To the point of being painful, the pattern is almost always the same.
You get out of church—where you’re holy, where you had spiritual conversations about spiritual things—and then you get into your car.
Here is where it usually goes south.
Kids yelling, drivers swerving, you running yellow lights (which are red lights).
Like muscle memory, you’re back to your old self.
Are you a hypocrite?
Maybe. Some of us are, anyway.
But most us, I think, aren’t. Most of us are just stuck. We want to be the person we are at church…yet we are constantly pulled back to be the one in the car: the version of ourselves we don’t want to be.
What’s the solution here? How do we become the good version that we want to be?
The answer is in something called self-talk.
This is the running narrative we tell ourselves. It’s us choosing to focus on the good (being intentional) over the bad (our default).
In Philippians, Paul gives an example of this when he says to “rejoice in the Lord always.” That’s not just a song or hyperbole. It’s an instruction. It something we’re actually supposed to do–even when we don’t feel like it.
The key here is to keep doing it, in spite of our mess ups.
It’s to keep reminding ourselves: “I’m saved by grace, and so I show grace to others” (Ephesians 4:7, 29). Or, “My life is Christs, and so dying is only gain” (Philippians 1:21). Or, “Is this what I should be caring about?” (Matthew 16:26).
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