Mabel Iam, international best-selling author and relationship, love, and motivational therapist, suggests that people focusing on self-improvement “Observe [their] inner dialogue, see the positive aspects of the past and move on.”
While I can agree with Mabel that observing the positive aspects of my past can bring a smile to my face, the negative aspects of my life are the ones that trip me up — spiritually, emotionally, relationally — and send me crashing to the ground. Moving on can be hard when I don’t recognize that I often walk in circles because I tell myself lies every day and convince myself those lies are true.
An article in the May 25th issue of Christianity Today, written by Sarah Sumner and titled “The Seven Levels of Lying,” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/may/7-levelslying.html) presents a truth we’d rather not face: we’re born liars. According to Sumner, “Every person on the planet at times is an Oscar-winning liar.” And often we shroud our lies in rationalizations. The Bible tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
We lie to self-protect. We lie to gain power and shove others to the end of the line. We lie to promote our agendas and get our way. We lie and tell ourselves we’re better than other people — then we rip off their dignity with selfish actions and attitudes. At the core of my being, I am NOT okay, and neither are you. An honest look at our inner dialogue shows us that self-centered motives are twisted around even our most noble moments.
For instance, I’m married to the most gracious, loving, giving man in the world. Yet at times I find myself wanting to shame him to rationalize my own selfish agenda. To humiliate him in an argument so I can “win.” To put my good before his. All the while carrying on an inner dialogue to convince myself my behavior is acceptable.
I’ve found I’m easily self-deceived. My template for truth must be something — Someone — beyond myself. I’m entirely too capable of telling myself I’m loving my neighbor while cursing them simply because they cut me off in traffic or gave me less than what I thought I deserved.
So take a listen. Observe your inner dialogue. Talk less and listen more to the voices in your head. Ask yourself what your motives really are when you’re losing your temper or trying to shove your agenda down someone else’s throat. Ask God to speak to you in those moments — to reveal the lies you’ve believed about yourself, others, and God.
Our self-talk holds the key to spiritual transformation. As you learn to evaluate your inner dialogue, the Spirit of God will show you how to let go of who you used to be and how to become the child He created you to be.