Boasting and Beating

Two extremes are at work in society today, boasting and beating. Boasting comes through exaggeration and self-promotion, and is propagated via social media, in the workplace, and anywhere people tend to congregate. The beating surfaces in more intimate settings: among friends, in small groups, and in conversations we have with ourselves. The more we do it the more desensitized we are to the harm it inflicts. We become our worst critic without filter.

Beating ourselves up leads to beating others up as well. We do it through gossip or in our thought life. When our opinions tend to center on everyone else’s business, we are in the danger zone. People will forgive us, but the harm we’ve inflicted on ourselves is hard to correct and sometimes even recognize. The more we cultivate this practice, the more toxic it becomes, leading to general negativity in all aspects of our lives. In essence we become what we think.

Proverbs 23:7 (NASB) says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

Capture your thoughts before they capture you.

Here are a few suggestions:
Think about solutions not shortcomings. This will focus your mind on change rather than on error.
Think in terms of truth not exaggerations. No one is obsessing about your mishaps.  They are concerned with their own issues.
Think about a friend. Would she speak to you the way you speak to yourself?  Doubtful.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”

The things we say to ourselves establish the person we become. So if we want to be a different person, we have to use a different dialogue. Anytime we berate ourselves we diminish the work of God who sees us as the righteousness of Christ. We have two choices. Believe who the Bible says we are. Or admit we don’t really believe what it says at all.*

The following excerpt is from “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie.

“By far the most important lesson I have ever learned is the importance of what we think. If I knew what you think, I would know what you are. Our thoughts make us what we are. Our mental attitude is the x-factor that determines our faith. Emerson said a man is what he thinks about all day long. How could he possibly be anything else? I know now with a conviction beyond all doubt that the biggest problem that you and I have to deal with is choosing the right thought. If we can do that we will be on the high road to solving all of our problems. The great philosopher who ruled the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, summed it up in eight words, ‘Our life is what our thoughts make it.’”

Now that was two thousand years ago. But of course Proverbs is a thousand years before that. Yes, if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable. If we think failure, we will certainly fail. If we wallow in self-pity everyone will shun us. “You are not,” said Norman Vincent Peale, “what you think you are, but what you think, you are.”

This Valentine’s Day LOVE Yourself, Too! <3 <3 <3

 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

* Here is what the Bible says about YOU.

I am God’s child. Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend. John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives. 1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art. Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven. 1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness. Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive. Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven. Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world. Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker. Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world. Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved. Romans 5:8

These verses come from the New Living Translation on BibleGateway.com.

 

Comments

  1. Bobbie Rodriguez says:

    great article as always!

  2. Val Sarkady says:

    So how long have you been inside my mind??? Nicely done, thank you!

  3. Toni Samuels says:

    Great insights as always, Jewell! Renewal and transformation begin in the mind, aligning with God’s word. Thanks for this blog post!

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