When Your Inner Critics Need To Be Quiet

We are often our own worst critics when it comes to the way we see ourselves. 

I know that I am.  

A cinema reel plays in my imagination of everything I have messed up or done wrong on any given day.  And this is often accompanied by a chorus of voices telling me I'm not enough. 

The chorus seems like a combination of my voice but at different stages of my life. 

You might wonder about my sanity, but I've talked to enough people to know that I'm not alone in how I critique myself.  We all have our own methods, both real and imagined. 

I've read enough of the letters of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament to know that he struggled with the same kind of inner criticism that many of us do.  

Even though he seemed confident in most of his writing about himself, his purpose, and his faith, Paul also admitted to having doubts, fears, struggles, and a need to "die" to himself daily. 

This resonates with me because there are days when I need to do just that so I can get out of bed and keep moving.  The only way sometimes is to let go of the cinema and the chorus, to die to my false self, and embrace my truest self more fully. 

The other day, I was reading a wonderful meditation by Kate Bowler and a prayer she wrote absolutely put into words the feeling of letting go of all the negative self-talk I often employ.  

Here are the two most impactful stanzas, in my opinion: 
Lord, I've spent so much time 
imagining my worst qualities
that its difficult to imagine that you
numbered the hairs on my head, 
painted my eyes this color, 
and soften at the sound of my voice. 

You are not the bathroom scale, 
or a work evaluation. 
You are not every ex-partner or ex-friend. 
You know the very best of me. 
You are my cheerleader and champion, 
my memory keeper and favorite friend. 
Flood me with love, love, love
because of who I am, and who I've become, 
and who you made me. 

Come on! What a great prayer to start the day off, am I right? 

I love what this poem/prayer says, but I love what it signifies even more.  It reminds us that we are not the person an awful chorus of naysayers has to say about us.  It tells us who we are in the eyes of a God who loves us beyond our wildest imagination. 

Maybe you woke up today with feelings of inadequacy or that you just aren't enough for whatever you are facing. 

You need to know just how much you are worth.  You haven't run out of chances to become the person you long to become.  The God who loves you and knows you wants more for you than you can know. 

Be encouraged today and be reminded that God is for you and beside you. 

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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