The Strength You Need for the Words You Say

“Honey, don’t ever watch ‘so-poppers.'”

That’s what my sweet southern grandma used to tell me every time I visited her. “Mama” taught me a lot through her words and her life. I giggle now at that stern admonishment. As a little girl I vowed I would never watch one — even though I had no idea what in the world a “so-popper” was.

Now, be aware that each time my petite Mama preached her anti-so-popper doctrine; she was sipping a Coca-Cola and her eyes were glued to Days of our Lives or All My Children.

It was not until I was a young adult that I finally realized what she was actually warning me against. The words “soap operas” had gotten lost in her thick as sweet-southern-molasses Georgia accent. While that is actually really good advice from my grandmother, even greater wisdom comes from her favorite Psalm. She quoted it to me often. (Just not during the soaps!)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14, KJV)

Yep, she quoted it in full King James version with a little deep south mixed in! My precious Mama knew the power of words, and she wanted her granddaughter to know that power also.

Do you ever think about the power of words? Of your words? The words you speak to yourself?

The words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are the stuff of our self-talk. The words we speak are not only spoken out loud to others, they often are spoken to ourselves. You know, “You are such an idiot!” or “You can’t do anything right.” Ugh. Those words are ugly and powerful — they damage our souls.

The words of your mouth and meditation of your heart is your self-talk. [Click to Tweet]
That’s why we pray my grandma’s favorite verse — we desperately need our words and meditations to be acceptable to God because when they are acceptable to Him, they will be healthy and life-giving to us.

So, how do you do that? God tells us how in Psalm 19:14. He shows us the standard of our self-talk and the source too.


(If you need help with memorizing this verse, here’s a song I wrote that has helped me!)

The Standard: our standard for what we should say to ourselves is what is acceptable to Him. Sometimes what we accept as permissible when it comes to our self-talk is based on bad habits and low self esteem. God is your Father who loves you perfectly and He doesn’t want anyone talking trash about His daughters — and that includes what we say to and about ourselves. So, if what you say to yourself wouldn’t be acceptable to the God who created and loves you, don’t say it!

Our standard for what we say to ourselves is what is acceptable to God. [Click to Tweet]
If you don’t think it matters much, or if you are so beaten down that you just don’t care, do it for  your Father– your Abba — He cares for you so much more than you may even care for yourself. As you begin to let your inner vocabulary be based on Gods standard, you will find that all that truth you speak to yourself will lift low self-esteem and line up how you see yourself with how God sees you.

But, the best part is that God not only sets the standard, He is the source of our self-talk.

God can redeem all the lies you’ve told yourself and replace them with His truth. [Click to Tweet]
The Source: God is our source of life and He is our source for healthy self-talk. He is our strength. We want to speak correctly to ourselves, but we often are in such bad habits that we feel like we are just too weak to discipline our words to be acceptable to God. But, you can be weak because God is your strength. He is the source for your healthy self-talk, and He can redeem everything (even all the lies you have told yourself) and replace them with truth.
You can be weak because God is your strength. [Click to Tweet]
So, ask God today to reveal if how you speak to yourself is acceptable to Him. If it isn’t, ask Him to be your strength, to change your inner vocabulary and thank Him for being the God who redeems all things — even the destructive self-talk.

Oh, and remember — don’t watch so-poppers! 😉

Can you think of someone who might need this reminder today? Please tag (and encourage!) her in the comments below.

P.S. If this message of soul-talk resonates with you, my book Me, Myself, & Lies shares more about what to say when you talk to yourself.