One of the most important components in combating negative self-talk is to love yourself. This is not a conceited, full of pride love, but a love that comes from knowing who you were made to be. Without this, you cannot fulfill the greatest commandment Jesus gave. Mark 12:30-31, gives us that commandment: Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. Loving yourself the way God intends means taking care of yourself. So why do so many of us have a hard time taking better care of our selves? Part of the answer is negative self-talk that comes from not understanding and accepting who God made us to be.
For example, part of my negative self-talk comes from scriptures I half-remember or take out of context. One I get hung up on is the scripture that says not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think. (Romans 12:3) That is the part of the scripture I always remember. But the second part says "to think, to have sound judgment, think sensibly, and be reasonable based on what God says about you." In other words, I am to love myself based on what God says about me, not what I think or others say. I love how the Complete Jewish says this.
When it comes to loving yourself and understanding your value, it must be based on the standard of God. That standard is that God loved you and gave His only son to die for you and in your place, so you could be accepted into His family. If God loved and valued you that much, it is an insult to him not to love and value yourself.
When we begin to understand our value, we begin to take care of our selves properly. The better we take care of our selves, the less likely we are to engage in negative thought that comes when we are overtired, stressed or hungry. When your defenses are low because you haven't been taking care of yourself, that is when you have less will to combat negative self-talk.
So here are some self-care tips that experts agree on. These will help keep you strong so you can fight and win.
Are you treating yourself as the child of a king would be treated? Not as a spoiled brat, but as someone who has the responsibility to represent their Father's kingdom. If not, what do you need to change in your self-care and self-talk? We want to do those good works which God planned for us and live the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live. (Ephesians 2:10) Being good to our self is an important part of staying strong to combat that negative self-talk.
I realize you have heard this before. It is not something new. What it is, is an invitation to reevaluate and do a sober estimate of yourself, not as you see you, but as God sees you. For today's exercise write a letter to yourself from Jesus. Apart from God, we cannot love our selves. 1 John 4:19 says we can love because He first loved us. Find a quiet place and still your mind. Ask Holy Spirit to guide you as you write. Read this from Song of Solomon 4 to inspire you.
If you would like to share your letter you can do so here in the comments or send it to me in an e-mail. I love hearing how God loves you!