The voices we often choose to believe about ourselves don't come from God but come from everyone else but God.
Every Tuesday night, we have about 12-15 young adults from all different walks of life come together in an attempt to create a beautifully imperfect community. We have snacks, get in the Word, and pray for one another. We call them Bridge Groups. These groups have become the lifeblood through my veins as I walk through life. Trust me, if you're a 20something-working-professional, these kinds of groups are the most important things you can invest your time into (more on that in a later blog).
A few weeks ago, however, we talked about the voices that are in our heads and the voices that we choose to believe. The reason why we started talking about this was because one girl shared about how her boyfriend had just broken up with her. Now you have to understand, this girl doesn't speak much during discussion time, so this was incredibly courageous of her to share and completely unexpected by any of us. As she shared about the voices in her head that said, "You're not pretty enough or datable anymore..." I looked around the room and could overtly see people nodding their heads as if to say, "I've struggled with that too." I was shocked by her vulnerability (and so proud of her).
"Who told you that you were naked?" - God
As she wrapped up her thoughts, I was reminded of the story of Adam and Eve and when they first sinned against God (Genesis 3). Right after they sinned, they hid because they were scared. God called out to them (as if he didn't know where they were) and said, "Adam and Eve, where are you?" They replied, "We hid because we were afraid that we were naked." Then God said to them as I believe he says to us time and time again, "Who told you you were naked?"
The voices we often choose to believe about ourselves don't come from God but come from everyone else but God. Who told you you weren't skinny enough? Who told you you weren't talented enough? Who told you you would never be good enough? Who told you you weren't datable or lovable? Who told you that you're the only one struggling with sin or shame? Who told you that you had to do more and work harder to earn God's love? If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, you might want to ask yourself, who's voice are you listening to?
Throughout the years, I've had to turn down these voices in my head in order to hear God's. If you want to hear God's voice, try these three things:
- Slow down. Stop talking and start listening. Take 15-30 minutes in the morning and listen to what God would say about you or to you today. Do that everyday and ask God to speak to you.
- Resistance is your friend. I heard a spiritual director once say that "Resistance is your friend so lean into it." If you hear a phrase in your head that causes resistance, sit there and let God purge your thoughts. Ask yourself, "Why do I feel this way?" and rather than moving on quickly, sit in the uncertainty. Maybe God's trying to renew your mind in this process.
- Seek community. Don't be afraid to share the negative voices you hear in your head to your community. Be vulnerable, not just transparent. Invite others into the process of healing because you're probably not the only one struggling with these thoughts.
My prayer for you today is that you would hear God's voice say over you, "You are my son or daughter, whom I love, in you I'm well pleased."