What Your Self-Talk Says About What Motivates You | Poppy Smith


melancholy-689453_1280I spoke recently to a friend who is super-efficient, incredibly capable, and the rock on which her boss relies. But as we talked, she confessed to being motivated by guilt thinking, I should do this. I must do that. If I don’t, then who will—and then what? If I’m serving the Lord then I have to say YES to everything.

Do you recognize these kinds of nagging thoughts that motivate you to stay on an exhausting treadmill? Do you believe it is the Lord pushing you to the limits of your strength before He says, “Enough!”? Does that fit the One who actually said, “Come to me and I will give you rest”—not non-stop stress?

Let’s look at the importance of examining our self-talk. If guilt or any other belief motivates what you do, stop and ask yourself:

  • Is this belief coming from the Lord—or is it coming from my distorted ideas of serving God?
  • Is my inability to set boundaries coming from my own inner needs?
  • Is my motivation consistent with God’s loving purposes for me? Yes, that does include working, pressing on, and persevering in serving Him—but it also includes experiencing His peace, joy, and the fruit of a Spirit-led, rather than guilt-led life.

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
(Colossians 3:17)

Let me ask you:

  1. Have you talked honestly with God about your thoughts, struggles and responses?
  2. What do you sense He is saying to you?
  3. What’s your response?

God wants you to serve Him with joy so ask Him for a fresh motivation, a fresh excitement at being part of what He is doing in the world, and fresh energy to serve Him. Then get back to work!


POPPY SMITH is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. She is funny, deep, transparent, and passionate about inspiring women to make their lives count for God. A former Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader with a Masters in Spiritual Formation, Poppy is a multi-published author whose speaking ministry has taken her across the nation and to over twenty countries.

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