Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Prevent suicide and depression: It's OK to Talk to Yourself

Controlling our thinking:
By Ada Brownell
Author of the book, Imagine the Future You

You've seen the commercial. Mom washed her teenager's new jeans, causing a crisis.
"My life is over," the young gal says.
She couldn't be serious, we think. Yet, when I became the new teacher of a high school Sunday school, I contacted all who had attended in the past. Before he had time to receive the card, one of them was dead. The young man hung himself from a tree in his parents' front yard. I heard the kid, whose parents had money for booze and cigarettes, killed himself because he had nothing but holey sox to wear.
In preaching about suicide a few weeks later, our pastor emphasized suicide almost always comes as the result of a suggestion from Satan.
But we don't have to listen to the devil. We can capture evil thoughts and refuse to allow them to live our minds. The Apostle Paul wrote, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
If you don't want to be depressed, change the way you talk to yourself, advises Christian psychologists
Frank Minirth and Paul Meier, authors of Happiness is a Choice. "All of us go through each day talking to ourselves in our thoughts. We either talk in a positive or a negative, critical tone."
What had the boy said to himself before he climbed up that tree with a rope? "I can't face those kids at school anymore?" Or, "Nobody cares about me anyway?"
What if he'd thought like my stepbrother, Clarence, who started out in his early teens asking people if he could have their old broken bicycles? He figured out how to fix them, probably at first cannabalizing parts from one old bike he could put on another, and using old paint from my Dad's garage. Then he sold the repaired bicycles. In no time he had a profitable business, at least for someone his age.
Although changing our thinking patterns is not easy, it can be done. "The scripture promises that negative thinking can be changed to positive thinking," says Jerry H. Schmidt, author of Do You Hear What You're Thinking?
He gives a number of scriptures, among them Romans 12:2, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect" (New Living Translation).
Another one is, "If there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things—fix your minds on them. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. And model your way of living on it, and the God peace—of untroubled, undisturbed, well-being—will be with you" (Philippians 4:6-9 Amplified Bible).
Beyond that, we need to decide to believe in ourselves and in the God who created us. Jesus told us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength," and "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:-31). That implies we are to love ourselves, too.
Then believe this scripture, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," (Philippians 4:13).
If you need to, talk to yourself about it!