Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Finally, brothers, 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.
Philippians 4:8

My recent ponderings were brought about by a fifty-cent country rag-style angel.  The one shown above.  I almost didn't buy it as I wondered what people would think as such items are no longer in vogue, even among those of us who love "country style" decorating.

But then I started thinking about such things and and wondered why we have this "self talk" in the first place.  Who cares if someone who visits doesn't like my angel... it is after all my kitchen.  Some people have kitchen witches, I have a kitchen angel!  I smile each time I see it.

I find myself not listening to the "self talk" that much, anymore.  However, it was a big deal when I was younger.  It's the same talk that says I can't combine English Country with American Primitive in my living room or that I shouldn't leave primitive Christmas items out all year even though I love them, not to mention they look good.

I've learned to be very careful through the years about who influences my "self talk".  Most thinking doesn't hurt anything as it has to do with decorating or fashion or cooking... and is more about style than anything else.  I once stopped using garlic powder in recipes because a famous chef said it is terrible and it took years to realize he was wrong!

But "self talk" influenced by others can be horrible when it becomes a prison and causes us to be manipulated by those whose personalities are more powerful than our own.  Especially when the said opinions or about the "gray areas" of Scripture of how we should dress, our family life, how we educate our children, what media we watch or listen to, what we read, etc.

We all must have discernment, of course, and stay away from that which defiles.  It is important to study the Bible and have good teachers as well as mentors.  This is essential to our growth in Christ.  But there is a difference between mentoring and controlling.

I've been around such people whose strong opinions made their way into my "self talk" and without realizing I was in bondage to what another person believed.  A good teacher and mentor will tell you to "study to show yourself approved" and come to your own conclusion.

Just recently a Bible teacher whom I usually respect did an entire series putting down a famous Christian astronomer because he believes in an "old" universe.  I've seen some of the materials this astronomer has made (including an amazing account of how there has to be a Designer-Creator!) but because of one point of theology... this Bible teacher used a lot of precious air time just to put down another Christian.

It becomes very dangerous when a person doubts the salvation of another because they disagree with their theology or opinions.  It is one thing to choose to dress modestly myself but another to think the woman who wears the low cut gown cannot possibly be a real Christian... or to say one cannot be saved because they "read that book" or "watched that movie" because we all are at different places in our walk with God!

What does this have to do with "self talk"?  Because we can take on what another person says as our own reality and become in bondage without realizing it.  Think of how many times you have heard of a young person who thinks of themselves as ugly or stupid because of a passing statement.

My own husband and his siblings continue to have emotional problems due to words spoken by their parents... untrue opinions which became their own "self talk".  After awhile, they could not separate fact from fiction.

That's why the older I have grown, the more careful I am about who affects my "self talk".  I wish I could remember whose book* it was that talked about Philippians 4:8 and our mental health.  They said they have learned to filter their thoughts through that verse, starting with "Whatsoever is true".

There is a reason we are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5...

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing 
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, 
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

*The book was Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George.


cindy said...

Your words blessed me today. They spoke to my heart and are exactly what I needed to hear.

Linda V said...

A very wise post, Brenda! Thanks for encouraging us!

Vee said...

Nearly every struggle that anyone has in an emotional way is a result of something that someone said, I think. And the father of all lies loves to toss in clinkers, too. Enjoy your kitchen angel. She is very cute. I may have to bring mine up from the basement in solidarity. I always liked her. She just wasn't hip and happening. =)

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I just found your site today and really enjoyed it. I still have angels (three of them) in my living room. Other decorations have come and gone. They've been in various spots since the late 90's. I llked them then, and I still do. I wonder where all of the angels that people had in their homes a few years ago are now. Maybe they will be vintage collectibles in 30 or 40 years. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your blog is great and I'll be dropping by regularly.

suzanne said...

i LOVE this post! every word you wrote spoke to me.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Love this Sunday post as usual! Yes, I agree we have to be careful and cautious. I may not agree with one's theology (example : how to be /not to be baptizied, etc) but I'm not "the boss of that." lol (But I will always stand for the diety of Jesus Christ and that Jesus is the only way to the Father.) And your angel makes me smile too!!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I have a carved wooden angel in my book room. She has hung there since the 80s...I think also that the older one gets the less one is influenced by what is in fashion since it is clear this changes all the time. I try to go with what speaks to me, or is authentic to me...And you are so right about being careful what one says and not being judgmental. How often does it say, "judge not" but it falls on deaf ears and blind eyes.
We can judge actions, but shouldn't judge people. We don't know nearly enough for that. I have a small picture of angels a friend gave me about the time I bought the wooden angel and it is still in place....I used to decorate with angels for Christmas when my legs were better. I pinned a starry dark blue fabric above the mantle where I put a manger scene and hung many, many, many different kinds of angel ornaments in that sky, along with a star in the center. I love it. But now I use a table top tree, though I still have a creche on the mantle. Thanks for reminding me of so many things.....

Mrs.Rabe said...

Cute angel!

You have shared some good wisdom here today...these are the challenging things - those grey areas!

You are right about our words and watching that we filter everything through "whatsoever things are true" before we speak them.

Thanks Brenda!


Anonymous said...

Well spoken (written) post, Brenda. Have just walked through a(nother) lesson of this - thankfully, it was not I who spoke the words but words spoken to me. God is good. He certainly helps us get through those times without choosing to retaliate or make rash decisions that would further harm our relationships. Our reactions and responses will make or break us.
God bless you!

Cheryl said...

I so agree with you (and yet it is so hard) that is is good to ignore the other voices that tell us how we are to decorate and think and feel and live. Oh, that I would learn to listen to HIS voice and seek HIS approval only!

I must say though, that I see a difference in hearing someone's opinion on my decorating, and hearing someone's opinion on a weighty matter such as an old or young earth. Some things are a big deal.

Thanks for stimulating thoughts, Brenda! Your bloggy space is always a place for ideas!

Heather L. said...

Thank you for another good post. I think this plagues everyone -- and it seems that maturity only comes with more years. sigh. but, I guess I'm getting older all the time. Is that a happy thought?

PS: the angel is very cute

PPS: I'm so happy with my china.

In God's Grace, Michelle said...