Note to self: Stop saying “I can’t”

At some point in my life—not that long ago, I’m afraid—I realized I said these two words a lot.

I can’t memorize like I used to. I can’t keep anything in my head for more than about ten seconds.

I can’t take on one more thing. Really, I would love to, but I just can’t.

I can’t do this by myself, people.

I just can’t break this sin pattern.

At some point—don’t remember what God used to turn on the light—I realized I shouldn’t be saying that.

After all, do I believe the Scripture? And doesn’t the Scripture say, I can do all things through Christ, the one Who strengthens me?

I can fudge around it and say that this Scripture doesn’t really mean that, which I suppose I’ve always done.

But instead, I’d rather think it through.

How about if I remove “I can’t” from my vocabulary and instead choose to say “I don’t want to,” or “God doesn’t want me to” (which might translate to “I shouldn’t”). Or maybe, “I don’t really believe God.” Because really, when you get right down to it, that’s the real story of almost all my “I can’ts.”

Are these words important? You’d better believe it. The words that I choose to use shape my thinking.

I probably still say “I can’t” sometimes without realizing it, because it’s a habit ingrained over many years. But if I do, please correct me. Make me acknowledge “God doesn’t want me to.” Or make me admit “I don’t want to” or “I don’t believe God.” I’d rather deal with the truth.

And maybe I’ll acknowledge that what I’m dealing with is simply a lack of faith. And maybe I’ll say, “In Christ, I can.

~originally published November 2010

2 thoughts on “Note to self: Stop saying “I can’t”

  1. Mother, you have taught me through the years that the words we use shape our thinking. I have come to consider my words much more carefully thanks to you, and with God’s help I think I am changing! Thanks for your humility and eagerness to face the truth. This was an encouraging post to me. Makes me think about my own life in a new light!

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment, Katy. I have to say that it was my own mother whose words first alerted me to the importance of words. God is so gracious to pass His truth through the generations.

I welcome your thoughts