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Red Flags: Can’t, Won’t, Always, Never

  • Deborah 

Let’s dig in to my top ten list of Red Flag Words and Phrases. Let me say up front that I do not ask you to ban these words from your vocabulary. I do however want to sensitize you to how you are using these words. 

Remember red flags mean STOP and adjust if necessary. 

CAN’T: “I can’t ever lose weight. I can’t pray out loud in front of people.” 

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7

Remember that the self-fulfilling prophecy is real and biblical. If you say you can’t you are well on your way to NOT accomplishing the task. 

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

WON’T EVER: “ I won’t ever understand technology. I won’t ever finish this on time.” 

Same as can’t. Speak “won’t ever” over yourself or another person and you are squashing any potential for growth, learning, and soaring. 

The Bible tells you the opposite of “won’t ever.”

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

ALWAYS: “I always say the wrong thing. She always puts me down.” 

The word always is a huge red flag when I work with clients to grab hold of their freedom. Whether you are saying this over yourself or about another person, STOP and simply ask the question, “Is this true?” Most of the time you will acknowledge that it is an extreme word that signifies that heart work needs to be done. 

STOP and ask the Lord to show you the wound that is causing you to feel this way (your feelings are real and are great indicators). Then go through the Five Rs to realign your thinking with God’s truth. (Want to know more about the Five Rs? Here’s the link to the blog series on the process)

NEVER: “I will never amount to anything.”  “Because of my past I will never be able to trust a man/woman again.” 

This another black or white word, when in reality we live in a world of color nuance and shades. My advice is togo through the process I wrote for the word “can’t.” First ask if it is true, then seek the Lord to restore His truth to your mind and thought life. 

Red Flag Words and Phrases are meant to alert you to the need to do some heart work with the Lord. They are not meant to judge or condemn you. Sit with the Lord and His promise to be transformed by the renewal of you mind. 

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

You have Holy Spirit within you. He will guide you into greater freedom and clarity as you spend time to do this work.