As I begin the New Year, I want to intentionally listen to my self-talk. It is what I say to myself that reveals where I have made agreements. As I journey through life these agreements may change, especially as I make healthy changes in what I believe about myself.
For a long time I made agreements such as “I am unlovable” or “I am not chosen” or “I am unnecessary.” These agreements reduced my joy significantly and kept me from experiencing intimacy in relationships. As I replace these lies with truth, I experience life in a profoundly fulfilling way. I want that for you, too!
As you consider the agreements you live out of, be ruthless in asking if they are true? Do they need to be replaced by something healthy? Something that honors who you are as God’s special creation? Perhaps these four healthy agreements are just what you need to consider.
If you have no idea if you live with unhealthy agreements, take note of your visceral response the next few days. Visceral is the deep inward feelings, not what your intellect tells you. Do any of these agreements make you shake your head and say, “no way! I could never do that!” If so, it’s likely you need to adopt it.
First healthy agreement:
Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the word in the direction of truth and love.
Notice how completely this first agreement lines up with the Word of God. It is important not only what we say, but how we say it and what we don’t say. Sometimes we should just be quiet!
12Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 16Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.Colossians 3:12, 16
One area this is particularly challenging for me is saying what I mean and meaning what I say. I am a recovering approval addict, so it’s pretty easy for me to slip into the people pleasing mode. It reminds me of a time a gentleman tried to sell my husband and I some trees. We asked what color the leaves would be in the fall and he responded with, “What color do you want them to be?”
Too often I temper my responses in an effort to please whoever I am talking to at the moment. I am not telling an untruth, I am just not telling the whole truth. That isn’t impeccable.
Another area it is easy for me to not say what I mean is with my grandchildren. I find it is so easy to over promise and under deliver. It’s easy to say I will bake cookies and go sledding and make a fort out of cardboard boxes and eat pizza with a movie and sew a new wardrobe for your doll before bedtime! I can’t do all that so I under deliver. That isn’t impeccable.
In what ways does your speech get away from you? Do you struggle with gossip? Putting yourself or someone else down? Always finding something that could go wrong and excusing it as realism? Let the Holy Spirit speak to you about your words and then agree to . . .
Be impeccable with your words!