You know the phrases, I’m sure:
Ugh, why do I always do this?
What is wrong with me?
You don’t ever handle that situation well.
That was a silly thing to say.
I wish I didn’t feel this way.
Maybe you hear them often in a friend or family member. Maybe they slip from your mouth daily.
I found myself in this spot, but adding (misplaced) feelings of shame or guilt. Not helpful or healthy.
And certainly not what God desires of or for me. But it was a habit, one that didn’t seem too crazy or bizarre.
But, like they do so often, Jesus’ words pierced this normal.
“Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11
Hear and understand, Chelsea, what comes out of your mouth is serious business.
Defile. Intense word, isn’t it? One definition is to desecrate or profane something sacred.
In God’s eyes, in God’s heart, because of Jesus, we are considered sacred. Once in Christ, this position of ours never changes.
By speaking negativity, discouragement, or slander to ourselves or others, joking or not, we are defiling something God deems sacred.
Enter James 3:9.
This took a little while to sink in, but when it did, I decided if it was important to God it would be important to me.
Enter my new mantra: don’t torpedo yourself.
A word torpedo, if you will, is something that takes a content and confident-in-Jesus person and knocks them to the ground.
No matter how small or large the mistake, no matter how intentional or unintentional the sin, no matter how loud the world yells, being united to Christ means we can remain standing tall. (All. The. Time.)
Knowing God personally, and having that knowledge redefine for you who you are, is your greatest, never-ending discovery.
In a place of great and constant awe of God, and right understanding of self, there is no room for word torpedoes.
Sin makes us focus obsessively on how we feel, how we feel about how we feel, and how we feel about what we’ll need to do to alter the way we feel. Sin makes us all God amnesiacs, and because we are, we become desperate, self-focused, unhappy, demanding, and disappointed addicts of the created world. Paul David Tripp
If you are feeling a little off-kilter in your life, or in a funk, maybe it’s because negativity and discouraging self-talk have boxed you into a corner. Maybe you’ve become so used to the voice of criticism, shame, and guilt, that you’ve lost sensitivity to God’s Voice of confidence, joy, and love. Maybe harsh self-judgement has become so normal, you struggle to believe God’s Truth when you hear it.
Satan is constantly speaking lies of condemnation, but adding our voice to that bombarding will make freedom feel that much farther away.
Unless you live in the truth of His Word, your world truly warps. Ann Voskamp
I told my husband about this, so he could be on “torpedo watch” with me. (See what I did there.)
How do we not torpedo ourselves? I have a few ideas…
- Discover joy and confidence outside of ourselves. Fix your eyes on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and be so filled with wonder and worship of them that it keeps you steady during assaults/torpedos of all kinds.
- Ask Holy Spirit to make us hyper-aware. That’s why I told J about it. I told him a way he can love me well, a culture I would like to cultivate in our home, is to call me out when he hears me torpedo-ing myself.
- Fill our minds with Jesus’ words. This way, when in a rough or discouraging circumstance, His words, His perspective, begin to run through my mind — not Satan’s, not even mine.
Practicing these things, I think we will be marked by true confidence, real freedom, and deep joy. And hopefully speak more life into others.
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