Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Yes to God Tuesday: Chapter Four - Speaking Truth to Your Issues...

I'm a week behind, but I WILL catch up on this amazing study of Jennifer Rothschild's book "Self Talk, Soul Talk", which is hosted by Lelia at Write From the Heart.

Jennifer opens this chapter by talking about the bleeding woman from Matthew 9:20-22 (also see Mark 5:25-34). She talks how “this woman had a single, insurmountable issue, and she had endured it for 12 long years.” Doesn’t that sound familiar? Yes, it does. We have issues that we endure, that “complicate everything”, that “challenge us, drain us, isolate us, and perplex us.” We really don’t do ourselves any good when we have issues, especially when we don’t talk to ourselves the way in which we should. I know that for me, I speak to myself so badly that it amazes me.

This woman, however, knew how to talk the right talk to herself and her soul. She put her talk into actions - she talked and walked by faith - and “she reached out her hand and touched Jesus.” And what did He do? He healed her. She knew that if she could only touch Him then He would heal her, and she was right. Why did she know this? Because “she talked to herself”.

But, she didn’t just talk some namby pamby talk to cover up the fact that she’d tried for 12 years via various means to rid herself of her bleeding. “She spoke words of wisdom and truth to her soul.” She no longer was relying on self help, on doctors to cure her, on magic cures. No, she gave up on all those things, and told herself, in wisdom and in truth, to go to the One who she knew could heal her. She didn’t just talk herself into it, she knew. “Her faith invited healing.” Jennifer expands on this and tells how “Jesus never said her soul talk made her well. He said it was her faith...Her soul talk contributed to her faith, but it didn’t replace her faith.”

I love how Jennifer writes that “it’s essential that we center our soul talk on the truth of Scripture and on our faith in Christ.” I guess the key here is that we need to stop thinking that what WE think and tell ourselves will make everything better. No, it won’t. Only faith and trust in God will do that. We must base our self talk and our soul talk on the truth of that fact.

One way of doing this is what Jennifer tells about what she did one day. She “wrenched her gaze from my own crowd of problems and focused for a moment completely on God.” I’ve done that. I’ve been in the midst of a mental, emotional and physical breakdown and literally grabbed for God, leaned on Him, pleaded with Him and sought after Him to release me from my own crazy self talk. Release from my problems only comes from seeking Him through prayer and reading the Scriptures. His truth is in there, His guidance is in there, but we need to learn to stop trying to talk ourselves into feeling good based on what we know. We know nothing compared to Him.

Jennifer leads us into the topic of self-control. I know that my self-control is weak at times. I do, think and say things that are completely nuts and completely against what I know as truth. My 'insane' mind crowds out my 'sane' mind, which I know is the truth. I need, like Jennifer has, “to rely instead on the Spirit’s control in my life – God’s Spirit.”

Jennifer runs through the four roles that the Spirit has in our lives: Counsellor, Christ’s Representative, Teacher and Reminder. A study question at the end of the chapter asks the reader to identify which out of the four roles are needed most in our lives. I answered that I need all of them. As Counsellor so I accept the truth – His truth – in my life instead of worrying about what people think of me. As Christ’s Representative to quieten myself and to hear what the Spirit is saying to me, and asking Him for help when times get tough. As Teacher so I can learn more from God, become less reliant on self while learning how to understand myself better; to know the Paula that God knows. And as a Reminder that God created me “just the way I am”, that I am special, I am His, and I have a purpose.

I could write more and more about this amazing chapter, but time doesn’t allow for it. What I do need to do though is to make sure that I think “praiseworthy” thoughts so that I (and I absolutely love how Jennifer hits home in only a few words with things) “end up at the destination of truth.”

“...destination of truth...”

We all know where that is; right where God’s Spirit is. Jennifer says that “if we follow God’s Spirit, we trade our negative and unprofitable thoughts for thoughts that are positive and fruitful. He is the One who leads us to know what is worthy of our thought closet and what should be thrown in the Dumpster.”

The bleeding woman knew where to find the "destination of truth". Jennifer's closing sentence in the chapter reads -

"She told herself the truth, and that led her straight to Jesus. May you be that woman."

Yes, may I be that woman, and may you be that woman also.

...He turned and looked at her, saying "take heart daughter...your faith has healed you", and from that moment she was healed..." (Paraphrased from Matthew 9:22 NIV)

Speak truth about your issues to yourself with wisdom that our Lord God blesses you with. Remember who you are in Him. We are not 'fashionistas' from the Dumpster; we wear Heavenly Realm fashion, and we must not forget that.

(My post on "Chapter 5 - Tune In: Awake, My Soul" is on its way soon. Now that the introduction to school week is over, life is settling down somewhat at home. Jennifer has some amazing stuff to share in this book, and the book is well worth the read!)


  1. I loved this chapter, Paula. The story of the woman with the issue of blood has always inspired me, but after this chapter, I feel such an affinity for her. Such courage!

    Keep speaking truth to your soul, sister!

  2. Paula... your post is confirming as an extension of my post today, 2/4/2009.

    How awesome is our God to open every door that fits in this category of our self control!!!

    Thank YOU Lord Father for opening this door for the opportunity to learn that my spiritual talk needs to be present, and made my self talk focused on YOU. Thank You for putting Paula in my path. In Jesus' name, amen.

  3. After decades of cluelessness, I've come to accept that when I am at the end of my rope, I am right where God wants me. I'm not sure why we humans have to be "in the middle of a physical, spiritual and mental breakdown" before we truly let go and let God, but that is exactly how I am. Paula, I'm so impressed you continue on with us in this study; my need for perfectionism would tempt me to say, "I'm behind; what's the use?" God will bless your faithful determination!

  4. Paula, my friend, I've been thinking of you and praying for you. Glad to hear that the first week is setteling down. What a big change school can bring.

    I so loved what you said "Release from my problems only comes from seeking Him through prayer and reading the Scriptures. His truth is in there, His guidance is in there, but we need to learn to stop trying to talk ourselves into feeling good based on what we know. We know nothing compared to Him."

    How often do we go to man's wisdom, instead of turning to the real truth. I just heard a sermon on that. There are no extenstions to the Bible everything God has for us is in there. It's his LIVING WORD. I just love this.

    Lots of love my friend.

  5. Paula, I love your openness and clarity. You are such an encouragement! I'm so glad that you are keeping up with this study as your schedule allows. God really blessed Jennifer Rothschild in this book and I know the journey of amamzement will continue. Looking forward to reading your next post. :) Stacy