There are two kinds of negative talk:
1. Negative Self-Talk
2. Negative Gossip
i have done a lot of both of in my lifetime.
Negative self-talk undervalues God's magnificent creation (YOU!).
Gossip undervalues God's magnificent creation (OTHERS!).
Negative talk to yourself or about others damages the soul. It tears down the pure belief system you were born with and replaces it with a toxic belief system that influences your daily decisions and how you feel towards yourself and others. If you constantly tell yourself that you can't do something, you won't be able to do said thing. If you tell yourself that you aren't worth anything, you operate off that belief system, making choices that may temporarily make you feel worthy. If you tell yourself you'll never be good enough, you'll never feel good enough. Your body listens when you talk to it. If you tell it negative things, you'll eventually believe everything you've ever said.
Did you know that most people gossip because it takes the focus off of themselves and all the work they need to do on themselves to find healing? Gossipers love to make others appear worse off than themselves so that they can justify staying in their own toxic mindset.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Scripture tells us to be very careful what we say —not to let anything negative come out of our mouths. It encourages us to speak only words that: are healthy, build each other up, speak love, and promote healing. This just doesn't apply when we speak to others, it also includes speaking to ourselves.
i find myself biting my tongue often (i'm human). i always try to remember that when i feel tempted to gossip about others that i'm only trying to make myself sound better/holier/perfect than another person. This reminds me that i need to do what Matthew 7:5 says:
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
When it comes to beating myself up, that is, talking negatively to my soul, that's exactly where the devil wants me. He encourages that type of behavior. This is a true battle of the mind. If i give in to the negative self talk (or gossip), the devil wins. i have to choose to claim victory in this area of my life, to talk nicely to myself and be patient with myself.
It's hard to stay positive sometimes. Life is chaotic at best. And, sometimes there's not much rest between the calming of one storm and the next one. But, staying and speaking positive (inwardly and outwardly) makes for a happy heart and soul. Talk is contagious, whether it be positive or negative, and you get to choose what your heart and the world hears.
Lord, remind me to be kind and loving in my speech —to myself and others. When i speak negatively, remind me to put a halt to it immediately and apologize for the damage i've done. The stop to negative talk starts with me.