Healthy Leadership Self-Talk: It’s Not What You Are Called, It’s What You Answer To

Can I be honest with you? It’s been a tough few weeks. I feel like I have been in an emotional funk. As my emotions sink lower and lower I begin to put a story to why things are happening or not happening to me. That story is usually unhealthy but I continue to put a negative spin on it none-the-less.

For Example:

I look at how many times I spoke last year at various churches and events - 35!
To that I say, “Great, awesome, I must be in God’s will!”


I compare that with this year - 19!
To that I say, “I’m not a very good communicator, I must have said something wrong, I must not be in God’s will.”

Have You Ever Felt That Way?

Here’s what I know. We are all broken. We were born that way. The trouble I have is I tend to want to live in my brokenness rather than with my brokenness and believe me, there is a difference.

I don’t need to live in a garbage can to know that it smells yet I live with three of them on the side of my house. I guess you could say I live with trash but I don’t live in trash. Why then do I live in my brokenness rather than with it?

When I live in my brokenness I feel like my inner voice is trash talking me, calling me different names and quite often I turn around and answer. Something jogs my memory and for a moment I recall past mistakes and failures and before I know it I feel ashamed and accused. It’s like I am sitting in “brokenness class” and the teacher is calling out names...

Useless? “Yep”
Shameful? “That’s Me”
Stupid? “Here”
Worthless? “Uh huh”
Afraid? “Yes”
Worry? “Present”

Trash talking and name calling are both meant to keep us in our brokenness and define who we are and it’s simply not healthy nor is it true. We all make mistakes but we must remember mistakes are choices not people.

The reason why living in brokenness is like living in trash is because it stinks and it eventually rubs off on others. Living with brokenness, like living with trash, is a better alternative. However, if you don’t remember to take the trash out every once in a while you will find yourself living in it instead of with it. I need to remind myself to take out the trash every day or I will get used to the smell.

Now, When the trash talking or name calling begins and our enemy tries to shame us into thinking those names have become synonymous with who we really are we can simply take him out and dispose of him on the side of the house.

There is no need for us to live in brokenness, fear, shame and regret. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s not what you are called, it’s what you answer to.

What if David would have answered to murderer or adulterer? If he had, he would not have been able to answer to “I am a man after God’s own heart.” It’s not what you are called, it’s what you answer to.

What if Jacob would have answered to liar or cheater? If he had, he would not have been able to answer to “I am the father of many nations.”  It’s not what you are called, it’s what you answer to.

What I am saying is don’t let past mistakes or failures define who you are. When we live in brokenness we let it define us. When we live with brokenness God uses it for His glory. After all, His power is made perfect in weakness.

Photo Credit: Empowered Living