I know you’ve heard those whispers in your head.
You’re fat. You’re not good enough. Look at that muffin top. Nobody would love you just as you are.
People like you in spite of what you look like. You could do better. You can’t do this. You always fall short. Your best isn’t good enough.
I know because I’ve heard the same whispers.
They get even louder when I step on the scale and see that I’ve gained weight. They start screaming when I see yet another picture of a super fit woman with toned arms and a flat stomach.
If she can look like that, why can’t you? You’ve really screwed your body up. There’s no hope for you now.
My day can change in a split second, going from over-the-moon happy to oh-my-gosh-I’m-a-complete-failure when I hear those whispers. They fill me with guilt and a hopelessness that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to measure up.
I used to listen to them. I used to believe them. So much so that I was convinced nobody could truly like me. I may have been able to tell a joke to make them laugh, or smile and compliment them, or do nice things for them, but I believed they liked the jokes, the compliments, and the nice things, not me.
I believed I had to win people’s love by doing and saying the right things.
It sounds silly now when I say it out loud, but it didn’t feel so silly when I believed it to be true. That’s a heck of a lot of pressure to be putting on yourself on a daily basis.
I’m reading a book right now called More: When a Little Bit of the Spirit Is Not Enough. It’s actually written by my pastor and I’ve been soaking up every word he has to offer. When I was reading through it yesterday, he was going through a few different ways that you can identify God’s voice in your life.
I’ve read through countless books and articles on the topic, because I so want to be able to discern God’s voice in my life, but he offered something that I don’t remember ever hearing before –
One way to recognize the voice of God in your life is by the tone.
It was one of those aha moments where I could almost see that lightbulb illuminating above my head! How could I have missed that all of these years? Of course the Bible is a part of hearing God’s voice, but I had never imagined the tone that accompanied the voice!
And tone is a complete game changer! It adds a level of emotion that makes plain words become meaningful! And when I consider the tone behind so many of the words that go through my thoughts, it boils down to one word – condemnation.
Condemnation is not the voice of God.
God always comes from a place of unconditional love (to a depth we will never fully able able to grasp!), so His voice is never going to beat you up, tear you down, or condemn you.
When God speaks, it is going to be kind, patient, and gentle. He doesn’t take digs at us with sarcasm or hold us up next to one another to determine our worth.
He calls us a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) that has been wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14), and when we are not living smack dab in the middle of that Truth, we are seriously missing out.
It is so possible to know that God loves us on a certain level, but never take it to a deeper place of feeling that love and reigning in your thoughts to follow suit.
Recently, I was told my prayer partner, “It is so much easier to gush about how much God loves you than to accept those same declarations over myself.”
Um..what the heck is that?? His Word and His character is no less true in my life than in yours! How ridiculous!
Do you do the same thing? Believe that those words apply to everybody else, but consider yourself the exception?
You most certainly are not!
It goes deeper than just, “God loves you!” It’s that God knows your every mistake, your every flaw, your every weakness, and it doesn’t affect His love for you one little bit. In fact, He showed His love for you while you were/are still sinning (Romans 5:8).
He didn’t tell you that if you read your Bible enough, if you prayed enough, if you looked a certain way, or if you never gave into temptation that then He would love you!
There are no ifs in unconditional love.
And every word that He ever whispers to you will come from that place. He adores You. You are precious to Him and He wants you to know it and live it!
So, the question then becomes … whose voice are you believing?