The words we’re talking about today are silent words, words inside our heads – probably more thoughts than actual words. Different than other word-types we’ve discussed. More sinister. More damning. More damaging perhaps.
Self-deprecating words are all the mean, ugly, devaluing things that you say to yourself. Negative thoughts. Dark things we think about ourselves, but rarely say in public. Destructive labels we have allowed to stick to us like glue. Labels like stupid, lazy, fat, ugly, hopeless, messy, useless, incapable, unworthy… You know those words?
Moses said some of those things about himself – I’m not eloquent, my speech is slow, my tongue gets stuck. (Ex 4:10-11)
Gideon said some things about himself as well – My family is not important, I am the youngest, I am not significant. (Judges 6:11-16)
And Jeremiah too – I am too young, I don’t know how to speak. (Jer 1:4-7)
And in each case God said (Mindy paraphrase) – I chose you. I made you the way you are. I have a plan for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness. I will help you. I will make you capable. I will give you everything you need. And I forgive you, so how about forgiving yourself?
Remember that WHO you are and WHAT you struggle with are NOT the same thing. Do not confuse your identity with your struggles. Do not let the lies of Satan sneak into your head and keep repeating them!
What negative label has someone else (or yourself) imposed on you that you have accepted as truth?
When Moses complained that he was inadequate, God was upset with him… even insulted. “The Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.” Ex 4:11-12
The truth about who you are in Christ is beautiful – and life changing. Here is a list of what the Bible says about Who You Are in Christ – print it out, look them up, repeat them to yourself daily if necessary – until the lies and labels are gone.
John 8:32 tells us that “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Focus your mind on truth, God’s truth about you – and let go of the negative, self-deprecating words.
My favorite Bible study on this topic is called Me, Myself, and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild.
30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, a Bible study by Deborah Pegues