Today I return to my “get healthy” focus. Reality – I need to lose weight. In my flesh (literally and figuratively), I don’t have control. I allow my thoughts to go off on “you won’t ever lose the weight – why try?”, “you ate that cookie, might as well give up”, “you can’t do this – you will fail again”, “eat that salad but why? you will fail later”, and so on. I don’t know what you tell yourself when you are trying to accomplish a goal or make a change. We all have an inner dialog that plagues us. What is your inner voice saying? Want to silence it? Me too!
Reality is, I tell you I want to “get healthy” because that is the right way to say it and focus my mind on progress. However, internally I say, “I have to lose this weight. I’m fat.” I tell people “I’m working to get healthy” but I tell myself “you are fat, lose this weight.” So my inner dialog is still sabotaging me. I need my inner dialog to match what I tell the world.
What you tell the world is what you need to tell yourself. How can I replace the old with the new? Practice, prayer and God’s Word. Practice telling myself internally, “I’m working to get healthy.” When “you are fat” enters my mind, I replace it immediately. Sometimes I need to say it aloud. Just thinking it isn’t enough power. I am getting healthy. My goal is health. My inner dialog is shame and sabotage. Replacing the phrase with another eventually makes it the new tape I play in my mind.
Prayer is key in this change of mindset. Asking God to help me the minute I hear the inner tape of lies. It is a lie to say I’m fat because fat equates to shame. I’m overweight and need to get healthy in order to stay healthy and do the things God has planned for me. There is no shame in that 2nd mindset. Words of shame leave when we replace them with new words and we ask God for help. Prayer is conversation with God and He will help. Some days I cry out for help hourly. Other days I cry out for help once or twice.
Lastly, God’s Word is needed. Truth is God’s Word. Find a verse to memorize that helps you focus on truth. It doesn’t have to be big or lofty just John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.) You are loved. Or John 10:10 (I have come that they have have life and have it to the full.) He wants me to have a full life. All truths! Find a truth in His Word and memorize it when you feel yourself sinking into your inner dialog of negativity.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV
We fight our battles as Christians differently. Weight loss is a battle. Overcoming negative thoughts is a battle. Spending time with God daily is unfortunately a battle. Saying kind words to others is a battle. Walking away from addiction is a battle. Not judging is a battle. Whatever battle you are facing, taking your thoughts captive is a HUGE weapon to help you win. It says in Corinthians that we CAN demolish strongholds. Strongholds are those things in your life that pull you from God. Our inner dialog is a stronghold because it keeps us from being effective and present in our life. We demolish this by taking thoughts captive.
Please take time this week to identify an inner dialog that needs to change. Take that thought captive by practicing a new phrase internally, praying for help when you become aware of it, and recite a verse because God’s Word will help you release that stronghold for good. We have tools this world doesn’t have. Taking our thoughts captive for Him is our best weapon.
Dream Big! Pray Big!