Joel Osteen — The Right Recording
I want to talk to you today about "The right recording". There's a recording constantly playing in our mind, telling us who we are. The problem for some people is their recording is negative. It's been that way so long, they don't realize it. Something is always telling them: "You're not attractive. You're not talented. You don't have a good personality. You've made too many mistakes". They wonder why they don't feel good about themselves. It's because of that recording. Some of this started back in childhood. Somebody told them they weren't smart, they weren't talented, they would never accomplish much.
My senior year in high school, we all went to talk with the counselor to discuss what we wanted to do in life. My friend told him that he wanted to become a medical doctor, and the counselor may have meant well, but he told my friend that he didn't have the skills to do that. He should look for a field where he did more physical work. My friend came back so deflated. He didn't know any better. He let that play over and over, "You don't have the skills. You're not good enough," and because of those negative words, he never did pursue that dream.
Are you letting what somebody said hold you back? Have you allowed it to become a part of the recording that plays in your mind? The good news is, you control your recording. You don't have to let the negative keep playing. The key is to turn off the old recording and put on a new recording. Here's what should be playing in our mind all through the day: "I am valuable. I am attractive. I am talented. I am disciplined. I am favored. I am blessed. I have a good personality. People like being around me".
Pay attention to what's playing in your mind. Don't go through life being against yourself. Too many people feel wrong on the inside. There's something always reminding them of what they're not and how they don't measure up, and I say this in humility, but I like myself. I feel good about who I am. Here's the key. If you don't love yourself in a healthy way, you're not going to love others. You won't have good relationships if you go around guilty, feeling unattractive, not up to par, and the reason some people don't get along with others is they don't get along with themselves.
If you don't like you, you're not going to like me, and I'm nice. You have to be at peace with yourself before you'll have peace with others. If you're hard on yourself, you'll be hard on them. If you feel wrong about who you are, you'll be critical and find fault with them. You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your spouse, to your children, to your friends to turn off the negative recording. It's poisoning who you are.
When you feel good about yourself, when you know you're valuable, attractive, talented, then you can love others. When you have the right recording, you'll have healthy relationships. Take inventory of what's playing. Any defeating thoughts, "Unworthy," "Not good enough," delete them. Quit dwelling on it, and then take it one step further and start a new recording. It's amazing what happens when, all through the day, you play what God says about you.
The Psalmist said, "You have been fearfully and wonderfully made". Instead of that recording, "You're just average. You don't have much to offer. You're not attractive," delete, delete, delete. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am one of a kind. I am a masterpiece". David said, "God, you have made me in an amazing way. What you have done is wonderful". One version uses the word "Marvelous".
Imagine going through the day with those words playing in our mind: "I'm amazing, I'm wonderful, I'm marvelous". Most of us are not that bold to believe that good about ourselves. We don't have any problem thinking about our faults, what we did wrong, how we don't measure up, but when this new recording comes, the enemy will work overtime to try to keep you from playing it. He doesn't want you to feel good about yourself, and it's going to take boldness to believe that you really are amazing, and I don't mean arrogantly, but if you're going to become who God made you to be, you have to get in agreement with God.
You cannot go around feeling intimidated, like you're average, you don't have anything to offer. I dare you to put on the right recording: "I'm amazing, I've been marvelously made. I'm a masterpiece". It's very simple. The enemy wants you to feel wrong about yourself. God wants you to feel right about yourself. When God created you, he stepped back and said, "That was very good".
And when you get up in the morning, instead of looking in the mirror and thinking, "Look how old I'm getting. Look at all these wrinkles. Look how out of shape I am". Why don't you look in that mirror and say, "Good morning, you amazing thing. Good morning, you fearfully and wonderfully made child of the Most High God". You're not bragging on you. You're bragging on what God has done, and when you feel good about yourself, you'll go further. You'll have better relationships. You'll enjoy life more.
A young lady came up for prayer one time and she was in her early 20s, and she was so beautiful, just striking, like she could be on the cover of any fashion magazine. I asked what she wanted to pray about. She told how she had such low self-esteem, how she felt so unattractive. She'd been dealing with eating disorders and cutting herself. I thought to myself, "You can't find a more beautiful young girl, but she let the wrong recording play, and now it's stuck in her head: 'you're not attractive. You're not valuable. Nobody cares about you.'" They were all lies, but what plays in our mind is extremely powerful. A wrong recording can mess up your life.
She had all the beauty in the world. Her problem was, on the inside, she felt unattractive. Sometimes we think if we can get the outside fixed up, then we'll feel good about ourselves. It's just the opposite. If you'll get the inside fixed, if you'll put on the right recording, it will fix the outside, and we all spend time every morning getting dressed, ready for work, or ready for school, taking a shower, picking out our clothes, ladies, putting your makeup on. We put effort into getting the outside looking the best that we can, and that's good, but a pretty face can't hide low self-esteem. Wearing the latest fashion can't cover up feeling unattractive, and I wonder what would happen if we would take five minutes every morning to get our inner person ready for the day.
What would happen if, before we leave the house, we would remind ourselves who we are? "I am blessed. I am talented. I am forgiven. I am favored. I am strong. I am healthy. I am amazing. I'm a child of the Most High God". Take time to make these positive affirmations over yourself, and if you'll do it in the morning, it will get that recording started off in the right direction. The more you do it, the more it will get down on the inside, and just like the negative can get into your subconscious and hold you back, this positive will push you forward, and it would do good to make a list of those affirmations.
Put them on your cell phone, on your computer, on your bathroom mirror. Several times during the day, read over them. Get that down in your spirit. The more you dwell on the right thoughts, the less room there is for the wrong thoughts. But some ladies, you've never once thought, "I'm beautiful, I'm attractive, I'm amazing". "Well, not me, Joel. Nothing beautiful about me. I'm just ordinary". No, the problem is that wrong recording is keeping you from shining. Every person is made in the image of God. You are beautiful in your own way. You have a beautiful smile. You have a beautiful spirit. You have beautiful skin. Everyone has something that makes them attractive, even my brother Paul. His toes are beautiful.
Start deleting those thoughts that are telling you, "You're unattractive, you're too big, too small. You're not enough of this". Those lies have played long enough. Start playing what God says about you: "You're beautiful, you're valuable, you're amazing," and, ladies, don't ever tell your husband that you're unattractive. Don't ever put yourself down in front of him. He didn't marry you because you were unattractive. He married you because he sees your beauty. Now, you may not see it yet, but when you tell him how you feel unattractive and you don't think you look good, all that's doing is pushing him away, and the last thing you want is for him to start agreeing with you. What if he said, "Yeah, you're right, you are kind of homely"? That'd be World War III.
You may not feel beautiful, but you need to start thinking like you're beautiful, acting like you're beautiful, dressing like you're beautiful. You have be to beautiful on the inside before it's going to come out on the outside. You carry yourself the way you feel about yourself. If you feel unattractive, you are sending out messages even subconsciously that says, "I'm unattractive". If you feel intimidated, less than, not talented, you're projecting that everywhere you go. It will show up in your personality, in your body language, in your posture, and people will treat you based on what you're sending out.
I met a lady one time, and I say this respectfully, but she wasn't necessarily attractive. She didn't have a lot of outer beauty, but on the inside, she had it going on. She wasn't arrogant, but she was confident. She knew she was made in the image of God. She knew she was crowned with favor. She may have looked ordinary, but she thought extraordinary. She carried herself like she was royalty. She dressed like she was headed for the runway. She may have bought it secondhand, but she wore it like it was brand-new.
What was the difference? On the inside, she sees herself as beautiful, talented, strong, and what's on the inside eventually is going to show up on the outside. Because she has the right recording, she naturally exudes strength, beauty, ability. The way you see yourself is the way other people are going to see you. If you see yourself strong, talented, attractive, then people will see you that way. That's what you're sending out.
Now, quit putting yourself down. Quit letting those negative thoughts about you play. When you criticize yourself, even internally, you are criticizing God's creation, and you have enough people, circumstances already against you. Don't be against yourself. When the negative comes up, do yourself a favor, delete it, and switch over to the right recording.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players that's ever played. On july 1, 2014, he posted a picture on social media of him holding a Jersey. The caption read, "On this day 18 years ago, right after I was drafted, the Charlotte Hornets Basketball Team told me they had no use for me, and traded me". He had a pleasant smile on his face. After being told that he wasn't useful, he went on to win five world championships. He was an all-star 18 times, 4 times the most valuable player in the league, 2 times the scoring champion, on and on.
I wonder what would have happened if he had let that phrase constantly play, "You're not useful. You're not talented. You're not good enough". That could've kept him from his destiny. You know what Kobe did? "Delete, that's not going on my recording. I know who I am. I am valuable. I am talented. I have what it takes". He understood this principle.
You cannot replay negative, defeating, limiting words and reach your highest potential. Words are powerful. They're like seeds. When we believe them, when we dwell on them, they'll take root. They can grow and become what was said, and that's great when it's positive, but every person has negative words spoken over them. People try to hold you back. People try to discourage you. Do like him. Delete it, and become who God created you to be.
I know a minister. When he was younger, he traveled with this older, very well-known minister. He was his assistant and went with him everywhere, and even though he was in the background, he believed one day he would have a prominent ministry. But being in the shadows of this other minister that was very popular and very talented, he had to fight intimidation and thoughts telling him that he didn't have what it takes.
Well, one night, after this large meeting, a very prominent, well-known city leader came behind the stage looking for the main minister, but he had already left. The young minster saw him and asked if he could help him. That city leader said, "Well, I wanted the main minister to pray about a situation in my family". Well, the young minister's eyes lit up. He said, "I can pray for you". The man shook his head and said, "No, son, you won't do".
Those words were like a dagger. He was already insecure. He already doubted whether he could do it. He made the mistake of letting that phrase become a part of his recording, over and over, "You won't do. You don't have what it takes," year after year. Any time he tried to step up and got his courage, those words would play louder and louder. One day, he did what I'm asking you to do. He realized that people don't determine our destiny. Negative words spoken over you only have power if you give them power, if you believe them. He hit the delete button and started a new recording: "I am anointed. I am talented. I am exceptional. I am favored. I can do all things through Christ".
He changed the recording. New doors began to open. He went on to become a very prominent minister as well. Years later, that city leader that told him he wouldn't do, that man invited this minister to come speak at a very prestigious gathering, and some of the people that are dismissing you, not giving you the credit, trying to make you feel less than, don't worry, one day, they're going to want what you have. God is preparing a table in the presence of your enemies.
The key is to not let the negative words become a part of your recording. You have to get good at hitting the delete button. May have been for people that should have been speaking faith into you, a parent, a coach, a colleague. They should have been encouraging you. Instead, they told you what you couldn't become, how you don't measure up. Quit dwelling on it. Quit replaying it. They don't know what God put in you, and sometimes the people that said it, they have their own issues. They're insecure. They have a wrong recording. They're just passing it on. Don't take it personally. Delete it, and keep playing what God says about you.
"Hey, you don't have what it takes". "Delete, I am fully loaded and totally equipped". "Well, you're just average. You don't have much to offer". "Delete, I'm one of a kind, I'm exceptional". The enemy wouldn't be trying to stop you if he didn't know something amazing was in your future, and he will use negative words, how you were treated, people trying to leave you out, discount you to try to get that negative recording started. He knows there is nothing more powerful than what you believe about yourself.
Don't let what someone said make you feel less than. That's been playing long enough. It's time to put on a new recording: "You are equipped. You are empowered". God calls you a masterpiece. If anyone calls you anything different, delete it. You have to protect your recording. Don't let it become contaminated. I've learned nobody can make you think something. They can't make you feel inferior, make you feel not talented. You have to give them permission by believing it. Now, quit permitting what you should be deleting. You wouldn't let anyone come into your house.
If a stranger knocked on the door, and you open it, and there he is, holding a can of dynamite or a cup of poison, or he had a rattlesnake, you wouldn't say, "Come on in. Make yourself at home". You would shut that door so fast, lock it, make sure he couldn't get in. What are you allowing in your mind? Are you welcoming poison, negative words spoken over you? Are you making at home lies telling you, "You're not talented, you're not going to get well, not break the addiction"? Why don't you start closing the door to your mind? The scripture says to, "Guard your mind". You have to be selective about what you allow in.
A few years ago, we had a couple of rabbits at home. They were in our backyard in a fenced-in area, and I noticed one didn't look like he was feeling well, kept rubbing the side of his face. Took him to the veterinarian, and gave us some antibiotics, and said that he should get better. We tried that for a week, but it didn't help. The rabbit's face began to swell up. He developed this huge growth right on top of his nose. I took him back to the veterinarian. They examined him more. They discovered that a fly had laid an egg, and somehow, it had got up into the rabbit's nasal passage, and now that larva was growing and about to hatch, and once they got to the root of the problem, they removed it, and the rabbit was fine.
That's what the enemy tries to do. He will plant lies in your mind to try to infect your thinking: "You're not good enough. You're not attractive. You'll never meet the right person. You'll never accomplish that dream". We can try to fix the outside, but until we get to the root of the problem, until we get the infection out and get rid of that wrong recording, it will continue to limit us.
Why don't you feel good about yourself? Why won't you pursue that dream? Why do you go around guilty? If you'll trace it back, you'll find there's a stronghold in your mind. Something has convinced you that "You've made too many mistakes. God can't bless you". "You don't have the talent. You can't start the business". "That person walked out of a relationship. They said you weren't worth loving". Those are lies that you've allowed. The good news is, you can get rid of them. You don't have to spend another minute being infected by wrong thinking. I have the perfect prescription.
If you will start playing what God says about you, that infection will begin to go away. It will heal the places that have been hurt. Instead of dwelling on what somebody said, how they made you feel inferior, when you dwell on, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am a masterpiece," the infection starts to clear up. Instead of playing that recording, "You won't do, you're not good enough," "I am talented. I am creative. I am one of a kind". Those things bring healing, and whatever has held you back, you have the prescription. Delete the lies, and start taking your medicine. Start playing what God says about you. You were not created to go through life infected. You were created to be free, secure, confident, healthy, blessed, successful. Rise up and become who God made you to be.
In the scripture, Moses sent 12 men to spy out the Promised Land, and 10 came back with a negative report. They said, "Moses, we don't have a chance. The people are too big. In our own sights, we were as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sights". Notice how they saw themselves. They didn't say, "The giants were so big, they called us grasshoppers. They insulted us". They said, "We were, in our own sights, as grasshoppers". They went in with a grasshopper mentality. Their thinking was infected before they got there.
Opposition doesn't determine who you are. It reveals who you are, and if you have a grasshopper mentality, you're not going to see your enemies properly. Everything's going to look too big. "Joel, I can't beat this cancer. Did you see the report"? "I can't break the addiction". "I can't get well". The problem is not your enemies. The problem is your thinking. You've been infected with grasshopper disease. You like that?
There were two other spies, Joshua and Caleb, they had a totally different report. They said, "Moses, we are well-able to take the land. Let us go in at once". What was the difference between them and the other ten spies? Their thinking wasn't infected? They were playing the right recording. They knew they were well-able, and when you are free from infection, you'll have a boldness, a confidence to take ground that others think is impossible. Joshua went on to say, "Moses, these enemies will be like bread for us. We will eat them for lunch". He was saying, "This conflict is going to nourish us. We're going to come out stronger".
My question for you is: which group are you in, Joshua and Caleb's, or are you with the ten spies? Have you let your thinking become infected? Are you playing the wrong recording? You can change. Turn that off, delete the lies, and start playing what God says about you. Every morning, take time to get your inner person ready. Start the day off making these positive affirmations over yourself, and then all through the day, keep that playing. Don't let the negative come in.
Let me help you get started. Will you say this with me? Declare it like you mean it: "I am blessed. I am prosperous. I am talented. I am creative. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I am free. I am valuable. I am anointed. I am equipped. I am beautiful. I am attractive. I am amazing. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a child of the Most High God. I have seeds of greatness. I will become all he's created me to be. I am victorious, in Jesus's name".