Words from the Heart: Speak Kindly to Yourself

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By Annie F. Downs

In 100 Days to Brave, Annie F. Downs explores how relying on God’s word can lead to strength in facing all of life’s circumstances.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. —Proverbs 18:21 NIV

This morning when I did not like the look of the jeans I put on, I told myself so. Old Annie would have continued a barrage of ugly remarks about my looks, but instead, I looked in the mirror and said, “Hey, put on a different pair. No biggie.” And I shook it off and changed.

See how Proverbs 18:21 says everything you say is either producing life or death? It’s just as true when you talk to yourself as when you are speaking to others. Just like with my jeans this morning, I have to choose words of life over words of death. That’s the kind of conversations I want to have with myself—the ones that are truthful, kind, and full of life.
If you are going to be the person who does the brave things God is calling you to do, speaking life and developing beautiful things in others with your words, it begins with doing that for yourself.

Self-talk is a big part of everyone’s life. We constantly and subconsciously have thoughts running through our minds that direct our days. You need to listen to those. The negative ones? The ones that cut you down and make you feel unloved and afraid? Time to chuck them. Stop yourself, identify the lie, and say the truth in its place.

You can speak kindly to yourself because God loves you deeply because you are His. Speak kindly to yourself, as Jesus speaks kindly to you. Those words have power, and if you believe them, you will be brave.

Excerpt from 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. Published by Zondervan. Learn more at anniefdowns.com/books.

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Annie F. Downs is a best-selling author, nationally known speaker, and podcast host based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her books include Remember God, 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely, and Let’s All Be Brave. Annie hosts the popular weekly podcast That Sounds Fun and is a huge fan of bands with banjos, glitter, her community of friends, boiled peanuts, and soccer.