Overcoming Negative Self-Talk with the Truth of the Gospel
Negative self-talk can lead to physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. Author John Strange suggests we need to begin by understanding the gospel—the good news about Jesus paying our penalty to buy our freedom through His grace. As we apply the gospel to our lives, we will find the false beliefs at the root of our negative self-talk.
The author advises us to acknowledge our pain and examine our beliefs. He suggests we make a list of the things we say to ourselves and read it to a friend. Address each comment to your friend as if saying it to and about her. Then watch her reaction. The look on her face will become a visual reminder for how we should feel about telling ourselves these things. You would never say that to a friend, so why are you saying it to yourself?
After identifying negative beliefs this way, the author suggests we meditate on the truth in God’s Word and rewrite each of our negatives as a positive truth. Then, read those truths to your friend later to reinforce the positive.
I have to say, his approach is enough to shake you into reality. I would never say things to others that I say to myself. When I think about it in those terms, I realize I need to extend to myself the same grace I extend to others.
Overcoming Negative Self-Talk is an excellent book and I found it very helpful. It’s definitely recommended reading for anyone struggling with negative thoughts.