Perspective Pops

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 43:5)

We all talk to ourselves—it’s the brain’s natural way of processing information, and we’d go crazy if the internal chatter permanently stopped. (And yes, it’s biblical; many psalms read like journal entries of David’s self-talk.) But do you ever get stuck in your own head? When those mental ruts are deep, they can shove you back onto the well-worn path of negativity, fatalism, anger, depression, or anxiety, and it can feel close to impossible to speak sensibly to yourself.

What if we were to infuse the gospel into the downward spiral of those inner dialogues? We’d be interrupting our normal rhythms and pointing ourselves back to Christ, the only Source of power big enough to make a permanent difference.

Enter the perspective pop: it’s both a fun project and a memory jogger for when we need to reframe our thoughts. (I made this up last year. What can I say? Sometimes my heart could use some help getting to the good news in the middle of the bad news.)

The next time you’re at Walmart, grab a cheap package of popsicle sticks in the craft area. You can keep them as simple or as ornate as you like (paint, stick-on gems, markers, glitter, washi tape, etc.). Just copy the prompts below—or make up your own—onto one stick at a time and store them in a cute Mason jar for easy access.

  • Scriptural promises that apply here are…
  • God sings over you, calling you… 
  • Something worth celebrating here is…
  • Because you have nothing to lose, hide, fear, or prove…
  • Jesus is better than what you want because…
  • God’s design of you is coming into play here through…
  • Your adoption by the only One whose opinion matters means…
  • I see God at work in you…
  • I see God at work in your situation…
  • Some gospel themes I recognize here are…
  • Truths about God that can comfort you here are…
  • Truths about God that can challenge you here are…
  • The enemy wants to…
  • Jesus has walked this way before you when…
  • Some truth and beauty I notice in this situation is…
  • You can’t lose God’s pleasure in you, so…
  • Faith-filled rest looks like…
  • Jesus’ work on your behalf means…
  • Christ’s cry from the cross that “It is finished” means…
  • Your [longing] is not hinged upon [object/person] but upon…
  • The beauty of Jesus in this situation is…
  • I see God pursuing you…
  • Even if the worst-case scenario happened…
  • Even if this situation never changes until the end of your story…
  • In this situation, God as Father means…
  • In this situation, Jesus as Brother means…
  • In this situation, the Spirit as Helper means…
  • Lies I’m hearing you believe are…
  • Because of the life/death/resurrection of Christ…
  • You’re not defined by…
  • God’s record of faithfulness in your life/world history points to…
  • The gospel is good news here because…
  • This situation makes heaven such a hope because…

It’s as simple as that. You can use the prompts to guide your prayer and journaling. Or try thinking through one every hour. Or take an afternoon to work through them all. However you need to drag the gospel to your heart when the mental shadows close in, rest in the fact that you’re not doing it alone. The Spirit is right there with you, urging you to remember true things and empowering you to do so. Now go make your perspective pops and start talking to yourself!

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