Have you ever wondered how to stop the voices that condemn you? The cries in your head and the voices from the world? I recently learned how to stop them. I shut them down as soon as I hear them. It works every time.
Usually it goes like this. I am going about my day, and then something happens that I don’t like, that is a buzz-kill. Maybe, my kid has a fit. I yell in response. Then I reprimand myself internally. “WHO YELLS AT THEIR KIDS,” the voice says. Logically, the voice then tells me that, “You, my dear, are a bad mom, and it’s never getting any better.” Before long, I am agreeing with the voice. Then I spiral down into all the negative things I’ve ever thought about myself. Which, as you might guess, leads to me feeling defeated and hopeless. That is exactly where the enemy wants me.
But the thing about thoughts is that they are not so mundane and pointless as I once thought. 🙂 My thoughts and what I believe about myself determine who I am and what I do. So, if I feel defeated, the odds are that I will stay in one sense or another, defeated. I will not become the person God wants me to be.
Fundamentally, if you want to know how to stop the voices that condemn you, knowing Jesus is really the only way to do this with success. If you don’t know Him, the tips I will share may help for a little while. I think some of these tips are shared by motivational speakers (though in a vastly different way). Lasting, formative change will not happen without the help of the Holy Spirit.
The funny thing about how to stop the voices that condemn you is that you have to retrain your brain. I had no idea, even though I was decently knowledgeable about the Bible, that Jesus wanted me to retrain my brain. I even completed the Bible study by Jennifer Rothschild, “Me, Myself, and Lies” many years ago and knew about the verse, “do not be conformed…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Still, something did not quite click for me.
Ann Voskamp says in The Broken Way, “You are whatever you love. You are, at your very essence, not what you think, but what you love.” Yes, but you don’t really know what you love until you examine your thoughts. Until you really explore the things you say to yourself, you may not know why you do the things you do. You may feel various kinds of emotions and have no idea why you feel them. But feelings are driven by thoughts. Thoughts are driven by beliefs.
Ultimately, it is not just what you think about yourself that matters, but what you think about God. What you believe about God has the ability to change your thoughts, your feelings, and your very being. When we are condemning ourselves (and we are believers), it almost always stems from not believing God. Or not having an adequate picture of what Jesus did for you.
So how to stop the voices that condemn you? As soon as you think a condemning thought, you stop the thought. Then you speak a Scripture verse to your mind instead. To stop condemning voices, you speak the truth, to yourself and others.
If you are in Christ, then what Paul writes in Romans 8:1 is true for you:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Right away, I can tell myself, “Christ no longer condemns you. You are His child. If He, who is God, does not condemn you, then why do you take His position as God and condemn yourself?”
Have you ever stopped to think about what this verse means? This one verse holds so much promise. No fear, no punishment, no condemnation. Hope. Victory. Power.
Maybe this is all simple to you, and you’ve been doing this for years. But for me, I hadn’t. This one simple thing changed my life. It changed the way I interact with myself internally, and even the way I interact with others externally. I wished that someone had shared it with me sooner, so that’s why I am sharing. I don’t want you to go another day listening to the condemning voices, because you do not have to.
You can listen to truth instead. And guess what? The truth sets you free.
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