I was blown away the first time I heard Lauren Daigle’s song “You Say”. The lyrics perfectly describe the battle that most of us fight to believe that what God says about us is true. Here is a sample of her powerful lyrics.
I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know…
I wrote about this topic in my book Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace.
I am drawn to wounded and dysfunctional people like a moth to light. When I hear their stories, I see a familiar pattern. They tend to believe that all the old junk in their lives is still true about them in God’s eyes. Too many followers of Jesus cannot believe they are a new and holy creation.
Recently I saw a T-shirt with this message: “Even if the voices in my head aren’t real they do have some good ideas”.
I got an initial chuckle out of that one. But then I thought, Wait! The voices in my head rarely have good ideas.
I suspect that is true for some of you as well. Sadly, the voices in our heads are real, formidable foes, voices that were programmed from childhood. Negative comments from parents, teachers, coaches, siblings, friends, fellow Christians, and assorted others have laid down deeply grooved tracks in my self-image soundtrack mix. Favorite cuts like these are always cued and ready to be played.
“You will never change.”
“What were you thinking?”
“I can’t believe you did that again.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“I am so disappointed in you.”
And the number one accusation on my personal Top 10 countdown . . .
“How could you be so stupid?”
That one cued up and replayed just this weekend when I locked my rental car keys in the trunk. When you mess up, the voices begin. And then your own voice joins the chorus. “It is true. I am not worthy. I am not enough. I am stupid. I don’t deserve to be loved.”
When you face disappointment, rejection, failure, loss, and trials, self-incriminating remarks flood your mind.
Why wasn’t I a better (pick one) spouse/friend/brother/sister/relative?”
“If I had done (insert action), this would not have happened.”
“Why didn’t I (insert missed opportunity) when I had the chance?”
“Why did I (pick one or more) work too much/travel too much/whatever too much when I should have been there?”
If I may lean on my sports background here, Satan calls the all-out blitz when people of faith go through seasons of trial and doubt. He delights in accusing and trying to rock the very foundation of your faith. Satan is, always has been, and always will be a liar. You have learned to never trust a liar at work or in other relationships. How much more should we pray to recognize and reject the lies that Satan attacks us with during adversity?
There is another voice. It is much softer and requires more effort to hear. It is not a voice of shame. It is a voice of hope, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and grace. You have to slow way down and be quiet to hear this voice.
Lauren Daigle’s lyrics describe this voice poetically.
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
All of us hear those voices from the enemy. The voices from bad experiences in our past may require counseling to help erase them. But for the everyday challenges of the journey, I have learned that the voice we tend to hear first in the spiritual battle is the loud one. Step back, be still, and listen for the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
Our God is a God of forgiveness. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus. Don’t lose heart. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you from leaning on God for comfort because of your shame. That is not from the Lord.
In John we read this amazing promise.
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12, NLT)
Don’t believe the lies. You are a child of God. Beloved. As Lauren Daigle sings this truth I pray that we will believe it today.
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity,
It is true. Believe it.