Friday, July 10, 2009

Selective Hearing

"You're stupid, ugly, untalented, clumsy, annoying, and, frankly, you can't write a coherent sentence to save your life."

No, I'm not talking about you! I'm talking about me. I'm quoting some of the things that have floated through my brain any number of times on any matter of occasions. I can be going about my business on a very normal day, without a worry, and then, out of the blue, a little voice floats up out of hell and sneaks its way into my brain to rap on it like a woodpecker on steroids.

Like those times when I look back at a days' work on the computer and feel like every paragraph I wrote could have been composed by a drunken chimpanzee. When I am convinced that this whole writing career was a crazy fluke, and I am so far in over my head I'll never surface before running out of air.

Or other times when I feel as though I'm a social misfit, that every time I open my mouth another piece of my brain falls out. That I'm forever doomed to walk the earth as an outcast who does nothing but stick my strappy-sandaled foot in my mouth.

It's a great tool of Satan to make us feel helpless, hopeless and unpalatable to society. Sometimes it seems there's nothing but critical thoughts beating against my skull, and there's all too often that part of me that gives into them... the irrational part of me. Because, seriously, I know better. I'm well aware that the only voice I'm supposed to listen to is the Lord's, and His voice, without doubt, does not sound like a bitter, unhappy teacher disparaging a child in front of the whole class.

On the contrary, His is that still, small voice. The one that's colored with love and grace, even when admonishing and instructing. When He speaks, He blesses. He may discipline, but His words never leave us feeling worthless. They are always for our betterment. He's in the business of breaking the will not the spirit. Spirit-breaking is what Satan's all about.

So the next time I hear that voice in my ear telling me I can't do it, that I'm hopeless, I'll remember the truths of John 10:3-5... "The Gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize His voice and come to Him. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice."

I know the voice I need to listen to, the voice of my Father who only wants what's best for me. He may chastise, but He won't ever disparage, and it's my job to remember that. It's my job to recognize the voice of a stranger and run away.

Even if I'm in my strappy sandals.


Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Awesome post! Next time the voice appears in your head, have me show up there, too. I'd never let anyone talk to you in such lies - even you! We all do it to ourselves. Good thing God loves us. Amazing love, indeed.

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks for watching my back, Lori! :) And I've got your back, too! So grateful the Lord provides us with His Spirit and His people to help us through the craziness of life!