Make the voices stop!!! We joke about hearing voices and also consider those who do “hear voices” mentally ill (or, perhaps, demonized); yet, the truth is… we all hear voices. Not audible ones, necessarily, but our minds whiz around and around with different messages. We replay words and phrases we have heard from others in our lives. We hear our parents cheering us on and congratulating us. We hear them reprimanding and shaming us. We hear old teachers either complimenting or admonishing us. We recall thoughtful words from friends and angry words from friends. The older we get, the more voices we store in our heads.
Whether we admit it or not, we all put some stock into what other people say. Even the toughest of men can be wounded by a hateful word from someone who matters to him. When I was nine, I remember riding somewhere with my cousin. He and I were singing along with the radio and he boyishly antagonized, “You can’t sing!” Considering how much I loved and revered my cousin (he was the closest person I had to a brother), I took a lot of stock in his comment. “If he does not think I can sing, then it must be true!” I still sang in private, and sometimes at school, but those words were still there playing over and over again in my head: “You can’t sing!”
Then three years later, I was riding somewhere with the same cousin, singing along with the radio, and he said, “Wow. You can sing!” “Seriously, the very person that made me feel so insecure about my voice suddenly thinks I can sing?” But you know what? That was the year I started singing publically. I allowed his voice and opinion to affect how I perceived myself and my abilities.
Whose voices are swimming in your head, telling you what you can and cannot accomplish, or what talents you do or do not possess? Are these voices speaking the truth or are they only bringing you down? Weigh “their voices” against Scripture. If their words contradict God’s voice (through His Word), you should not listen to them (e.g., you don’t have what it takes, you may as well just give in and have fun because life is short, God does not notice or care what goes on in your life, etc.).
Sometimes our own voice is the culprit. We listen to lies from others for so long that we start parroting them and telling ourselves, “You can’t handle that. Why would you even waste your time on that dream? You will never be disciplined enough to lose your excess weight. You will never be proactive enough to go back to school and get that degree.”
So, again, is your voice telling you the truth? Is it spurring you on to be more Christ-like? Does your constant self-talk pass the Philippians 4 test? “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8, ESV).
Most of the time, our negative internal comments cannot even pass the first part of the Philippians 4 test (i.e., whatever is true).
A few months ago, I ran across a picture that I just loved. It said, “God’s Voice stills you, leads you, reassures you, enlightens you, encourages you, comforts you, calms you, and convicts you.” The other side of the picture read, “Satan’s voice rushes you, pushes you, frightens you, confuses you, discourages you, worries you, obsesses you, and condemns you.” So the next time you are hearing voices in your head, put them up against those lists.
Are you feeling anxious, unsettled, or afraid? Not God’s voice! Are you encouraged, reassured, and reminded of your worth? Not Satan’s voice! When the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, He will never contradict Scripture. When a friend tells you that the Lord is leading her to leave her husband and marry a preacher because He has called her into the ministry, you can be completely assured that she is not hearing from the Lord. If your friend is encouraged to forgive someone who caused her great pain, she is most certainly listening to the Voice of Truth.
Voice of Truth
I love Casting Crowns, but who doesn’t, right? ~smile~ Their song Voice of Truth reminds me that God’s voice is the only voice that matters. We will always be bombarded with negative messages from those around us. Even our own self-talk will try to betray us, but we do not have to accept the lies we hear. We can hold them up to Scripture and see if they are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or praise worthy. If they are not, we simply replace them with the truth.
Lie: I will never be able to forgive my father for leaving me when I was a little girl.
Truth: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
Lie: I have failed far too much for God to forgive me.
Truth: God sent His only son to take the punishment for my sins. He paid the debt. He made it possible for me to repent of my sins and receive His forgiveness. Christ died so that I could be set free and so I could live for Him (1 Peter 2:24).
Enjoy the video, Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns, and start attacking each lie with truth from God’s Word.
Do you tend to believe the voices in your head? Should you? Does your sweetheart struggle to silence negative voices?