Because You Said So

by Stacy Sanchez

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5 NIV

Critical people are THE worst!

They can hurt us, make rude comments, judge our decisions, talk about what we’re doing wrong, and rarely have anything nice to say. One way to deal with them is to stop being around them. But this is hard to do when the critical person is YOU.

Sometimes the most powerful voice we believe is the critical voice inside our own heads. And we can’t get away from us.

  • “I can’t.”
  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m not smart enough.”
  • “I’m not pretty enough.”
  • “My personality is too strong.”
  • “Who do I think that I am?”

These are just some of the lies that frolic freely in our minds, because we allow our brains to become playgrounds for self-defeating aphorisms. The lies could have come from our childhood. An adult may have said we will never amount to anything, and we now believe it.

The lies can be our way of sounding humble. “Oh, she is so much more (fill in the blank) than I. Let her do it. She will do it better than me anyway.”

Maybe we find ourselves defining who we are by our past mistakes. We love to beat ourselves up because of something we did a long time ago.

Whatever the source of the lies, the enemy of our souls would love to use our perceived inadequacies to keep us handcuffed to him. But Jesus came to free us from him. He wants to free us from our own self-defeating thoughts.

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:14-17 NIV).

God has proven himself over and over to be faithful and true. Has he ever turned his back on us or let us down? NEVER!Why do we believe the self-condemnation over him? Probably because if we believed God’s truth, we would be responsible to act on it. Ouch! That’s scary. He might want us to step out of our comfort zones. Yikes!

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5 (NIV)

Because you said so… Those are four small words, but they sure pack a powerful punch. We can say, “Because you said in your word”:

I am loved: This is real love-not that we loved God, but He love us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10 NIV

I am beautiful: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

I am free from condemnation: So now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NIV

I am never alone: God is in the midst of her; she shall not me moved; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46:5 NIV

I have value: She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:15 NIV

I am who you say that I am: chosen, adopted, blessed, holy, blameless, loved, daughter, redeemed, forgiven, have purpose, united and included with Christ, predestined, sealed, have inheritance, have a spirit of wisdom, enlightened, have calling, have mighty power and strength. Ephesians 1 NIV

… I will believe you.

“Now with the voice of truth and power of God—armed on the right and armed on the left with righteousness from God—we continue. 2 Corinthians 6:7 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

stacy sanchez

About the author: Stacy Sanchez has been married to her beloved husband, John, for 32 years, is a mother of 5, and a very young grandmother of six (soon to be seven) yummy grandcherubs. She is a pastor, author, and speaker. Her passions include teaching Christians about the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as helping to empower women to become all that God has created them to be. When not teaching or writing, you will find Stacy and John walking on the beach and playing with their grandchildren. You can connect with Stacy at her blog, writetotheheart.org, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Join the conversation: Armed with the truth about who says we are, what will you believe today, because He said so?

How to Recognize the Thief in Your Mind

by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson

“How might Satan be using your health challenges to stop you from reaching your purpose?

My friend’s question caught me by surprise—and turned on a light.

“Oh my,” I gasped. “That book I’d put on hold dealt with that very thing: little strength!”

I’d chosen that focus because the theme tied together the biblical characters I was studying. Now, was the one with little strength.

My friend’s question made me realize I’d taken my health issues as a reason to put the book aside. I believed if this assignment was important to God then He wouldn’t allow me to feel so poorly. Obviously, this book must not matter to Him.

I’d allowed these thoughts to steal my motivation to finish.

Robber Versus Thief

The dictionary shows an important distinction between a robber and a thief. I’ve underlined a key difference.

  • robber takes “something from (someone) by unlawful force or threat of violence.”[1]
    .
  • thief steals, “especially secretly or without open force.” [2]

In John 10:10, Jesus called Satan a thief. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (NIV).

If someone stuck a gun in your back and asked for your wallet, you’d know you were being robbed. But a thief may con you into believing surrendering the same cash is noble—even God’s will.

My friend’s question pulled back the curtain and exposed the thief behind the lies trying to steal my purpose. I realized God wasn’t stopping my project. He was empowering me to write from experience.

A Thief Among Us

John 12 tells the story of Mary anointing Jesus with an expensive perfume and Judas openly criticizing her. He basically called her action a waste and said the ointment, worth a year’s wages, could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

Can you imagine how those harsh words, spoken in front of a house full of people, could have wounded Mary? If she’d believed Judas (who was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples) she could have felt ashamed that she hadn’t been “wiser” in how she showed her love for Jesus. She could have believed she’d disappointed God.

But the Bible says, “He [Judas] did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief” (John 12:6 NIV).

Jesus allowed Judas’s poisonous words to prick the ears of everyone in the room before stepping in to set the record straight. How many were agreeing with Judas?

If you’ve ever been assailed by accusations when you’ve tried to serve Jesus, listen to His words.

“‘Leave her alone,’ said Jesus. ‘Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. …She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her’” (Mark 14:6-9 NIV). (The Ryrie Study Bible says Mark is describing the same scene as in John.)

The thief called Mary’s actions a waste. Jesus called her actions beautiful.

Mary had done “what she could.” She couldn’t stop poverty. She couldn’t protect Jesus from the cruelty He’d suffer on His way to the cross that very week. But she could anoint Him with her love. And Jesus called it beautiful!

Do you recognize the voice that plays in your mind? Jesus’ words infuse joy, life, love, and hope. But Satan’s steal and destroy. Which message do you believe? Don’t let the thief steal the good you can offer Jesus.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10 NIV

[1]https://www.dictionary.com/browse/rob

[2]https://www.dictionary.com/browse/thief?s=t

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debbie wilsonAbout the author: Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman who has experienced an extraordinary God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie speaks, writes, and coaches to help women discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog. debbieWwilson.com

Join the conversation: What words, spoken either in your mind or by someone, have taunted or paralyzed you?

 

Our Words Matter

by Edie Melson

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.                                                                                                                            Proverbs 16:24 ESV

 I love words. I take joy in reading a book where the author transports me to another place. I love movies and plays where the dialogue pierces my heart with healing truth. Most of all, I love it when my words bring comfort and joy to someone else.

God loves words too. In Genesis 1:1 we see how He speaks the world into being. In John 1:14 Jesus is referred to as “The Word became flesh…”. Throughout the Bible we see the power in words, and the warnings of the power—good and bad—they contain.

While I’m careful with the words I write and the words I speak to others, I discovered something else.

I’m not as careful when I choose the words I say to myself. I’m guilty of saying things to me that I wouldn’t allow someone to say to the worst person on earth. And all that negative self-talk can have a huge impact on me. With those cutting words comes a willingness to believe what’s being said. Believing the lies I spoke to myself was destroying me.

Maybe you do the same thing.

“I’m so stupid.”

“I should just quit, I’ll never amount to anything.”

“I’m ugly.”

“I don’t know why anyone would want to hang out with me.”

“I can’t do anything right.”

These lies are not from God, for His view of me is very different. When self-condemning thoughts like these cross my mind, the best anecdote is to speak God’s truth over the lie. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God has uniquely gifted me with an ability to serve Him and build up His Church (1 Corinthians 12:7). He delights in me (Psalm 149:4).

Statistics tell us that when we speak negative things to someone close to us, it takes anywhere from eight to sixteen positive things to outweigh one negative remark. We apply that statistic to our kids, our husbands, even our friends—but we ignore the fact that it also holds true when we’re speaking to ourselves.

The truth is, each of us is unique and precious to God. He paid the ultimate price to bring us back to Him. How can we despise what God esteems? Think about how different your outlook might be if you spoke respectfully to yourself?

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.comand on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the conversation: What negative thoughts plague you? What truth from God can help you combat those condemnations?