This last weekend I got to go to Colorado for a family reunion, something I haven’t been to since I was a kid. I was so excited to see all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and meet their families too. My aunt Rachel had been planning the reunion for over a year – she had told me about some of the events she had planned, and I couldn’t wait to participate in the games – I love team competition! One thing I wasn’t too excited about was the Aggravation board game match, where there would be single player competition for a shot at a championship trophy. My family loves this game, and many have been playing for years! I on the other hand wasn’t so confident in my skills. My cousin Chris put together the game brackets for the first round and I found out I was playing against 2 of the people I saw as best at the game, my grandfather, and cousin Jeremy. My first reaction was to plead with Chris to change the bracket – to put me in an “easier” match. But after a few minutes of heckling him, Chris was firm that the brackets were set! My uncle Dan was standing next to me while I was groaning about my poor position and started sharing some wisdom with me, wisdom that I’ll never forget. He told me how my younger sister and cousin Kristina played the game, with energy and excitement! They didn’t sit and wonder what the outcome of their game would be, they spoke “I’m winning!” They told the dice the numbers they wanted to roll and saw the results! God had been speaking to me so much about the power of the tongue – I knew Uncle Dan was right! I turned my attitude around, and started to change the words that were flowing inside of my head. Instead of telling myself “I’m going to embarrass myself playing the game with these pros” I started telling myself “I’m going to win this game, I can do this”! Something started happening inside – instead of dread, I started to feel excited about the game. As we started to play, the game did not start out well for me, but I didn’t give up. I spoke aloud that I was going to make a come back, and internally repeated to myself “I can do this” and “I’m going to win”. I noticed as we played that the game was fun! I wasn’t worried about the outcome, or the moves I had to make. I felt joyful and was encouraging the other players too. As the game neared the end, all 4 players were in the same spot, close to victory, and the outcome came to a roll of the dice. I spoke to the dice to roll the number I needed – and eventually they did – I won! The true victory, however, wasn’t winning the game. It was the joy of playing it, and seeing the power of speaking life to myself instead of death, telling myself “I can” instead of “it’s not possible”. Proverbs 18:21 says Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. I experienced that power fully on Saturday night, and “the fruit”, the outcome of speaking life, was delicious! Not only did I have a fun time playing a game with my family, I got to experience what it feels like to overcome defeat.
I want to encourage you to start speaking life over yourself. The best way to do this is by using the truth, which is from the Bible, the Word of God. The Word that you speak over yourself is like medicine that you give to yourself, when you tell yourself the truth, you feel better! One thing I like to do to find the truth is to use the YouVersion Bible app, which allows you to search for Bible verses based on how you are feeling. Another resource I have used is Steve Backlund’s Daily Declarations, which are statements that have been created based on Bible verses. If you want even more, there’s a great book I’m reading now called “The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word” by Joyce Meyer.