It’s a commentary of my daily actions voiced by people who have hurt or offended me in the past. Sometimes it’s the voice of someone whose opinion I really care for.
I think it’s something I have always done. In high school, I used to stare at my body and pick it apart after hearing a boyfriend tell me I had problem areas. It was as though he was standing next to me, pointing everything out that was wrong with me. I allowed those thoughts to control me and they remained in my mind for several years.
These are the words of my insecurity. These are my worries of what people think or perhaps a bit of pride. It’s tidbits of conversations. It’s my assumption of what some might say when I’m not looking.
Most of the time, the thoughts are so much a part of me that I don’t even realize they are there. They’ve become my constant companion; discouraging me from this and judging me for that.
They attack my mind at the worst possible times: when I’m serving the Lord, making big decisions, or perhaps just deciding to be myself.
I’m talking about these voices as if they’re coming from someone real, but the other day it just hit me …
Sure, some of the things I tell myself are things I have heard people say. Words can have a lasting negative effect. However, at the end of the day, my mind is the only place these words are taking place. Those people aren’t stalking me and breathing over my shoulder with every passing moment. My will is the only one giving them power to control me.
The devil wants to use them to hinder my growth and walk with the Lord. He wants to blow things out of proportion so badly that I am angry and bitter with the world – over things that are only happening in my mind.
Yes, bad stuff has happened in real life. I’ve had people be nasty and hurtful. By this point, the problem isn’t with those situations or with people. It’s the fact that it’s still going on in my mind and that I allow the thoughts to control me.
How freeing it was to realize that these thoughts are imaginary. I’ve heard the words spoken in the past, but the playlist on repeat in my mind is truly only in my mind. I’ve got control over whether or not I turn off the stereo.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Imaginations are simply stories we make up in our heads. Our minds get away with us and before we know it, we are way in left field over something that hasn’t happened. (Like all of the times I have thought I have had cancer.)
The best way to overcome these oppressive thoughts is to replace them with Bible. Get in the Word, meditate on what you read that day, listen to good music, and focus on good things. If there is truly something you’ve done wrong, ask the Lord to show you and make it right. After that, cast these thoughts down and ask the Lord to help clear your mind.
People are going to say awful things about you. We discussed that in my last post about persecution. People are going to dislike you and sometimes they will be flat out nasty. We can’t do a thing about that. We know that we have to forgive and ask the Lord to help us keep a pure heart toward them. After that, it’s on them.
But their words don’t have to take up residence in our mind. Truly, it’s not even their words anymore. It’s simply the narrative of the enemy (the devil) who wants to hinder and destroy you.
I think realizing this truth can help us avoid a lot of the bitterness that seems to plague people. It can help us to move on and truly let go of past hurts.
Don’t let the words that live in your mind control you. Get in the Word and get your mind focused on Truth. We can’t overcome them in our own power, as the Bible says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We need a right relationship with the Lord and we need to be in His Word.
That will make all the difference. Hopefully, you will be able to turn down the volume on those voices.