|The hilarious Cath Bradshaw sharing about her trip to Tanzania and Uganda and how they told her she had an African butt; There were a group of 15 of us that went up from our church.|
Going to C3 Ryde's Women's day on Saturday was a fabulous escape from the drama of regulating pain meds and elevating broken limbs. Events there always are but there's something wonderful about fifteen girls going up and meeting up with friends we haven't seen in a while, being spoilt rotten by the team there and enjoying beautiful worship and teaching which hits home but makes you laugh your socks off at the same time. Love love love it!
There were so many things I took away from the day but one of the things that main speaker Cathy Green shared and that hit home for me was regarding critical voices.
God has prepared good things for each of us to do (Ephesians 2:10) but often we're stopped from doing them by one of two kinds of critical voices. The first is the inner critical voice, the second is the external critical voice.
You probably know the inner critical voice all too well, it's that one that never lets you forget the mistakes you've made, the one that your every effort is not good enough etc.
The external critical voice is the one that comes from someone who constantly tells you or implies that they're not happy with what you're doing.
Cathy gave a true story example of two netball teams. The better, more experienced team won the game by 2 points against their opponents who were also down one player. While the losing team jumped for joy and celebrated because they had only lost by 2 points, the winning team's coach sat them down and gave them a rollicking for only winning by 2 points when they should have won by more considering their opponents were a player down. The winning team were miserable.
Her point? We can be on the winning team but because of an inner or external critical voice, we can look like we are on the losing team.
The voices that we listen to affect what we attempt, how we dream, our confidence and whether we do those good works God has prepared in advance for us to do.
Joyce Meyer, in her very own Meyer-esque way, puts it another way: You've got to separate your WHO from your DO.
Righteousness, being made right with God, is a free gift, it cannot be earned. It is WHO we are, it is where our identity should be.
Our DO is constantly a work in progress and we need to allow ourselves mistakes and do-overs without crushing ourselves or allowing others to crush us.
The more I think on these things, the more I realize just how much of my mental space has been given up to listening to the critical voices (inner or external) and how much of a waste of time and energy it is. Identifying them is the first step to stifling them.
Food for thought.