Confession: I talk to myself.

My hunch is that you do, too.

Sure, the mumbling when we can’t find our car keys.

But I’m talking about something deeper—the words you’re really saying to yourself.

Today, I want to introduce you to an amazing friend and Bible teacher, Jennifer Rothschild.

You may have heard her voice, her story as a founder of Fresh Grounded Faith conferences and author of books including Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are, God Is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, and Me, Myself, and Lies: What To Say When You Talk To Yourself

Today is Day 31 in the #LentChallenge of #Beloved. As we dive into John 17, allow Jennifer’s words and insights to wash over you.

Here’s sweet Jennifer:

Have you ever really listened to what you say when you talk to yourself?

Aw…come on…you know you talk to yourself. We all do.

Sure, you hear yourself mutter silent words every now and then, but…

Have you ever really listened to what you are saying to your own soul?  

We all talk to ourselves.

Some of the things we say to ourselves are helpful and wise. Some are constructive and even instructive. But, then there are those choice words and phrases that aren’t constructive—they’re downright destructive. Some of the things we say to our souls are unkind, unwise and well, U-G-L-Y.

God created our souls and He gave us truth to speak to our souls. And truth, even when it is hard to hear, is never unkind.  

Speaking God’s truth to ourselves can change our thinking and change our lives. When the words we speak to our own souls are based on God’s Word, we can be confident we are speaking truth.

Truth sets our minds on what is wise and good; truth stabilizes our wobbly emotions and Truth sanctifies us.  

Jesus prayed for His disciples and He prayed for you and me that we would be sanctified in the truth which means set apart, made pure and free from sin and guilt, in and through His Word.

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is Truth.” —John 17:17

Since God’s truth sanctifies us and since God’s Word is truth…what does truth sound like?

Listen with me to the One who is full of grace and truth. Consider the way Jesus used words. He demonstrates what wisely spoken truth sounds like.

A brief account in the Gospel of Luke gives us a clue.

Jesus had come back home to Nazareth for a visit, and He stood in the synagogue on the Sabbath to teach. Dr. Luke tells us in verse 22 of chapter 4 that after Jesus finished speaking, “All spoke well of him and were amazed [or astonished] at the gracious words that came from his lips.”

His words were gracious.

A few verses and several cities later, we see Jesus again in a synagogue on the Sabbath. This time He is in Capernaum. The people are “amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.”

His words were powerful.

Jesus was known not only for His gracious words, but also for His authoritative speech.

Isn’t that what we seek in our own soul talk?

The truth is always authoritative and gracious. Authoritative words should never be harsh, and gracious words should never be without power. If our words reflect God’s words, even we will be amazed and astonished at the One who speaks truth to and through us.

Are the words you speak to yourself gracious?

Are they kind? Or are they harsh?

Do your words condemn you? Are the words you use based on the power and authority of Scripture?

Do you tell yourself the truth without condemning yourself when you make a mistake?

“What difference does it make?” you may ask.

“It’s just me. No one else is affected. No one is listening.”

But that’s just the point. Someone is listening. You are listening. And you are affected by the words you speak to your soul.

You are loved and created by God, and when you hurt yourself with ugly words, you not only hurt yourself, you hurt the One who loves you. The words you say to yourself have the same impact as words you speak to others or the words they speak to you.

Let’s speak Truth—truth that is full of grace and authoritative based on God’s Word.

Discussion Questions

Day 31: John 17 Discussion Questions:  

  1. Who are Jesus’ words primarily directed toward in John 17?
  2. How are you comforted by the words Jesus spoke?
  3. How would you describe the relationship between Jesus and our Father?
  4. Using the Color Method, what stood out to you most from today’s reading?
  5. What do you find most challenging about today’s reading? What do you find most comforting about today’s reading?

Recommended Resources:

How You Feel Is Not Who You Are by Jennifer Rothschild

God Is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Jennifer Rothschild

Me, Myself, and Lies: What To Say When You Talk To Yourself by Jennifer Rothschild

Day 1 | John 1:1-18 | Ash Wednesday: Your Invitation to Discover the Beloved

Day 2 | John 1:19-34 | This One Question Will Leave You Undone

Day 3 | John 1: 35-51 | What to Tell Your Children Before It’s Too Late

Day 4 | John 2:1-12 | The Shocking Miracle of Water Becoming Wine

Day 7 | John 3:22-36 | There’s a Hidden Slip N’ Slide in the Bible — I Found It!

Day 9 | John 5:1-17 | How to Overcome Jealousy

Day 12 | John 6:15-35 | What to Do When You Doubt God

Day 14 | John 7:1-39 | What’s the Difference Between Dead and Living Water?

Day 16 | John 8:1-1 | You Stumped Me… Again

Day 17 | John 8:12-59 | 7 Surprises in the Gospel of John

Day 18 | John 9 | What does spiritual blindness really cost you?

Day 22 | John 12:1-11 | What’s Your Signature Spiritual Scent?

Day 23 | John 12:12-50 | Here is a Method That is Helping Me Relinquish Control

Day 25 | John 15:1-11 | What Does a Vinter See in John 15?

Day 29 | John 16:1-15 | Little Known Ways to Be of Good Cheer

Day 31 | John 17 | The Truth About Soul Talk

Day 33 | John 18:12-40 | Was it Judas or Satan Working through Judas?

Day 35 | John 19:16-30 | What’s a Woman’s Role?

Day 39 | John 21:1-14 | Why is the Weight of the Wait So Heavy on Good Friday?

Day 40 | John 21:15-25 | The Most Powerful Lesson I Learned During Lent