Posted by: mikenicholsblog | February 29, 2012

seventy-seven percent

Many years ago in another century (doesn’t that make us all sound old), I heard a statistic that although dated, is probably still accurate. The statement was: seventy percent of all communication is self-talk, and seventy-seven percent of self-talk is negative. Wow! Think about the ramifications of that statistic. If it is even close to true, then all of us have a major battle that ensues daily; between our ears. I believe it to be a fairly safe assumption on my part that you (like me) are often pre-occupied internally and therefore distracted externally. Those negative inner conversations inevitably play a role in our confidence, effectiveness and joy.

Have you ever been invaded by thoughts like “I’ll never get to retire”, “He’ll never change”, “I’m so dumb”, “My child is hopeless”, or “Why would God let this happen?” They are just a few of the mind benders that affect our daily outlook. These thoughts are made more difficult to bear when it seems that all that surrounds us is negative. And make no mistake about it; there is a lot that goes on around all of us that is less than positive. So our question must be how can we reduce our ill-advised self-talk, and respond positively to the world around us that tends to wear us out? Scripture tells us in Proverbs 23:7 that, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Today, you and I are living realities of what we are thinking.

In her relatively new book, Power Thoughts, Joyce Meyer gives us great counsel.

Indeed, very few people realize that we have the ability to choose our thoughts and decide what we want to think; most of us passively meditate on whatever comes into our minds without ever realizing our enemy, Satan, uses our minds extensively to control us and keep us from fulfilling God’s destiny for our lives. Each person regenerated through receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior receives a new spirit and a new heart from God, but does not receive a new mind—the mind must be renewed. The intent of one’s heart may be pure and yet the mind still confused. The Bible declares emphatically that we must be transformed by the entire renewal of mind and attitude (see Romans 12:2). This is accomplished by a complete, diligent and thorough study of God’s Word.

If you are a Christ-follower, can you trust that God will always and forever do what is best in your life? Can you accept that His love is perfect and He will always respond to you out of that love? Your answer would be yes, I am sure. But we still battle with the seventy-seven percent negative self-talk. There are many ways I could encourage you in the battle, but let me just challenge you with one thought. From a personal perspective, I have been meditating on what it means to really trust God. It seems to me that we have a strong, but misplaced desire to trust our Father. Our emphasis is pre-occupied with ourselves, and managing trust without experiencing it. You and I can say we are trusting the Father, but releasing our control and depending on Him to respond in love – now that is real trust.

When you and I release control and experience the joy of trusting Him, our thoughts can easily move from self-doubt to real life-changing faith. Could our seventy-seven percent negative self- talk turn positive? It just may sound like this: “Life is hard, but He will guide me to retirement,” “I feel dumb sometimes, but God created me for a purpose,” “My child is wandering, but my Lord is seeking Him,” and “I don’t know why this happened, but I know His grace will guide me.” Look at everything through His love; stop being pre-occupied with all that could be wrong, and simply trust the One who will always and forever do the best for you. Rid yourself of the seventy-seven percent. Trust Him!

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