Can a person be anything more than how others DEFINE or LABEL them? Either by their words or their actions?
Have you ever thought about that before? Who am I? vs. Who others tell me I am or who I am supposed to be? Experts call this the “Looking Glass Self”. We see ourselves through the eyes or lens of our “Significant Others.” If others value and believe in us, we value and believe in ourselves. If others shame us, we shame ourselves. We ACT OUT what we believe about ourselves, either positively or negatively. How we view ourselves affects our behavior.
They say, “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but WORDS… [they] will never hurt me!!!” Really? Is that true?
How many of you right now if I asked you to remember something hurtful someone SAID or DID to you in the past, you would be able to recall it instantly?
We have all been hurt before by hurtful words or actions. Those things leave a lasting impression on us. In many ways, those things scar us, they leave behind a mark (or impression) in our minds. That’s why they are so easy to remember.
There is a famous quote that most of us have heard before and it says,
“I THINK, therefore I am.” We call this the “Self-fulfilling Prophecy.” Whatever I think or say, I become.
But is my self-image just a reflection of all the messages I’ve been told about myself?
Actually, the Bible has a lot to say about the power of our thoughts and our words.
Proverbs 23:7 says,
“As I think in my heart so am I.”
Proverbs 15:4 says,
“A healing tongue is like a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
James 3:6 says,
“The tongue corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life.”
Our words have power!
Romans 4:17 refers to God as the “God who brings the dead back to life and who brings into existence what didn’t exist before.” Wow. That sounds like the account in Genesis of the creation of the world. God spoke and He created. God created the earth, the heavens, the animals, and He created people. He created them out of nothing. By simply speaking the words, “Let there be.” I noticed this same principle of speaking words over our situation in the New Testament with Jesus. Did you notice whenever Jesus healed someone he would simply say, “You are healed” or “Your sins are forgiven.” When he cast out demons he would say, “Come out!” He didn’t go on and on in a lengthy prayer petitioning God. He simply spoke and it was so. He either used his words to create something out of nothing, or to turn something (or someone) around – to set in a new direction.
God used words to create things and people. Jesus used words to create change.
Let’s take this observation one step further. If we were truly created in God’s image, like the Bible says we are, then would not we have the same power available to us through OUR spoken words? I believe there is ample evidence to suggest we do. After all, why do you think the devil tries so hard to influence our thoughts? “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) Our words become our actions. Our actions set the course of our lives.
I heard someone say once, “Watch your thoughts, because they become your words. Watch your words, because they turn into actions. Watch your actions, because they form your habits. Watch your habits, because they determine your character. Watch your character, for it will become your destiny.” Destiny is not by chance, but by choice. You are responsible for your thoughts – and the results that follow. Our words give us away! “As a man thinks, so he BECOMES.” (Proverbs 23:7)
God’s words are powerful. Jesus, himself, when he was in the desert for 40 days being tempted by the devil, went on the attack using only his words — the Bible’s words to be exact. Instead of arguing points, Jesus simply quoted the Bible in his defense. Every attack of the devil was met head on by the Word of God. God’s Word won out and the devil left Jesus alone. Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They CAUSE the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always PRODUCES fruit. It will ACCOMPLISH all I want it to, and it will PROSPER everywhere I send it.” Think about this for a moment. Jesus could have called in multitudes of angels to attend to his needs in the desert. But Jesus didn’t. Jesus defeated the devil by his spoken words – God’s Word, the Bible. If you are facing some really tough struggles right now and feel powerless to overcome them , do what Jesus did and speak God’s Word.
God’s words are so powerful; they can even raise the dead. I love the story in Ezekiel 37 where it talks about the Valley of Dry Bones. In a dream, God took Ezekiel to a valley filled with bones. They were scattered everywhere across the ground. (3-5) “Then [God] asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones become living people again?’ ‘O Sovereign Lord,’ I replied, ‘you alone know the answer to that.’ Then [God] said to me, ‘Speak to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the WORD OF THE LORD! . . . I am going to make you live again!’ (7) “So I spoke these words, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as they had been before.” (10-12) “…they began to breathe. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army of them. Then [God] said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones – all hope is gone.’ Now give them this message: ‘O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again.’”
In this story God gives hope to a people who had lost all hope. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have. No matter how hopeless your situation seems, God is bigger than your problem. God causes us to live again. And He does so by HIS WORD.
I hope you’re getting the picture by now. God’s words are powerful. Being created in His image, our spoken words have power too. That brings me to my next point. You must SPEAK the word. It is not enough to simply “think” the Word; you must take action and speak the Word out loud with your mouth.
I purposefully try to identify any wrong or negative thoughts that I have thought or spoken and replace them with positive ones from God’s Word. 2 Corinthians 4:13 states, “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”
You must AGREE with what God’s Word says, BELIEVE it in your heart as true and CONFESS it with your mouth as evidence or proof of what you believe.
So… What do you think?
Are you simply what others say about you or even what you say about yourself? What does God say?
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17…
That IN CHRIST, we are a NEW CREATION. The OLD has gone. Something NEW has taken place.
So if this is true about us… Why don’t we LIVE like we BELIEVE IT???
The problem isn’t that we don’t know the message of The Cross. The problem is WE DON’T BELIEVE what Christ died to give us.
He didn’t just provide a way to forgive our sins and give us eternal life in heaven, he changed our IDENTITY…from sinner to saint. He gave us a new start at life. He gave us a way to start over.
One final thought…
In all of Jesus’s ministry on earth, he used words to display his power. He used words to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise people from the dead.
But on the cross, He chose to not use any words. The Bible says He was silent before his accusers.
Why do you think that was?
I think it was because he saw us. He saw a future generation of broken people who were tired of empty words and broken promises. It wasn’t enough to talk about God’s love anymore. He knew some of us needed to see it. So he backed up his words with action.
He wanted us to finally get it. He wants us to Believe.
You are not what OTHERS say about you. You are not what YOU say about yourself. You are what GOD says you are and you are a DEARLY LOVED child of God.
Once you get this… this ONE DEFINING MOMENT OF TRUTH will change everything! You will start LIVING like you BELIEVE it!
20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body. (NLT)
This trick will help you identify what you are thinking about.
Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones from God’s Word.
Learn how the Bible applies to your every day life.
Do you BELIEVE God has power to make something beautiful out of this mess you’re in? Learn how speaking God’s word can not only change your life, but help heal your wounded heart and transform your negative mindset too.
- The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word by Joyce Meyer
- The Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer
- The Healing Choice: How to Move Beyond Betrayal by Brenda Stoeker and Susan Allen
- Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life by Beth Moore
- A L.I.F.E. Guide: Spouses Living in Freedom Every Day by Melissa Haas
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
- The Bondage Breaker: Overcoming Negative Thoughts, Irrational Feelings, Habitual Sins by Neil Anderson
- Your Captivating Heart: Discover How God’s True Love Can Free a Woman’s Soul by Stasi Eldredge