I’ve been paying attention recently to comments that people make. I have found it’s both an advantage and a disadvantage to being a psychologist.
I am always paying attention to everything around me.
I’m always paying attention to what people say, and to what they don’t say.
I’m also always paying attention to what people do, and to what they don’t do.
I’m always listening and paying attention.
Sometimes I’ll say something, but often I won’t –if I’m not invited to offer my opinion, I’ll stay quiet.
What kind of words are you saying? Are you speaking life? Or, giving worry a voice?
Our words have power
I’ve noticed recently that there is a tendency for people to comment what I think they believe to be a generally benign statement, that really isn’t. Let me give you an example.
Just earlier this morning I overheard someone say, “You know, I’m just really worried that…” and then they went on to make the rest of their statement.
And yesterday, a friend and I were having a conversation and she said, “Well, Michelle, I’m just afraid that…”
What they are not realizing is that our words have power. Scripture says that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
When we say things like, “I’m worried that…” or “I’m afraid that…” then we are giving the enemy of our soul an open door to bring about those things that we are worried about.
God tells us to not be worried and to not be afraid. He says, “Fear not!” and “Be anxious for nothing!”
I realize that in both of these examples, they were rather benign circumstances that the individuals voiced concern regarding, and I think what they were trying to express was that they “wonder if…” or perhaps are “concerned about…”
But their words have power.
So when they say “I’m worried that…” or “I’m afraid that…”, they are opening the door for the enemy to bring about those things that they fear and/or are worried about.
Frequently, when I talk to people about the topic of worry, fear, and anxiety, I explain that that is one of the enemy’s tactics to kill our peace.
Don’t give worry a voice
If you’ve read my book, “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression,” you know that one of my chapters is about reclaiming our peace, because the enemy of our soul tries to kill our peace, and he’s quite effective at it.
One of the ways the enemy kills our peace is by bringing about worry, fear, and anxiety. But so often, we let him, with our own words like when we say, “I’m just worried that…” or “I’m afraid that…” Whereas the truth in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”
Change your focus to God
So rather than worrying about something, being anxious or afraid of something, we need to keep our attention focused on God. He already has our circumstances figured out. And we need to be very careful about the words we speak out, because our words have the power to bring life or death into our situation.
Use your words to speak life
Be careful about your words. Speak words of life into your situation, over your loved ones, and over your friends, because they contain power. Keep your thoughts firmly planted on Him and then He will keep you in perfect peace.
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
Resource to Break Anxiety’s Grip
No question, we have a lot to worry about. Children, jobs, homes, health, finances, and more. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety – as if we could. Instead, we need to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence and that we can fight back using the God-given weapons of power, love, and a sound mind.
We can discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
In Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, Dr. Michelle Bengtson shares her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others. She reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com, Books-A-Million, and other fine book retailers.
Click here to learn more: Breaking Anxiety’s Grip
Such truth! If one of the words, worried or afraid, ever come out of my mouth, I try to remember to go back to the Word. Thanks for the reminder today!
I just wrote a blog post, Jesus Speaks Life, sometimes it’s hard to not voice it, that’s what defeats us, but I have also kept quiet and that made it worse too, we all need uplift each other and build each other up.
I never thought about saying something like that and the power it gives to Satan. Thank you for sharing that insight to encourage us to speak God’s Truth over our lives.
I needed these words today Michelle! I believe I am speaking words of life into my life and the life of my family and friends. However, after reading your post, I realize I am prone to speak “I’m afraid” or “I’m concerned.” Thank you for sharing and reminding me the importance of my words!
Yes!!! I never thought about the power of the tongue until two years ago. A friend of mine told me to stop saying “I can’t” along with worry, concern and afraid. She said I was 1) Giving Satan ground to move with and 2) Playing a mind game with myself with such negative words. When I booted those words out of my vocabulary, the thoughts eventually went too. What a perspective change I experienced!!! Thank you for sharing your heart! Visiting from #dancewithjesus
stress and worry sometimes I think that is all I do Thanks for the uplifting post today
come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com
Great insight and thanks for sharing. I’m going to be more aware of how my words aren’t helping the circumstances of my life?
“Keep your thoughts firmly planted on Him and then He will keep you in perfect peace.” I LOVE this! 🙂
“So rather than worrying about something, being anxious or afraid of something, we need to keep our attention focused on God. He already has our circumstances figured out.” So true and encouraging!
This message is just so needed in our day. The pandemic has brought fear, anxiety and worry to an all time high level and people are probably speaking those words 40 times a day not realizing they are speaking death into their circumstances. So thank you for speaking life into us. I think it is amazing that in your first book you gave a chapter to what you eventually wrote as a separate book about these 3 issues the enemy uses against us. God knew that it would be a book all by itself one day and an amazing powerful book for sure!!! So appreciate this message. I try to be careful what I speak just because of you sharing with us!! Love you!
“He already has our circumstances figured out.” Yes He does. Did you read Jesus Calling today? A great one, as well as this was. Thanks, Michelle. It’s my desire to live out Phil 4 and be anxious not one little bit – as Paul said, “NOTHING!” But I’ve always thought that’s because Paul didn’t have kids! Ha Of course, his kids were the churches and they gave lots of causes to worry! As do I. Glad God’s not worried about me.
Hmmm….when I hear someone start out a statement with those words it’s often followed by why they want/need a situation to go in a certain way…usually their way. I tend to to sort of tune it out because generally, they want someone to listen to their opinion and agree with them. Your post helped me to see them in a different light. Instead of thinking, what does this person want/need from me, I can think about what they want/need from Jesus. That is something I am more willing to help them discover because it puts them in charge and takes me out of a conversation or situation where there is no goal. Not sure if that makes sense to you…as a psychologist, you could probably have a field day with it. My daughter is a psychologist as well and I shudder to think about how she analyses me.
Speaking life is a skill that takes time to develop. It’s been something God has been teaching me for so long… and is still teaching me. Thanks for the reminder to change my focus to God when worry comes!
It’s always great finding you in the Grace and Truth link up!
Thanks for this! I know for a fact that the words I say to myself (even in my head) affect the way I behave and the way I feel.
“Our words have power.” Such truth, no matter our situation or our age. Thank you, Michelle, for reminding us. Visiting from Grace & Truth.