Sunday, February 3, 2008

Condemning Voices

by Donna L. Watkins

Do you hear those loud voices throughout the day telling you that you can't do anything right? You can say it's the devil talking to you ... but actually the devils don't need to talk to us. We've been doing the job just fine for many years!

© 2007 Donna L. Watkins - Brown Thrasher at Dining Room Window
Growing up a lot of things are put into our brains. As children we don't have the ability to reason many of them before the age of 8 so we get quite a bit of warped thinking stored away. Everybody's childhood is filled with misunderstandings and mistreatments.

Life isn't fair on this planet so don't let anybody convince you somebody's got it real good. We all have to process through this stuff and Christ gives us the ability to do it.

We grow up thinking we're expected to be perfect children and sometimes that carries over in our adult like. We continue trying to be perfect. Not that it's possible, but it may take many years before we're willing to admit that we're being foolish trying to be perfect. We are our own taskmasters and if you look long and hard ... we've been harder on ourselves than anybody else in our life has ever been.

The events of the past happened and are done ... but if we're reliving them and rehearsing them and bringing them into each and every day year after year, then we've not only got to deal with forgiveness for those who offended us in the past. We need to forgive ourselves for being our own tormenter.

I spent years hearing voices that I would say was the Holy Spirit reminding me to do better. To not make that choice because it wasn't the best one for me. I would deliberate parts of my life on a continual looping tape. Over and over, day after day, year after year, because I wanted to be the best I could be for Christ. I wanted to do as much as possible for the Lord and my family and be all I could be. Live to the fullest in the BEST way every day.

We get hung up in trying to be the best. Remember in Luke 9 there was an argument among the disciples on who which of them would be the greatest. Jesus said, "For he who is least among you all - he is the greatest." So why do we want to be perfect and great?

When you find yourself struggling with those thoughts of being perfect and your head is condemning every move you make, take control of yourself! The Holy Spirit doesn't shout. Those loud voices are playback tapes. They are not God trying to make you a better person. You will never become a better person by listening to condemnation all day long.

Renewing the mind is your only way out and it takes some time to erase that garbage. The fastest way to do it is to replace the lies is to cover them with Truth. At first you will need reminders because those thoughts are in a deep rut that just keeps running.

You can place Scripture cards around the house, but it gets rather cumbersome and you really only need a few short statements of Truth and you can memorize those. Just like those same messages keep repeating without much variation, you can repeat the Truth with its power of effectiveness.

To remind you to do so, put star stickers around the house. Make sure they're the kind that you can easily remove or you'll be condemning yourself when you want to take them away. Make sure that no matter where you are throughout the day, that you have stars around you. Even if you have to put them on your clothes, hands or nails.

Think of God making all the stars in the sky and then remember that the Bible says He knows how many hairs are on your head. To me that's a picture of somebody that loves you. Read Psalm 139 every morning and at night before bed if you are troubled with evil thoughts that disturb your sleep. Throughout the day I repeat, "I am loved. I love me. I accept me. I perform for no one. I am free to be me. God created me in His image."

That's what works for me. I have less and less thoughts and my reaction time is down to minutes rather than hours or days as it used to be. It takes time. Differing amounts for different people. It will depend on how many years you've been sowing the bad seeds in.

When I began I got discouraged fast and wanted to give up and go back to whining and griping, so I created an intersection. Did I want to continue on the road to God (straight ahead) or take a turn into destruction? I would picture the intersection and think this thought: "Even if it takes the next few years, isn't that better than living like this for the rest of my life?"

That whining child inside will answer no, but that's when you feel the tug of the Holy Spirit and move ahead visualizing Psalm 139:5: "You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me." God wants you to know His love. You can't experience it if you are dragging yourself through hell all day long.

Get your stars, memorize the statements that work for you, and don't let anything keep you from beginning and ending the day with Psalm 139:5. And don't zone out as you read it for the 10th and 50th time. It's a love letter from God to you!

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