Archives For Devotionals

A Good Talking To

Renee Ann Smith —  August 11, 2014 — 30 Comments

I awoke anxious and afraid almost every morning during my school-age years.

Nothing traumatic had happened in my past. No one in my family had died. Two stable parents left for work every morning & returned home every night. We always had a roof over our heads & food on the table. The bullies at school didn’t have time to bother me.

Yet still I woke with a sick feeling in my stomach and the urge to hide from the world and the certainty that no one could protect me from the fearful things that were coming my way. My morning alarm was the signal for my current “What Ifs” to begin circling in my brain . . .

 . . . “What if I miss the bus again & this time Mom gets mad? What if the history teacher gives a quiz on the chapter I didn’t read? What if I can’t find anyone to sit with at lunch? What if I do something embarrassing & the whole class sees? . . .”

Somewhere along the line, I learned to give myself a “good talking to.”

Back then, my early morning mantra went something like this . . . “You’re fine. Everyone you know is fine. This is just life. You can handle it. And when you can’t, it’s okay to ask for help . . .”

I didn’t realize until after I became a Christian, what a valuable lesson my young self had learned.

As a dear friend who battled depression for years told me, “When I started talking to myself instead of listening to myself, that’s when I began to heal.”

Talking to Myself Inspre Me (Click to Tweet)

In the dictionary, talking & listening are opposites.

When it comes to our inner life, not so much.

But in the Bible, we see that men like David understood the subtle distinction. Psalm 42 shows us the conversation he had with himself . . . 

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

How freeing to learn that we don’t have to be the victims of the fearful, anxious thoughts that try to take up residence in our brains. Are you experiencing fear & anxiety?

Maybe it’s time to give yourself a good talking to!

Here are a few verses & quotes to start you off . . .

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” ~II Corinthians 10:5~

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” ~Colossians 3:2~

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8~

“For God has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” ~Hebrews 13:5b~

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” ~Psalm 56:3~

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” ~Isaiah 26:3~

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~William James, philosopher, psychologist, physician, 1842-1910~

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” ~Corrie ten Boom~

“When fear comes knocking at your door, send faith to answer.” ~Joyce Meyer~

Fear and faith Joyce Meyer(Click to Tweet)

What are some of your favorites?

Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

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Did you ever feel like God was playing favorites & you were being purposely left out?

Have you ever looked around at what others received—maybe things you desperately wanted from God—and wondered why He said ‘yes’ to them and ‘no’ to you?

When Jesus was on earth, He fielded such questions. I’m thinking specifically of His time with two sisters, Martha and Mary, and their story in John 11.

These sisters knew Jesus well. They served Him often and sat at His feet. He considered their home, His home.

But when their darkest hour came—the death of their brother Lazarus, their provider and protector—they called for Jesus, and He did not come.

Does God play favorites

In fact, He delayed His coming until He knew Lazarus was dead.

When Jesus did arrive, both sisters uttered the same lament: “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21 & 32)

Two sisters, so close to each other, experienced the same tragedy, felt the same grief, and expressed the same doubt in the same exact words.

And Jesus responded to each differently

With Martha, the practical one, He pointed her eyes toward eternity and the true resurrection. And I can’t help but wonder if she needed a lesson in the midst of her tragedy because she’d missed a time or two at Jesus’ feet.

With Mary, the dreamer, He said nothing. Perhaps she’d been sitting at His feet for so long that He knew His words were hidden in her heart to comfort and teach her.

Yet, even though Mary had sat often at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His words, and had been commended for her choice, her relationship with Him did not ward off tragedy. Jesus did not show favoritism. Mary still had to experience hard things.

So Jesus treated each sister differently—not from favoritism—but because He knew them.

Does God play favorites Psalm 139

  • He knew their heart needs.
  • He knew the attitudes behind their words.
  • He knew they must soon face life without His physical presence.
  • He knew they must be prepared for other days when it might seem He refused to come when they called.

From that perfect knowing, Jesus chose what gift to give each precious child.

Just so, our heavenly Father knows what’s best for us. And we can be confident that’s exactly what He’ll give!

Thanks for coming by to visit today. Blessings, friends!

Share some encouragement with your Twitter friends via the Click to Tweets below.

“Every good & perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights. ~James 1:17~

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“Search me, O God & know my heart. Try me & know my anxious thoughts.” ~Psalm 139:23~

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Did you ever feel like God was playing favorites & you were being purposely left out?

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