Here’s our favorite profound saying on the backdoor blackboard at the moment: “The things we say to our children become their inner voices.”
Working with kids, I see this all the time. The extent to which students respond well to authority is a reflection of what they have been told about authority at home. The extent to which students can own up to their mistakes is a reflection of the grace they have been shown at home when they have made bad choices. The extent to which students are responsible in fulfilling obligations reflects the accountability they have experienced at home. You get the idea.
Psychologists call inner voices self-talk, and research indicates that we do it a lot and that,
unfortunately, most of it is negative. What if we were to change that self-talk by replacing the things that people say about us – or that we are afraid they think about us – with what God says about us?
In Isaiah 49:16 God tells us that He has engraved our names on the palms of his hand – so that He will never forget us. In Romans 8 we are told that nothing, nothing, can separate us from His love. In Psalm 139, when we start to doubt ourselves, we can be reminded that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Here’s a big one: in Exodus 4:11, God tells us that even our limitations or disabilities are His idea!
Think about that for a minute! And finally, James tells us in chapter 1 of his book, that the trials we have should bring us joy, because they are testing from God to make us better.
In last Sunday’s Colossians 3 message, we were told by Paul to set our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. And what is He doing? I John 2:1 tells us that when we sin, when we mess up, Jesus is there, telling God that it’s OK, He took care of it – at Calvary.
That’s an inner voice worth listening to!