Is negative self talk ruining your life? The message below is taken from my book Encourage Me: 30 Days to Positive Self Talk through God’s Word.
“Be sure the names you call yourself are ones you want to answer to.”
I give this advice to people all the time. Often I receive messages from people who insult themselves because of their weight.
A reader named Ben posted a comment like that on the Take Back Your Temple website. He responded to the “Does God Care About Your Weight?” article.
Here is what he said:
“Interesting things to consider. I am definitely an overweight man and I’ve been that way since maybe 3rd grade. As I’ve been learning more about God and became a Christian, I have been noticing my sinful nature more and I’ve been realizing although gluttony is one of my many sins, much of the others could be lumped into the same category of lacking self control. I really don’t want to be a stumbling block for others to know of Christ, it’s bad enough when I don’t always say the right thing. Keeping this and personal reflection in mind, I may have to do something drastic in order to be a better witness. I just need to gain the confidence and rid myself of the inner coward. Thanks for the insight and let me know if you have any tips for a long time fatty / coward.”
When I read the names Ben called himself, I had a serious fit of righteous indignation. I was watching a man bully himself mentally and I was not going to stand for it!
Here is what I wrote back to him on the website. I hope this message will also help you consider the names you call yourself.
Wow. Your post really saddens me. So much condemnation in your words about yourself – calling yourself “fatty” and “coward”. Brother, you are insulting the one whom God has created! Before you can even change your outside, your mind must be renewed to the truth of what God says about you.
Nowhere in the bible do I see God condemning a person for being overweight – and certainly God did not call anyone “fatty!” In fact, there are only two instances in the bible that I know about in which a person was described as a fat person. One of them, Eli, was God’s priest. God did not rebuke him for being heavy – he rebuked him for allowing his sons to dishonor God in their temple service. See – God always deals with us at the heart level – regardless of what we look like on the outside. The religious people of Jesus’ day looked good but their hearts were far from God. Jesus called them “white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones” (Matthew 23:27).
Ben, for many years I put myself down like you are doing. I started when I was 12 – calling myself fat even though in hindsight I wasn’t. Now I know how powerful words are. Eventually “fat” became my mental identity and then it became my physical reality.
I had to learn to love myself at the size I was – before I even lost a pound. I had to renew my mind to what God says about me first. God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That word “as” is important – to me, it means that God expects us to love ourselves. Furthermore, it means that our love of others will be limited if we cannot even love ourselves!
Whew – breathe Kim. Breathe.
Here’s what I want you to do the next time you find yourself calling yourself “fatty” or “coward”. Memorize these scriptures and use them to combat those lies. Jesus resisted the devil’s temptations with God’s word and that is how you will win the battle in your mind as well:
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
2 Samuel 22:33-35
“God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
My prayer for you is this: That each and every day God reveals to you what it means to be a true son of God as you are led by his holy Spirit in the decisions you make. That you gain the ability to cry out to him “Abba, Father!” For as Galatians 4:6 says, “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
That right thinking according to the bible will lead to right believing and right living. That you grow in the fruits of God’s spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. For it is only in sharing this fruit with others that they will have the desire to taste and see that the Lord is good.
This is what God desires – beauty that begins in the heart and outwardly expressed in glorifying him!
The bible says that there is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. The only way you can change is to keep your mind stayed on how much God loves you as you are and meditate on his goodness.
The goodness of God leads us to repentance, not condemnation (Romans 2:4). So shift your thinking from what’s wrong with you and on to what’s right about Jesus!
It is in him where your true identity lives. In him, you are the beloved of God!
Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,
Author of the ‘Take Back Your Temple’ ebook
P.S. Is negative self talk ruining your life? The above message is taken from my book Encourage Me: 30 Days to Positive Self Talk through God’s word.
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