Hopefully Devoted: Words and Thoughts

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14, NIV)

I had an interesting conversation recently. Instead of sitting at my desk and writing, I went and had coffee with another pastor. As we were finishing our time, he asked me for ideas on how to handle a situation. He prefaced his question by saying he didn’t really expect me to have an immediate answer, but…Then he went on to ask me about how to help a youth change a behavior.

To his surprise I came up with that unexpected immediate answer based on my training and experience. I harkened back to a principle that an organization I worked with used with their youth: 4 to 1. For each 1x a correction is given there needs to be 4 positives made about the youth reaching that target behavior. It is a very intentional teaching method, that can at times seem exhausting.

After our meeting, I ran an errand and stopped in at the church to make a phone call and use the bathroom. All in all I was out and about for almost an hour and a half. The entire time I mulled over the final moments of our conversation.

The more I thought, the more I began to talk to God…or listen as I heard my words coming back at me regarding my own self-talk.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always speak kindly to myself. I’m pretty good at scolding myself, putting myself down, and berating me. I know I don’t use the 4/1 method on myself. But why not?

What might happen if instead replaying the negative thoughts tape, we caught ourselves doing well? Spoke more words of encouragement. Celebrated more moments of success…with ourselves.

I’m sure there are those who vehemently caution against such nonsense. Warning that it would only lead to pride, and self-aggrandizement. (Insert sad sigh here.)

I’m not advocating for arrogance. I would speak against any attitude that keeps us from being aware of our brokenness before God. Our verse today is not merely about the thoughts and words we have for others. I wonder how pleased God is with how we speak to ourselves. Think about these statements from I’ve mulled on from Psalms:

Who am I that you (the creator and sustainer of the universe) should be aware of me? Among all the amazing things you have created and loved I (that’s you and me) am one. (see Psalm. 8)

This body you made is amazing God. Your human creation is incredibly made, fashioned and functioning–differently but diversity is part of the plan. (read Psalm 139)

So today, I invite you (and me) to listen to what we say to ourselves. Make sure that your words and thoughts, actions and attitudes are pleasing to God. Shoot for the goal of 4 positives for every negative/correction. Be your best encourager.

Author: tinamhunt

ESFP with a dash of ADD. Lover of the Word and words. The cup of my life is neither half empty or half full--it overflows! I'm blessed to be a blessing and I'm here to share the journey.

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