Crashing my chatterbox is a daily task for me. I’ll be doing something and then I will hear the little chatterbox voice in my head giving me all the reasons why it won’t work and I should quit trying.
And sometimes, quitting would be easier than doing the work required to crash the chatterbox. But if we don’t get busy crashing the chatterbox, we won’t live the best life we could be living. I wish it was a job we only had to do once, but for most of us, we’ll need to do this again and again as we get rooted in a God-view of ourselves.
The Chatterbox Filter
I often think about Philippians 4:8 when I try to obliterate the little voice in my head. Whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise, think of these things. In default my self-talk doesn’t do too great of a job sticking to those values, and when I filter them through that verse, they get exposed as stinking thinking pretty quick.
And then it is time to rethink what my chatterbox is telling me. And the thoughts I say to myself need to measure up to the Philippians 4:8 test. I am all about honesty in our self-talk, but it needs to be the kind of honesty that propels us forward into growth too.
A thought may be true but not admirable so it needs to be discarded and replaced by a different thought. We tend not to be very gracious to ourselves in our self-talk. But we should be! Grace is empowering. But grace without truth is no good either. If I tell myself that I am doing good when I am not, that may be very gracious, but not very true.
Wording the truth graciously
My chatterbox also tends to guilt trip me. In fact, that is normally the first kind of thought that will enter my mind for a replacement of an obvious lie. For example, what if my chatterbox is condemning my Bible reading habits.
Chatterbox says: I am hopeless. I failed to read my Bible again yesterday.
This statement fails the test because it is not a loving, excellent, honorable or admirable thing to say. Neither is it praiseworthy. So it needs to be replaced. And here is what my first correction often looks like.
Guilt Tripping Replacement: Man, I NEED/HAVE to start reading my Bible everyday.
It guilt trips us because it focuses on the lack. It focuses on where I should be, on the need. It doesn’t bring any solution with it at all. So we need a better replacement.
Positive Gracious Truth: When I take time to read my Bible, it strengthens me and builds me up.
That statement is true, guilt free, gracious, praiseworthy, admirable, and it starts building a desire in me to read my Bible. Framing how we feel about something differently can make a big difference in our relationship with that thing.
Life changing results
And when our relationship (How we feel about, think about, and act about it) changes with something, it changes how we incorporate it into our lives. That is life-changing.
Possibly my favourite thing about this kind of thinking though, is a natural side affect. The better we get at thinking about ourselves in a loving, corrective, truthful, and gracious manner; the more we will do the same about how we think about, talk about, and treat others.
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