The power of words to build up, or to destroy, has been so evident in recent months. Our whole society has been faced with raging words, dishonest words, destructive words and personal attacks. Words have power: whether spoken to another, or to ourselves.
Proverbs tells us that the tongue has the power of life and death, and Jesus teaches that our words are open to Gods judgement and can even condemn us. Surely as Gods people we would seek to be those whose speech is helpful for building others up so that they benefit from our words. As many of preach words week by week we are careful to craft them for our hearers.
But what about self-talk? Those words we use to criticise and condemn ourselves so easily. How often I hear self- condemnatory comments, ranging from accusations of stupidity for a thought, an action or an emotion, right through to global devaluing of ourselves. Our words to, and about, ourselves matter as part of our wellbeing. What might it mean to be both curious and compassionate toward ourselves when we feel like criticising?
The use of affirmations is a technique widely used in maintaining good mental health. Statements of worth and value, spoken to ourselves, have power to bring life and growth. As Christian believers we have a wealth of material to support this sense of our personal value to our maker. We are beloved, we are individually created. God the Father does not make rubbish, God the Son did not die for rubbish, God the Spirit does not live in rubbish. Sometimes we need to practice speaking truth to ourselves in order to sustain and build ourselves up, and maintain good mental health.