Habits of Grace: Talking to Yourself is Okay

Honestly, I have gotten a little more than behind on some of the things I’ve wanted to get done this month.

I’ve been in a bit of a slump, listening to myself say that I’m not accomplishing anything. The things I do aren’t worth anything if they don’t make money. I’m slacking by not completing projects. I’m not worth much.

Well, aren’t I just a little liar.

This weeks study on grace focused a lot on that notion of listening to lies you tell yourself, rather than telling yourself the truth of the gospel and the story presented in the Bible.

We must know our story and the Bible to set ourselves up to accept the grace we’ve been given.

So here are my thoughts on this week’s study and how I may apply these findings in real life.

Day 4 – Preaching the Gospel to Yourself

Question 4: What captures your idle thoughts? What fears or hopes fill your spare moments?

I’m not sure what an idle thought looks like to me. My brain always seems to be processing or planning something. I recently realized that I classify as a “highly sensitive person.” I’m hyper aware of the things around me and the future repercussions of one action over another. My brain looks to plan out the next move and to make the most efficient decision. My brain is always set on accomplishment rather than meditation. Idle thoughts for me actually might be daydreaming how a scene in real life will play out. Maybe my idle thoughts are that play-by-play of the potential future. I have a fear of failure in the everyday, fear of making others feel uncomfortable or upset. And I have a lot of hopes to accomplish things during the day or week but I have a fear of not fulfilling those hopes and dreams. I have a fear of not doing enough. I have a fear of not living to the fullest. So that feeling set next to my play-by-play of the future don’t seem to go well together.

Question 5: Reflect on your answer to number 4. How would you preach the gospel to yourself in view of your specific need?

I might say to myself something like… Don’t dwell on the future, because the future is set. The future is won and accomplished by Christ on the cross. Accept the grace you’ve been given to live and to not plan what has already been planned for you. You cannot plan a better outcome than the one achieved through Christ. Every day is won already. Every day a victory in Christ. Accept the breath given to you to breathe. Accept your freedom.

 

Day 5 – Bible Reading is an Art

Question 4: Perhaps you’ve read the whole Bible through. If so, summarize your experience and the value of it.

I have read the whole Bible through. I jumped around throughout and I don’t remember much of what I read. But I carry with me the overall sense of the Bible story: creation to salvation to redemption. That overarching view of the story, our story, is something that helps me remember the gospel in my daily worldview. Some parts of reading through the Bible were grueling. But I really enjoyed the prophets and the New Testament. Looking back on those beginning books of the Bible though, I now realize that I just like to skip over the day to day life of living in the era of the Old Testament. I like to envision and dream of more magical things. But really maybe what I need to do is reread those beginning books of the Bible and see how my everyday living compares to the Old Testament way of everyday living. There’s value in every part and identifying yourself in the Bible is also valuable, to see how you’re no different than the people you read about. You receive an overall sense of humanity. Not the perfectly crafted humanity that we see on Instagram that makes you wonder if anyone has any flaws or faults. It’s an honest experience to read the Bible.

And this is a good reminder to myself, because I haven’t picked up the actual Bible in like a month.

 

Day 6 – The X Factor in Bible Reading

Question 1: When I study the Bible I keep reading. I don’t like to stop.

Question 2: I’m definitely more of a raker rather than a digger when it comes to Bible reading. I like the big picture. I will compensate for depth by writing questions at the end of each chapter of the Bible I read. Points to reflect on and work through.

Question 3: I need to pause to ask hard questions and I need to pause to propose answers to those questions. I find it hard to answer those questions biblically though. Maybe that comes with wisdom and insight gained over the years from reading Scripture.

 

Application

To apply this week’s study in a real way, I need to preach the gospel to myself day and night. I also want to remember the things I do accomplish everyday, however small, rather than count the things I didn’t accomplish. I can print what I need to preach to myself and stick it in my planner, where I keep the list of all the things I want to do in a day.

And maybe there are things you need to tell yourself everyday, rather than listening to yourself tell yourself things that aren’t even true. Write your own little self-preaching paragraph about the thing you need to remember most.

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