How to Stop that Condemning Voice
They came ruthlessly and unexpectedly. Little poisonous flaming arrows piercing my skull, infecting my thoughts:
Why don't you take better care of yourself? Isn't your body supposed to be a temple?
I wouldn't wear that if I were you. It draws too much attention to those hips of yours which isn't your best feature at all... I'm not even sure you have a best feature
You're never going to be able to be comfortable in your own skin, because you're never going to be good enough.
Endless rounds of these arrows infect my mind, filling my heart with poisonous dread, guilt and shame. I don't want to listen, I want to ignore them, but they come so fast and so fiercely I am soon overtaken. I grow exhausted, burden-laden as everything I see and touch now becomes infected with the poison:
Why are you even attempting to write?
You should have taken care of that laundry pile yesterday.
You're a horrible mother. Way too permissive and accommodating. You should be tougher.
Arrow after arrow after arrow... and it's only 1pm.
This is what it's like some days. Although there are some common factors, these days usually come out of the blue, knocking me over when I least expect it. I've been here before, too many times. Each time I say "I don't want to be like this ever again!" and I make an ill-fated plan to fix or do better in some way in order to avoid the condemnation.
But not today. Today, I am choosing to do something different.
I am choosing to rely on the power of the Spirit within me and allow the poison to run through me, trusting that it will not defeat me because God's love for me is my protection.
God isn't condemning me. I am no less loved no matter what those poisonous, flaming arrows try to tell me. I am enough no matter what I look like, how well I keep up with the laundry, or how effectively I parent my children. The standards He has for me have been fulfilled forever, freeing me from condemnation of any sort today, or any other day after this.
It's the same for you.
He loves YOU.
The you who feels like a failure. You're not
The you who believes her body is disgusting. It isn't.
The you you who struggles with body-image perfection. Let go.
The you who right this moment is wondering if she will ever be enough. You are because of His grace.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:1-2 NLT)
We have chosen Jesus and because of that no flaming poisonous arrow can ever defeat us. Period.
Will you join me in holding up our shields of faith so that those arrows no longer have any power to infect?
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:10-17 NLT)
Father, bless us with the courage we need to let the poison run through us, trusting that You will be our protection against any harm. Keep our eyes fixed on you, and help us to see ourselves how You do. Remind us of how much we are loved from the inside out. Fill us with Your strength to stand firmly planted with our Shields of Faith lifted and our Swords raised in Your Truth. In Jesus' name, Let It Be So.
Join the conversation: What poisonous flaming arrow do you need to let run through you, trusting that God won't let it defeat you?