When I was growing up, my mother owned a company called Programme to Success which involved her being a motivational speaker and distributing this kind of material. My parents got into listening to motivational speakers, and were convinced that you can talk yourself into riches and self-confidence. Needless to say, they weren’t believers at all, and as much as they repeated the positive affirmations over and over, day after day, wealth and self-worth eluded them.
I have thought many a time that I wish I would have been saved all the way back then. I would have told them that their faith should be in our great, sovereign God alone, and that:
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.
I imagine them turning to the source of all blessing and recanting their recurring daily chants which included “I love myself,” “Today I will be successful,” and “Wealth is on its way to me,” among many others.
Because of this background, I’m acutely sensitive (read disagreeable with) the “power of positive thinking” type teachers, and even more so when they claim to be preachers of God’s Word. However, I’ve discovered over the years that…There are certain phrases we can tweak that give us a better perspective. Click To Tweet
These upgraded phrases don’t have the “power” to redirect our destinies, as the positive thinking preachers claim their ways do, but I have found them helpful in reminding me of the message I want to convey to myself and others through making them.
I have to…
There are so many activities each day and week that I’m sure you have to do.
From having to prepare dinner for your family to taking your children to piano lessons… being sinful human beings, we can start to feel resentful of all the things we “have to” do.
How about changing your “I have to” statements, to “I get to” statements?
Instead of saying, “I have to take my car into the garage to be fixed”
Look at the task as, “I get to take my car into the garage to be fixed”
You’ve just transformed the chore you dread into an attitude of gratitude for the blessing of having a car, and for the funds God has provided to get it repaired!
Try these for size:
“I get to change my baby’s diaper!”
“I get to do my family’s laundry!”
“I get to go to church!”
What a huge turn around in thanksgiving and joyfulness when you see your tasks as privileges as opposed to chores!
I don’t have time…
I’m the queen of saying, “I’m too busy.” And with a husband, five children whom I “get to” homeschool :-), a pretty full-on household, and a blog, I certainly am not twiddling my thumbs. But you see, I can, and often do, use my full-plate-of-a-life as an excuse not to do things that are important, beneficial, and even required by my Lord!
So, instead of saying, “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” when you’re confronted with a choice to do something you know you ought to be doing, try telling yourself what you’re really meaning behind the scenes, “It’s not a priority.”
Believe me, that can hurt!
Consider what you’re actually saying when you replace, “I don’t have time” with “That is not a priority for me”:
“I don’t have time to read the Bible this morning.”
“It is not a priority for me to read the Bible this morning.”
“I am too busy to share the Gospel.”
“Sharing the Gospel is not a priority for me.”
See what I mean by it hurting when you simply rephrase words that you use regularly. I, for one, made some pretty major adjustments to the way I spent my time after I thought of my busyness in this way.
As someone who has been through a lot of grief in my lifetime, I have certain fears of “bad things” happening. This is especially true when I think about tragedies relating to my husband or children.
If you agonise in this area, too (and I’m pretty sure the majority of people struggle with fear to some degree or another), it is helpful to change your “What if” to “Even if.”
See how this works:
“What if my husband dies…”
“Even if my husband dies… God will take care of our family.”
“What if I contract a debilitating, terminal disease…”
“Even if I contract a debilitating, terminal disease… I will praise my Lord and glorify Him to the end.”
“What if we go broke…”
“Even if we go broke… God will not leave or forsake us, we can trust in His everlasting care.”This small modification in your speech transports you from fear to faith! Click To Tweet
The only way you can finish your “even if” statements is by focusing on the God who will lovingly and sovereignly allow the hardship into your life, and trusting in His goodness and faithfulness through and beyond it.
So there you have it, 3 phrases you use but need to change. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll catch on to your new way of talking and thinking once you get going.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Which of these phrase alterations “spoke” to you? What have you been saying that you will tweak from now on?