Remember in the movie Bambi when Thumper quoted his dad? “If you can’t say something nice . . . don’t say nothing at all.” Double negative notwithstanding, the little guy spoke the truth.
We teach our kids to be kind to animals. We teach them to be kind to one another: to share, be polite and gentle. We teach them to find the good in others.
I used to have a friend who would pop in intermittently to give me her opinion. She’d say things like, “Your cake is lopsided and everyone will laugh at it” and “Honestly, you look like a cow in those jeans.”
She was nice to other people but when it came to me, she was a real you-know-what! She said things like, “Put down the cookie, Chubs!” Just when I thought I had it all together and looked pretty or was ready to succeed at a task, she’d often chime in with an unkind opinion, shaking my confidence. She didn’t talk to anyone else that way. I didn’t get it. Why was she so mean to me?
Her name is – ME! I used to find myself thinking, and voicing, negativity that I would never have considered saying to anyone else. Sometimes I was downright mean!
If I wouldn’t say those hateful things to others, why did I say them to myself? Doesn’t the Bible say we should love ourselves?
In Mark 12:28, one of the teachers of the law asked Jesus which of all the commandments was the most important. Jesus replied that the most important one is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” The man agreed with Jesus saying, “To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Verse 34 says, “When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’” I believe that means Jesus was acknowledging that the man got it.
Christ said we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Although we would never say nasty things to other people, why is it so easy to say mean things to ourselves? Maybe we’ve heard the criticism of others so often that we have adopted that pattern.
Staying positive isn’t hard once we learn how to ignore Satan. He wants us to believe his lies. He says we are worthless. God says we are priceless. God created us and, as singer Ethel Waters said, “I am somebody cause God don’t make no junk.”
So the next time Satan criticizes you, fight back with Romans 8:1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
You wouldn’t allow someone to insult a friend; you’d speak up. The next time your negative self-talk starts, stick up for yourself like you would for your best friend. Remember the greatest way to combat the liar is with Scripture.
Psalm 139:13-18 reminds us that God knew us from the time we were conceived. Verse 14 says, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
When Satan tells you that you’re fat or ugly or worthless, remind him what it says in 1 Corinthians 6:19: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
You are a daughter of the King! Be kind to yourself. Ephesians 1:4 says, “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” And in 2:10 we learn that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works!
The bottom line here is found in Philippians 4:8-9. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from Me, or seen in Me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Kelly J. Stigliano has been a speaker and writer for over 20 years. She and her husband, Jerry, enjoy life in Orange Park, FL. To learn more, visit www.kellystigliano.com.
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