Critical Conversation.

If, for a day, we wrote down each phrase of our inner dialogue - every stream of words we speak to ourselves from morning till sleep - what would we discover?

The conversation does not cease. We speak to ourselves from our waking, through our going and coming, until our heads rest again on our pillows. In a moment spent gazing in the mirror, we might scowl and turn away in frustration: "I'm too big / too plain / too ugly / too stalky / too lanky."  We might examine our current station in life - our resources, income, successes, failures, our reputation - and berate the weaknesses we discover: "I'm not accomplishing anything with my life / I'm not going anywhere / I'm stuck in a rut / I never finish what I start / I'm not significant."  After a particularly frustrating blunder, or a moment of poor judgment, we might clench our fists and become our own abuser: "I'm so stupid! / I won't ever be free / It's not worth trying / what's the point?" We act, too, as our own critic, tearing down the very dreams we cherish: "I'll never be able to do this / it won't amount to anything / I'm not talented enough / I'm alone."

We witness the success of a friend, a loved one, and even as we congratulate them, our celebration thinly veils the inner voice of comparison: "I have to be noticed too / I wish this were me / how can I prove myself? / they're better, more talented, than me."

We speak to ourselves, and all of heaven listens.

The Father listens because our inner voice is a stream of statements to Him, exposing which beliefs shape us and control us, telling Him how much (or little) we value His voice, His dialogue, His Word. 

Our thoughts run on loop, repeating and reinforcing the beliefs we hold most dear - the beliefs that control our lives. Our thoughts reveal our beliefs, but they also influence our beliefs. What we believe can change - in turn transforming our very lives - if we choose to change our inner conversation.

We cannot pretend we believe God's words to us, while still harboring and nurturing anxious, self-condemning thoughts. We cannot live in the gladness of courageous surrender, if we continue to speak to ourselves with insecure, skeptical, fear-soaked statements. If we yearn to live in the freedom and fulness of whole-hearted surrender to Jesus, we must choose to fill our mind with His words.

So let's ask ourselves again: if we could write out our inner dialogue, what would we discover?

Are we cradling unbelief? Are we mumbling the catchphrases of fear and hesitation? Are we passing judgment on ourselves, counting ourselves out? Are we comparing ourselves to others and retreating into dissatisfaction? Are we telling ourselves to be wary - that radical trust in God is too scary, too risky, too impractical?

The essential question is this: which are we speaking to ourselves: lies or Truth?

When we regurgitate lies - statements of unbelief, fear, insecurity - they begin to shape us in their image, blinding us to the reality of who God is for us, and who we are in Christ. But if we call attention to the ruse of the enemy, if we stand up in the strength of the Living God and refuse to mindlessly repeat his joy-draining deceptions, replacing them instead with the life-saturated words of the Father, then something entirely new happens within us. Courage floods us. Our discernment grows sharp, our vision clear. Our hearts expand, revived and enriched with the Love of the Father.

The conversation changes.
Our beliefs change.
Our lives change.

When the Voice within us speaks the Word of God, we discover for ourselves that all things - realistically all things - are possible through Christ who strengthens us.

This is the power of our inner conversation.

This is the power of the Word of God.