One thing I love about teaching is the amazing opportunity to help shape a child’s future. Speak into their identity formation. I suppose that is why I am still teaching. Whenever I think of calling it quits, this little voice reminds me that teaching is in my DNA—it is a gift and enabling that God has given me. Just ask my dear lifetime friend, Phyllis, who suffered through years of “playing school in her garage” with me! I even had very organized notebooks before I knew it was an actual methodology. She still credits me today for helping her get a huge jumpstart on the multiplication tables!

Last Wednesday, my twenty middle/junior high writing students took turns presenting their writing assignment. One young man, when asked to read his, jumped out of his chair to share his report, prefacing it with a loud, “I’m a terrible reader! I don’t read good out loud!” (Something to that effect, smile) Immediately, I exclaimed, “WHOA! Rewind. Reset. Sit down and start over. Remember our mantra, ‘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 (Ephesians 4:29)’!”

Without hesitation, because he is remarkable young man, he turned around, sat back down, and then hopped up, this time shouting, “I am a great reader! I will read great out loud!” We all cracked up, hooted and hollered, and cheered him on. It was a great moment in his life story. I truly believe that.

And, then, just moments later, his sister made a remark, a very “feel sorry for me” remark (smile), about being the “middle child.” Once again, I said, “WHOA, Rewind. Reset. Right now you have a choice. You can live the rest of your life giving into the middle child syndrome or you can reset your confession with a positive affirmation about being alive and well!” Now, I know there is truth about birth order, but should we use our birth order to  excuse our behavior or feel sorry for ourselves?

I don’t know about you, but I definitely need God’s help and direction when it comes to living out Ephesians 4:29. As I tell my students, it will take me a lifetime to live that scripture out. So, today, I issue a challenge. When it comes to our self-talk (I know it is a counseling term), is it negatively effecting our daily routines? Does it build up or tear down your God-created identity? Somehow, I don’t think it pleases God when we talk bad about ourselves. Let’s take this week to rewind and reset. Are you game?

Fill out the info below, and I'll send you a link to download the PDF interactive guide, "Why Am I So Angry?" I believe that if you put in the hard work + intentional application of these principles + spiritual fortitude into this healing practice, you will move into a far more meaningful life.

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