I arm-wrestled with God about writing The Silent Seduction of Self-Talk.
Obviously, he won.
I‘ve compared writing this book to stripping down to my “spiritual Underoos” and walking a fashion runway in front of the world.
Except I was exposing the stuff everybody tries to cover up: our/my silent seduction into self-deception through self-talk.
Our innate ability to believe we’re loving God and others while we rationalize pushing ourselves to the front of the line.
My journey began in a self-revelatory flash.
I was sitting in the office of a Christian school. A mother was standing at the counter, yelling at the secretary. Apparently, the school had enforced their late policy and issued the woman’s daughter a detention for her tenth tardy.
I watched the woman–a church leader–scream at every employee in the room. Suddenly the realization dawned on me that she thought she was doing the right thing. She had no idea that everyone watching her shared a much different opinion of her and her actions.
If they were thinking what I was thinking, they felt sorry for her daughter. Mom’s behavior was embarrassing. Rude. Disrespectful. A poor reflection of a Christian.
And she had no idea. Why? Because she was self-deceived.
Flash. Could I be just like her?
Could I believe I was loving God and people and, instead, be living life to fulfill my own selfish agendas?
Did I actually take pleasure in proving my husband wrong, shaming him, using sarcasm and tone as weapon?
Did I quietly manipulate and control? Did I justify my behavior–things like screaming at other drivers while I was behind the wheel on the interstate or making a co-worker’s promotion all about me?
The truth is, we all plunder and powerplay our way through life, seduced by the monster within.
The good news is that our self-talk was created to be God’s gift to us.
We are hard-wired directly to God through the words that run through our head at 1,300 words a minute.
Our self-talk can be the single-most resource for our spiritual growth if we learn how to harness its power.
Discovering that truth changed my life.
Slowly, life became a moment-by-moment exercise in worship.
I learned to lean into the power of the “if”–living in expectancy of change and growth through the power of the Holy Spirit. This can be your journey, too. God’s greatest gift to us is that he loves us so much he doesn’t leave us where we are. He changes us. Discovering the power of self-talk is the key that unlocks intimacy with God.
Join me Thursday, April 9th, as I talk more about how self-talk and how it influences our relationships on Focus on the Family.