I was walking from the residence on campus over to the cafeteria. I had some really cruel thoughts about myself enter my mind. I sat in them for a few steps, letting them sink in. Suddenly I remembered I had a better option than to be ruined by them: the Lord could help me take them captive. As I began to pray, I asked the Lord to speak His truth over me.
I kept walking and whispering truth aloud. Truth about my identity in Christ, about my secure salvation, about the unwavering love of Christ.
Step. Prayer. Step. Prayer. Slowly the lies that I had been sitting in got quieter as the Holy Spirit brought truth into my mind.
As I whispered these next words aloud, I received the Gospel fresh again: Thank You God that You adopted me before I was good.
I'm pretty sure I stopped walking for a minute and stood still in that truth — God adopted me into His family before I had any good thing to offer Him. God extended His offer of salvation to me before I even knew I was in need of a Savior. How Jesus had wiped away my shame before I knew how to believe in freedom. How He had left the privilege of Heaven to come here to earth to make a way for all to know Him.
I believe it is of utter importance that we ask the Lord to speak truth over us. Not simply in the moment when a lie comes but also before and after. A soldier goes into the battle ready. She isn't putting her gear on in the middle of the field. No. She comes prepared. So why would we live any different? Scripture is explicit throughout the Bible that we are in a battle (Romans 8) We have been given the armor of God (Ephesians 6) and we can put it on now.
We don't have to be ruined by negative self-talk. And ultimately we don't need to have good self-talk to counter our mean thoughts. No! We need the Word of God, the Holy Spirit in us, Jesus advocating for us, and the boldness to approach the Lord and whisper (or shout!) help. And boom! We have all those things.
An earlier version of this piece first appeared here.