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Controversial and Thought-Provoking Articles for the Savvy Christian

Bad-Mouthing Myself

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Sunday

Savvy Article #0902

Shut up!  The things I say about myself!  I used to think that I had troubles with other people gossiping about me.  I did, but at least that is other people.  What if I am bad-mouthing myself? What if I am spreading my own bad reputation?

The book, WHOEVER TELLS THE BEST STORY WINS brings up that very possibility. According to the author, Annette Simmons, people tell stories about themselves all the time, and don’t even know it.

To paraphrase, she says that to talk to most people, you’d think their lives are a result of victimization; that their biggest goal is to survive. They seem to long for retirement or for the pain-in-the neck at work to get fired.  Too many people, she says, teach others that life sucks and nothing changes.

Oh my.  Do I talk like that? No matter. I’ve decided to become more aware of the stories I tell about myself, especially with those I don’t know very well.

Reactions to my decision have abounded however.  When I told my Bible study group about the subject of this blog, they thought it was awful.  I was shocked.

Their bug-a-boo?  They have a background in judgmental churches.  They are trying hard to break away from fakery—from presenting a false self.  They are trying to be comfortable before the Lord and others with the way they really are, rather than artificially conforming to a list of ways they should or shouldn’t be.

I get that, and I certainly didn’t mean that when I presented the idea.  In fact, Simmons addresses this. It isn’t that you are now going about being fake with people, but instead, you will be finding out your good points— looking for stories from your life that say what is really good about you and things that are encouraging. You will be searching for and communicating true things about your life.  The only difference is that you will be finding and talking about positive things instead of negative.

Once you understand your good points, you lead with that.  There will be plenty of time to talk to long-time friends about your frustrations and sadness.  But in the worlds of school and career, we all need to know our strengths and lead with those.

Not a bad idea.  Perhaps as I delve into my strong points, I may find out some surprises.  As I tell my truthful stories, could I develop a good reputation?  That would be encouraging, and God apparently thinks that’s important.

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1, NASB)

Okay, so at least I’m convinced it’s a good idea.  Ready, set, go—may the good-mouthing begin.

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


One Response to “Bad-Mouthing Myself”

  1. Robbie Iobst says:

    Denise, Love the new look! Tell Mark well done! And I like this topic…makes me wonder about the stories I tell about myself. What will I tell today, you know? Great food for thought! You go, girl! Looking forward to reading more!

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