By Bishop Sunny Emmanuel*
One of the reasons I love sharing the Word of God wherever I go is because it is the truth of His (God’s) Word that changes lives. When people come to the knowledge of His Word, they are acquiring the tools and skills necessary to experience transformation in their lives.
It’s true that we can’t necessarily control every circumstance in life, but we can, through the power of God’s enabling Spirit, choose what kind of attitude and response we are going to have in the midst of every situation we face.
I recently came across the following humorous story that really communicates a powerful truth:
A man observed a woman in the grocery store with a three-year-old girl in her basket. As they passed the cookie section, the little girl asked for cookies and her mother told her, “No.” The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Jane, we just have half of the aisles left to go through – don’t be upset. It won’t be long now.”
Soon, they came to the candy aisle and the little girl began to shout for candy.
When told she couldn’t have any, she began to cry. The mother said, “There, there, Jane, don’t cry – only two more aisles to go and then we’ll be checking out.”
When they got to the checkout stand, the little girl immediately began to clamour for gum and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there’d be no gum purchased. The mother said serenely, “Jane, we’ll be through this checkout stand in five minutes and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”
The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Jane.
It’s quite commendable,” he remarked.
The mother replied, “I’m Jane. My little girl’s name is Tammy.”
This mom had really tapped into a great principle of successful living. She realized that she was in a situation where it was important to do some talking to herself! Zig Ziglar said, “The most influential person who will talk to you all day is you, so you should be very careful about what you say to you!”
The Bible contains several references of David talking to himself as a means of comforting, encouraging, and strengthening himself. Consider the following from the Psalms:
Psalm 42:11, Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God…
Psalm 103:1-5, Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 116:7, Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
Psalm 119:52, I remembered Your judgments of old, O LORD, And have comforted myself.
Notice that David talked to himself! He didn’t ask himself how he felt; he told himself how to feel. He didn’t listen to himself; he talked to himself. He didn’t let the outside atmosphere govern him; he created his own “atmosphere” by the words he spoke to himself.
An even more graphic example of David speaking to himself occurred when David and his men had been out on a military expedition. When they came home, another army had raided their village, taken everything dear to them (wives, children, possessions, etc.) and burnt the village.
1 Samuel 30:3-4, 6; So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened [or encouraged] himself in the LORD his God.
What about you? Have circumstances been speaking to you? Have the actions of other people been speaking to you? Have emotions been speaking to you? If so, it’s important that you be speaking even more to yourself!
Tell yourself the truth!
Tell yourself that He will never leave you or forsake you.
Tell yourself that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
Tell yourself that you are more than a conqueror through Him who loves you.
Tell yourself that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Tell yourself that you are forgiven.
Tell yourself that there is no condemnation to you since you are in Christ Jesus.
Tell yourself that his mercies are new every morning.
Tell yourself that no one can separate you from the love of God.
Tell yourself that no one is able to take you out of the Father’s hand.
Remember, it’s the words you speak that ultimately govern you!
*Bishop Sunny Emmanuel is a Senior Pastor with Christian Faith Centre International, Tilburg (Holland). He may be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org