October 12, 2018
Overcoming Negative Internal Chatter
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:5, ESV).
Friend to Friend
The morning alarm sounded. I batted thin air, trying to shut off the noise without opening my eyes. Suddenly, it hit me. An epiphany that yes, I had overslept!!! By 45 minutes!! I’m guessing you can relate to the pandemonium that followed. I rushed 5 kids through an exceptionally abbreviated morning routine and somehow managed to pull up in front of the school only 15 minutes after the bell rang. I remembered the “I-love-you’s” and breathed a huge sigh of relief.
But as I pulled away from the curb, a wave of self-reproach folded over me. “How could you do this? What kind of mother sleeps through her alarm?” The belittling questions streaming through my mind overwhelmed my heart. “You shouldn’t have laid back down for ‘just a few minutes.” I felt powerless to stop it. Negative internal chatter over a rough start to the day threatened to ruin the entire day.
You’ve been there, haven’t you? Whether it was one small decision you wish you could change or a bigger mistake that couldn’t be reversed, the ticker tape of your mind rolled with continual adverse thoughts. One thought led to another that led to another and before you knew it, you felt consumed by the tornado of pessimism.
Maybe you’ve read all the quick fixes on thinking positive thoughts. But thinking positively requires more than just stopping the negative swirl of the mind. It requires digging deep and making a choice. The choice to set your mind on truth. Making that choice is often contrary to feelings, isn’t it?
Today’s Scripture focus helps us understand the power in our choice. Paul, the writer of the book of Romans, explains that when we choose negative thoughts? We are setting our minds on temporary issues that die. Things that fade away. But when we choose to place our minds on the truth of God’s Word, it creates a lasting impact. Our temporary world of thoughts is peaceful, and life is breathed into our souls.
Whether the issue is worry, anxiety, fear, anger or self-confidence, the truth of God’s Word must be our guide to replacing negative internal chatter. The simple choice of setting our minds on the truth of God’s Word in place of our fleshly temporal thoughts contains the power to change not just a single moment or a day, but our entire lives!
Let’s begin with choosing to meditate on today’s truth and the following prayer!
Dear Father, Thank You for the truth of Your Word. When anxious, belittling, or negative thoughts threaten to overwhelm me, help me recall Your promises. Give me the strength, time, and energy to saturate my mind with Your truth so that it replaces the negative thought trap I so easily fall into.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one promise of God you hold on to in times of stress or discouragement?
Challenge yourself to exchange your negative go-to thought for God’s promise.
More from the Girlfriends
If exchanging a negative mindset for the truth of God’s Word sounds like an awesome plan, then you’ll find more detailed steps in chapter 10 of Rachel’s book, One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up.
Originally published Friday, 12 October 2018.