Finally, I finished the four day – stretched out to two weeks – devotional, “Speak Life” by Brady Boyd. I have relished each day, over and over, hoping it is finally entrenched deep in my soul. I’ll give an update in a month or two. I can say, I feel myself holding my tongue more and more and working on “Speak Lord” on my lips. I’m grateful I have a few role models. If you missed the previous three posts, you can click and start them here.
So here is the final devotion followed by Hawk Nelson’s “Live Like You’re Loved” – a great way to end this!
Speak Life Day 4
Self-Talk That Is Tuned Into God
I want to return to the scenario of the negative-self-talk morning, the one where you find yourself waking after a restless night saying, It’s going to be a long day. What if instead of indulging gloom-and-doom tendencies, you were to say to yourself, I’ve had better nights of sleep, but it’s a new day, and I’m grateful for it. I have everything I need for life and godliness this day. Let’s see what unfolds?
I’m guessing things would go better for you.
I know they go better for me when I do that.
When we make a habit of communicating with God, we start believing that what he says about us is true. When we don’t, we allow the other, louder voices to capture our attention and frame the course of our days.
I distinctly recall when my kids were twelve and ten that parents of teenagers would eye me pityingly and say, “Hope you’re ready for what’s coming, Brady. The teen years are tough.” Once Abram and Callie were bona-fide teenagers, new acquaintances— also parents of teens—would discover the ages of my kids and the naysaying would escalate: “It’s like aliens come down and inhabit them, right? Like, what happened to my sweet, loving kids? All of a sudden they’re selfish, entitled brats who just want money! I bet you know just what I mean!”
I never really understood this tendency to declare awfulness over a seven-year-long period of time. That’s a long time to eat the bitter fruit of negative self-talk, don’t you think?
Instead, as my children entered their teenage years, I meditated on thoughts like these:
This is going to be our best era yet. Pam and I are going to love parenting teenagers. Abram and Callie are smart and funny, and our family is going to have an awesome time while they’re teens. Whatever challenges we face as we parent teens, we will overcome together, and with love on our side.
Today Abram and Callie are seventeen and fifteen, respectively, and proof positive that experience flows from expectation. If we expect awfulness from life and loved ones, awfulness shows up every time, but if we expect greatness, then greatness tends to emerge instead.
So far the teen years have been great.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:1-2 ESV
When I heard this song, I knew I was ready for this final post!