I hate to have to tell you this, but you have a multiple personality disorder—an old you and a new you. I know—people have been telling you that for years, but you just didn’t want to believe it. Actually, it’s in the Bible:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22—24 niv).
There you have it—you have to “put off” your old-self and “put on” your new-self. Sounds like a script for a Stephen King novel to me.
Changing your old-self into your new-self begins in your mind; in the way you think and process information. Why is this important? Well—if you don’t process information correctly, your relationships will suffer. (Just ask your spouse.)
At any given point in time you will have four voices going on inside your head and they will usually all sound like your own voice. Yes, I know—weird. These four voices make up your inner dialogue, called “self-talk.” They are:
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit resides deep within your spirit and is always alert to what you are thinking and feeling. He desires to communicate and fellowship with you all the time. Although his voice will sound like your own, it will carry a note of gracious authority and will always speak according to scriptural truth. Often you won’t even hear his voice, but will sense in a moment what he is thinking or feeling.
This is the new you! This is the spirit part of you that was totally recreated at salvation and it is also the soul part of you that is being renewed in your thoughts, emotions, and will areas.
This new you thinks according to Scripture and acts like Jesus. When your new-self is in communion with the Holy Spirit, you will find God’s power working life within you and affecting all your relationships.
This is the old you that dominated your life before you came to know Christ—your old ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. You know, that ugly part of you that you’d like to forget. The truth is, your old “you” still wants to dominate!
Unfortunately, it is part of your sin nature and is connected to your body. Your old-self will be a part of you until you get rid of your body at death. So… you will be dealing with the old-self part of you for a long time.
You have to constantly treat your old-self as if it were a dead, shriveled up, ugly thing that should be buried (see Romans 6). Any part of your thought life that is still thinking according to your old-self habit patterns will work death within you and will contaminate your relationships.
Sometimes a demon will throw a thought into your mind aimed at your old-self. It will usually sound like your own voice in your head, but it isn’t because it is speaking something contrary to Truth.
What you do with this “thought starter” is up to you. You can recognize it as false, rebuke it, and refuse to give it any place in your self-talk, which is an internal action of your new-self.
Or you can grab onto the thought starter and incorporate it into your inner monologue, which is what your old-self will do (bad decision). The resulting inner conversation will work death in you and in your relationships.
- You have four voices in your head competing for your attention at any given time.
- The voices you ignore will eventually dim, but never completely go away.
- The voices you pay attention to will determine your choices and actions.
So what will it be? Your new-self and the Spirit Holy, or your old-self and those pesky little demonic thought starters that can ruin your day?
Tune in next Thursday, and I’ll give you some tips for managing your self-talk.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your signal that you have given your old-self too much place in your thinking?
Susan Gaddis, Helping you build your spiritual legacy
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