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.
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.