“You are never going to get this finished on time.” “You are so incredibly unqualified for this.” “You are a train wreck.” “You don’t deserve to be here.” “You are a mistake waiting to happen.” “What are you going to do when they find out?” “Idiot.”
Those are not very encouraging statements, are they? I didn’t think so either when I heard them. If they were supposed to motivate me, they didn’t work. In fact, they had the complete opposite effect. They discouraged me and left me feeling unmotivated and tempted to quit.
Who would make such disempowering statements? That guy must have been a real jerk.
Well, that jerk was me.
I didn’t say those things out loud. Well, most of them I didn’t say out loud. I do have a bad habit of calling myself an idiot out loud when I make a mistake. I have to be careful about that and clarify that I’m not calling the person I’m with an idiot. I try to do that before they punch me in the nose.
No, those voices are typically heard by no one but me. They are inside my head when I feel over my head. I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but inside I can be a big bundle of insecurities, trying desperately to make sure no one else finds out what an imposter I am.
And while it may motivate me to try harder to do and produce more so that I can prove my worth by achievement, it doesn’t motivate me to be all that I have been created to be.
My favorite son-in-law is a mental health professional. He told me awhile back that he often tells his clients that the accusing voices in their heads would sound absolutely ridiculous if they were to say those things out loud. Then he has them try it out loud to see that it’s true.
When I call myself an idiot in Mrs. Sweetie’s presence, she always intervenes. “Don’t you dare talk to my husband that way!” I am so blessed to have a best friend and partner when my worst enemy starts mouthing off.
Here’s the thing about being our own worst enemies: we are not intended to be so. God didn’t give us internal accusatory wiring. When we find ourselves speaking those disempowering and accusing thoughts to ourselves, we can know that they don’t originate with the God who created us in His image and sent His Son to die for us.
The God for whom our lives matter will never, ever, call us idiots, mistakes, and train wrecks. He may allow us to fail so that we will learn to rely more on Him and less on ourselves, but His voice is not one of angry accuser.
The God for whom our lives matter will never, ever, call us idiots, mistakes, and train wrecks. Click To Tweet
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
Let the voice of your Friend speak louder than all your enemies.