philippians 4:8. It tells us to dwell, not just think, but to dwell on good thoughts.
When negative thoughts start to crowd in,
we should ask ourself:
Is this statement true?
No? Throw it out!
Is is honorable to you or anyone else?
No? Throw it out!
Is the statement just?
Is it commendable in any way?
According to scripture, if my thoughts are not on these things, then it is not something my soul is meant to dwell upon. It's just toxic waste.
Proverbs 4:23 "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life."
This is an important truth to remember. The words we speak and our actions are determined by our thoughts. I must guard my heart by speaking the lies into the dark. I need to let God's truth be my fighting words.
Remembering God's word and the truth of who He says I am allows me to fight and win these battles.
According to Ephesians, God says that I am...
sealed with a promise
a workmanship to produce GOOD works
Colossians 2:10 also says,"You have been filled in Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority." This means we have been made complete, by the only person that has the right and the authority to do and say so.