by Matt Schroeder
Voices are everywhere.
We have countless conversations throughout our days and those conversations inevitably leave voices ringing in our heads. Maybe they said something encouraging and those words breathe life into us. Or maybe they said something tremendously hurtful and that voice rings in our head all day long causing us to despair.
For all the great things technology has brought to our lives, it has inevitably brought MANY more voices into our lives! If you follow 200 people on Twitter, there are 200 hundred extra voices in your life. Some of those voices are God glorifying and some of those voices are filled with cynicism and pessimism.
In spite of all the various voices we hear throughout our day, I think there is one voice that has the power, potential, and ability to influence our lives, for good or bad, like no other voice. And that voice is our own voice.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about others and myself when it comes to our own voice: we think and say things to ourselves that we would NEVER say to someone else!!
I am constantly striving to be a loving shepherd of God’s people, giving them truth and guidance from God’s Word. But there is no question that I will say things to someone believing it to be truth from God, and then turn around and not believe those truths for myself. And I believe this is true for many other people as well.
There are voices in our heads that say things like:
I’m such an idiot! How could I drop the ball on that project? My boss is going to be furious
Is God mad at me? I can’t get pregnant and we’ve been praying and fasting for years. Does God even love me? He must not.
My kids have turned out to not follow Jesus; they don’t have any genuine love for Jesus. I was and am a horrible mother!
I can’t believe how overweight I am. Everyone is disgusted with my eating problems.
I’m such a failure at life. Everything I do is wrong and I never seem to be able to get things right.
There’s no way God could love me! He’s probably up in Heaven shaking his head with disappointment at me.
If I could be so blunt and straightforward to ask, when have you ever said any of those things to someone else? NEVER! And I believe you’ve never said those things to someone else partly because you know those would be horribly rude and hurtful things to say, but also because YOU KNOW THOSE THINGS AREN’T TRUE!!!!
When we’re encouraging and counseling our brothers and sisters, we often look at them and their situation through the lenses of how God and Scripture see them. We speak and declare truth over our brothers and sisters because we KNOW IT’S TRUTH!
Yet so many times we don’t believe truth for ourselves with the same intensity and passion. We don’t get the same sick feeling when we see ourselves believing lies from the enemy. We often agree with the lies and allow them to fumigate.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 should be a bedrock text for us:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy stongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
An attack on the identity of a child of God is an attack on God! The enemies arguments and lofty opinions are to get us to not believe what God has declared as truth for his children. Just like we be passionate about putting false doctrine to death, we be passionate about putting false identity to death.
By taking every thought captive to obey Christ! Use the weapons of warfare we have in Christ: Holy Spirit, Scripture, community, prayer and fasting, Truth, and worship!
So, my encouragement or challenge to us all is next time we encourage and strengthen another brother or sister who is struggling with identity, I want us to then immediately speak those same words over ourselves and believe truth for ourselves!
Believe the voice that is constantly being sung over the children of God, “I love you!”