Many of you know my love for our military, and military spouses hold a special place in my heart. So it a great honor to share my blog today with Jocelyn Green, wife to a former Coast Guard officer and author of several books focused on encouraging military families. The following devotion, written by Jocelyn, is an excerpt from Faith Deployed . . . Again: More Daily Encouragement for Military Wives.
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
Proverbs 23:7 NASB
“It’s happening again,” I told myself. Years earlier, I had been clinically depressed. And though God healed me, I still felt vulnerable to sinking back into that pit of despair. And by predicting it, I unwittingly created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But when I trained myself to say, “It’s just a bad day, just one bad day,” instead, I no longer felt doomed to repeat the depression of my past. I felt like a normal military wife who has normal feelings, good days and bad days.
What we tell ourselves matters. Our self talk—whether silent or audible— directs both our attitudes and our actions. Proverbs 18:21 says, The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 23:7 (quoted above) tells us we are who we think we are. It is vital that what we say to ourselves matches up with the truths of Scripture.
In the book of Mark, we meet a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering (Mark 5:27–29).
In her book Self Talk, Soul Talk, Jennifer Rothschild explains:
The most important thing to note here isn’t that she talked to herself. It’s what she told herself that matters. . . Counseling ourselves to act upon truth, coaching ourselves, and cheering ourselves on to make good choices—these are both healthy and wise. Wise soul talk pushes us over the edge to help us overcome our issues. In this story, the woman with the hemorrhage clearly benefited by telling herself that she would be healed if she touched Jesus’ robe (p. 48-49).
We can follow this woman’s example when our “soul talk”—words of truth that can heal us— directs us to wrench our gaze from our own problems to rest fully on Christ for moment. My own self talk of , “It’s just a bad day” was a good start, but would have been better soul talk if I had added more Bible-based truth to it: Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (Psalm 42:5–6a).
Try it for yourself. Instead of telling yourself what’s wrong with your life, try I have learned to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11).The next time you think, “I can’t do it anymore,” tell yourself I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
What do I tell myself that causes more discouragement?
Which truths from Scripture should I be telling myself instead?
Lord, help me notice what I tell myself throughout the day so I can identify how that helps or hurts me. Please help me train myself to base my soul talk on Scripture. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
About the Author:
Jocelyn Green, the wife of a former Coast Guard officer, is an award-winning author, freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody 2008), along with fourteen contributing writers. She is also co-author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq/Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009). Her books won the Bronze and Gold Medals, respectively, from the Military Writers Society of America (religious/spiritual category) in 2010. Her Web site for military wives, www.faithdeployed.com, won third place in a national contest held by the Evangelical Press Association in 2010. She is the editor for www.WivesinBloom.com, the online magazine of Christian Military Wives (a branch of Christian Military Fellowship) and a contributor to the Web site www.StartMarriageRight.com.