My dad’s house got burnt down when he was younger because one of my grandpa’s employees left an iron on. Growing up, I heard this story multiple times as well as the instruction to never leave an iron on “even for one second,” as my mum would say. Two weeks ago, I was getting ready for church in a hurry and used an iron at some point. My sister and I were walking out of our apartment when the idea that I may have left the iron on, came to my mind. A little voice which was sure, confident and peaceful told me that I had not, accompanied by a quick flashback that provided pictorial proof. Yet, another voice-loud, forceful and resilient, was trying to convince me that I had. That’s how a mental to-and-fro started. I could easily have gone back into my building to check but I was so sure that I had not and was not about to be even more tardy than I already was, for no real reason. I wish I had gone back in to confirm what I already knew, because the latter voice did not leave me alone during the whole hour I was at church. Once I got back home, I met my iron laying unplugged, minding its business quietly.
I had a stint with self-esteem issues during my first year of A-levels, which I would hopefully write about in the near future. During that time, both my parents were very supportive and I remember my mum would always say to me, “Don’t let the devil play tricks on your mind.” I never fully grasped the message she was trying to convey until two weeks ago. I watched myself dwell in fear over something that my mind had conjured up. People say that fear is “false evidence appearing real” and honestly there is some element of truth to this. In my case, it was just a voice tormenting me over an iron but for many, it goes much deeper. From writing yourself off before you even make an attempt, to telling yourself things like no one really likes you, to just being fearful of something bad happening; there are scores of negative thoughts that plague the average person each day. When those thoughts come, how do we react? Do we wallow in those thoughts and let them tear us down or do we listen out for God’s voice?
Since God resides within you, you are much more powerful than every thought that wages war against your mind. In those moments when you are attacked by the lies of the enemy, remind yourself of the things that God already said to you: “You are not condemned(Romans 8:1),” “The Lord is pleased with you(Psalm 149:4),” “Go and sin no more(John 8:11),” “You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14),” and “Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love(Romans 8:38).” If you can, try to hear what God is saying to you in the precise moment. Never chaotic or aggressive, God’s voice will stand significantly different from every other one trying to weigh you down. It assures, it uplifts and it brings peace. When you identify it, hold on to it and silence every other voice that opposes it. Like I always say, it is much easier said than done and there are days when you would rather berate yourself and believe those lies. Having said that, it pays to practice shutting out those voices as practice makes perfect. The more you take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to what God says to you and about you, the more those voices silence themselves.
Prayer Request: Today, we’re praying for everyone who is dealing with loss of any kind-be it the loss of a loved one, financial loss or even the loss of hope; may God heal, comfort and restore as needed.