Preach to Yourself

Sometimes I truly am my own worst enemy. I belittle myself or over exaggerate missteps or discourage progress. I have the spiritual gift of mercy, but I am so frugal with showing it to myself.

As moms it is so easy to put the needs of everyone else first. The baby is not capable of caring for their own basic needs. The toddler can not safely maneuver daily life independently. The preschooler needs supervision when their confidence is a little too strong. The school-aged child needs a safe haven to navigate new territory. Not to mention husbands, parents, siblings, friends, or the church that may need your assistance in every which way. Moms are catch alls for everyone in their lives and sometimes we can’t juggle everything at once.

When that happens, the negative self talk begins and the lies start to creep in. In this social media age, the comparison game kills self esteem and destroys self confidence. We see the highlight reel from everyone we follow and feel even worse about our inability to manage our lives to an imaginary standard. The pressure of perfection and the weight of worth bear down on our weary shoulders and we stumble along seeking something or someone to help lighten the load.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus is our Lord and Savior. He calls us to Himself and offers to lighten our load and walk with us every moment. He is our great Redeemer. He redeems our MOMents of weakness. He redeems our MOMents of impatience. He redeems our MOMents of anger and frustration. He redeems our MOMents of exhaustion. 

I say to myself, “I can’t do this!” 

But because of the gospel, the truth is, “I can’t do this without Christ.”

I say to myself, “I am unworthy!”

But because of the gospel, the truth is, “I am unworthy without Christ.”

I say to myself, “You will never be enough!”

But because of the gospel, the truth is, “I will never be enough without Christ.” 

With Christ all things are possible. He has defeated death and conquered the flesh and His power is within me. The very Spirit of God is within me! This is the refreshing message of Hayley Morgan’s “Preach To Yourself: When Your Inner Critic Comes Calling, Talk Back with Truth”. She shares her struggle with her “inner critic” and how the Lord guided her to change her way of thinking so that her self-talk became God-talk. Order your copy of Preach to Yourself here. 

It is hard to preach the gospel to yourself if you do not know the gospel. We know that the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). So how can we saturate our lives with Scripture in practical ways?

  1. Read your Bible: the first and most basic step to knowing the Bible is reading the Bible. Whether it be one verse or one whole book, the Word will not return void and the Spirit will call to mind these Scriptures on your behalf.
  2. Actively meet with other believers: one of the great blessings of Christianity is being a part of one body, one family. We can encourage each other, teach each other, and learn together. Meeting together creates an extra layer of accountability to study the Word and it deepens our understanding as we see how God’s truth applies to every individual situation.
  3. Scripture on the literal walls of your home (Deut. 6:9): art or prints, notecards or post it notes on mirrors and cabinets, memory verses on felt letterboards.
  4. Turn on worship music: music in general reaches the human heart in special ways, but we have some albums that are direct Scripture set to song. When I hear my boys singing Scripture on their own it encourages me to get in the Word and reminds me to turn my eyes Godward and not inward.

Change doesn’t happen overnight. By meditating on the Word throughout the day, the inner self-loathing voice grows quieter and the voice the Spirit grows clearer. When we replace our own voice with God’s voice we are better able to see things His way. We have no need for fear or regret or self hatred. By clothing ourselves in God’s truth we know that we are a new creation in His image and that His work is being perfected in us day by day.

So now as I go through life, my mantra has become: “He just become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30) 

Amen, Lord. More of you, less of me. 

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