In the 1980’s, the greatest problem solver on TV was MacGyver. Once, trapped in the Swiss Alps and being chased by Soviet soldiers, he made a hot air balloon from homemade glue, scraps of nylon, a metal shed, and some gas canisters. As MacGyver would craft his make-shift invention, the voice in his head would narrate every step with lines like, “If you don’t have the right equipment for the job, you just have to make it yourself,” or, “A paperclip can be a wondrous thing. More times than I can remember, one of these has gotten me out of a tight spot.” MacGyver’s self-talk was crucial as it kept him positive and reminded him of endless possibilities. As a Christian, what should our self-talk be?
“And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garment, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.” (Mark 5:24-29) This woman was one of the greatest self-talkers in history! The voice inside her head is what Paul spoke of when he said, “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2) When she saw Jesus, despite previous failed attempts, her thoughts weren’t, “Here goes another futile effort to be made well.” Would she have pushed through the crowd to just touch Jesus’ clothing if she expected nothing from Jesus? No, her self-talk was confident in the person of Jesus Christ – she expected results.
What we say to ourselves as we try to “MacGyver” our way out of a problem is very important. Paul the apostle commands, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8) When we focus on these things, as Christians, something very incredible happens. The next verse, Paul says, “…practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (4:9) When our self-talk revolves around God, He’s with us, able to “MacGyver” us out of life’s tight spots. That’s why Scripture says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
Let’s be honest, when we’re backed into a corner, most of us aren’t like MacGyver or the woman with the issue of blood; we just dwell on the impossibility of the situation. In those moments, we need Jesus in our head more than ever. Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 10:5, we’re to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” This means every fleeting thought we have – thoughts of panic, hopelessness, and fear – should be given over to Jesus Christ. If MacGyver puts his hope in a paper clip, how much more hope can we have in the Son of God?