Do You Tell Yourself the Truth?

I talk to myself all the time. (Perhaps you do, too.) Sometimes I give myself pep talks

You can do this, Stacey, calm down and focus. 

Other times I chat with myself about news headlines, rehash a recent conversation with a friend, or hold a lengthy discussion about dinner options.

I’m not always nice to myself either. There are times I put myself down and call myself names, quietly saying things I’d never say to anyone else.

There you go again, you big dumb-dumb. 

See, I told you that you’re a terrible mother.

But here’s the danger: every time I say those things, I’m barraging my heart with statements that do not align with the truth or the testimony of God’s Word. 

I also sometimes rationalize my wrong behavior: 

It’s just the way you are. 

Don’t worry about it; you can’t help it. 

But what I really should be doing is reminding myself of what’s right: I have the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in me, and through Christ, I have the power to overcome sin and temptation. 

What we say to ourselves may not seem like a big deal, but the difference between telling ourselves the truth or lies (as in the previous example) is vast. To say things to myself that go against God’s will for me is to place myself on a trajectory of pain, heartache, frustration, and sin. Not to mention that I’ve believed a lie. But when I speak truth to myself, the trajectory is victory over sin, and the result is righteous fruit instead of the works of my flesh. And truth is a giant hedge of protection against the schemes of the devil. 

The bottom line is this: the state of our hearts is often a direct result of what we’re saying to our hearts. Is my heart full of truth because that’s what I’ve spoken to myself, or is my heart full of lies because lies are what I’ve chosen to say instead? 

It Matters What We Say to Ourselves 

Sometimes it feels like I’m a product of my emotions. There are days when stress winds me up tighter than a ballerina’s bun, and it’s my kids who pay the price. In the moment it feels like I can’t help it—I’m just so worried. But peace amid uncertainty is possible, and it begins with reminding myself of Truth.

God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17). There is nothing in the Bible that isn’t true. At any moment, on any given day, I can open my Bible and find the Truth. While it’s increasingly harder to discern truth from lies in today’s information-overloaded world, we know we can look to Scripture with confidence. Isaiah 45:19 says, “I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right.”

But when we’re struggling with something, our immediate reaction is not always to remind ourselves of Scripture. Rightly handling the Word of Truth doesn’t just mean we need to speak it appropriately to others, but we need to speak it appropriately to ourselves. 

What do you tell yourself when you’re worried and afraid? Do you feed yourself lies and despair?

  • My life is over if I don’t get this job. 
  • This will ruin me if it doesn’t work out. 
  • I guess it’s all up to me now. 
  • I can’t believe God let this happen. 
  • How can I go on like this?

Or do you comfort yourself with the Truth? 

  • I don’t need to be afraid; God is with me. 
  • He is my help and my salvation.
  • Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Yes, that’s right, God is with me, and He is sovereign.

Scripture Is the Truth We Need the Most 

King David is an excellent example of someone who spoke Truth to his heart even in hard times. David wrote many songs of praise while hiding from Saul in caves. With his life on the line (more than once), David continually reminded himself that God was with Him. Here are a few examples: 

  • “This I know, that God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
  • “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
  • “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer” (Psalm 18:2).
  • “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life” (Psalm 54:4).
  • “But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (Psalm 38:15).
  • “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble” (Psalm 37:39).
  • “For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.” (Psalm 33:4).

But after running from Saul for years, even David had a lapse in thinking. 1 Samuel 27:1 says, “Then David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape to the land of the Philistines.” 

Honestly, that doesn’t sound like David, and here’s why: what David says to his heart at that moment is contrary to both the testimony and promise of God. David did not remind himself of the Truth when fear invaded his heart, and it set him on a difficult trajectory. Though God was still with him, David spent the next sixteen months lying to the Philistines’ king, which ended with his men wanting to stone him (1 Sam. 30:6). 

Test Your Thoughts against Scripture 

So what have you been saying to yourself lately? Are your thoughts according to God’s Word? Do they fit with the testimony of who God is and who we are in Christ? We cannot control what others say to us, but we can control what we say to ourselves. 

Speak the Truth to yourself, friends. If you’re lonely, remind yourself that God is with you (Matt. 28:20). If you’re afraid, remind yourself that God is sovereign (Job 42:2). If you’re anxious, try rehearsing Matthew 6:25–34 every time those feelings overwhelm you. Let your heart marinate in the Truth of God’s Word instead of your own understanding. 

Don’t exchange the Truth of God for lies (Rom. 1:25). It’s easy to speak false things to ourselves when we’re sad or mad or worried or afraid. If you’re not sure what’s true and what’s not, here’s my advice: start by reading your Bible at the same time every day. Listen to the words of the Lord, and let the Holy Spirit guide you (John 16:13). 

Then throughout the day, remind your heart of all that you read. In doing so, you’ll speak words of everlasting Truth straight to your heart. 

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four. When she isn’t serving a meal on the side of the road, riding in a tractor with her husband, or driving kids to practice, you’ll find her escaping the crazy by writing devotionals at Deeper Devos, where she gives readers a weekly practical and deeper look at God’s Word. Her favorite things in the world (not counting her Savior, husband, and kids) include flipping houses, buying new books, and going for a nice long run. Stacey and her family reside in the cornfields of Indiana.

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