Is My Pain Talking?

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We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:5

Thought for the Day: Our Lord doesn’t whisper shameful condemnations.

Have you ever been in a situation where something little felt really big? Maybe a look from someone that suddenly makes you feel they don’t like you at all. Or when someone doesn’t return your phone call and you feel like it’s an indication that you’re not important.

Usually these things aren’t true. The look was just a look with no hidden meaning. The missed phone call was just a slip on that person’s to-do list. But if we’re not careful, those misguided feelings can create issues that distract us, discourage us, and trigger past pain to start taunting us.

It happened to me on a certain Friday. My sister, Angee, and I got up at 3:00 a.m. and were in line at a certain retail establishment thirty minutes later. I know. I agree. That’s crazy. But like a hunter stalking prey, I was after something. In this case, the buy-one-get-one-free washer and dryer. Angee was after a half-priced computer.

When the store doors opened at 5:00 a.m., we both scored. Happiness abounded. Then we left to get some breakfast. This is the part of the story where the happiness faded.

In the drive-thru, my credit card was “not approved.”

Let me get this straight. It was approved at the store just five minutes ago when I made a major purchase. But now for a little two-dollar bundle of egg, cheese, Canadian bacon, and English muffin, suddenly I’m not approved?

Not approved.

Not approved.

Ouch.

My sister wasn’t fazed a bit. She whipped out cash, paid for my breakfast, and headed to the next store on our list. But those words “not approved” hung like a black cloud over my head. It bothered the stink out of me. I knew it was just some technical glitch, but that’s not what it felt like.

When that girl leaned out of the drive-thru window and in a hushed tone said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but your card keeps coming up as not approved,” it felt personal.

Really personal.

Suddenly, my past pain and current embarrassment started running its mouth inside my head. You’re nothing but a loser. You are unwanted. You are unloved. You are so disorganized. You are poor. You are not acceptable. You are not approved. And all that pent-up yuck came spewing out on my kids later that afternoon.

I wish I could tie up this story in a nice bow and give you a pretty ending, but I can’t. It was anything but pretty. I felt awful. And I went to bed wondering if the Lord Himself might come down and say, “Lysa TerKeurst, I have had enough of your immature reactions. You are no longer approved to be a Bible study teacher. Look at you!”

But that’s not the Lord’s voice.

Our Lord doesn’t whisper shameful condemnations. Convictions, yes. Condemnations, no.

As I stared wide-eyed into the darkness that enveloped the room, I whispered, “Give me Your voice, Jesus. I need to hear You above all this mess. If I don’t hear You, I’m afraid this darkness is going to swallow me alive.” Nothing came. I couldn’t hear a thing.

So I had a choice. I could lie there in the dark replaying the awful events of the day, or I could turn the light on and read God’s Word — His truth — which is the best thing to do when lies are swarming and attacking like a bunch of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Lies flee in the presence of truth. And while reading God’s truth that night didn’t change the fact that I needed to make things right with my kids the next day, it sure did give me the courage to do so.

Dear Lord, please drown out the other voices… please hush them… and speak. I want to hear You above all the noise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Unglued Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn 

“Not approved.” Shameful condemnations. The voice of discouragement. Have you ever had a negative proclamation over you pin you in that place of judgement and shame? I have. I chased my tail trying everything possible to drown out that relentless whisper of shame, but nothing worked except the Word of God to put that lie in its place. I encourage you to write out We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:5 on a 3×5 card and tape it where you’ll see it throughout the day. Memorize it! Practice aligning your thoughts with those of our Father who loves us! Tell us about a time when taunting enemy lies have fled when you’ve turned your mind to the Word and prayer. We would love to hear from you, so please leave your comments on our blog. ~ Laurie McClure, FaithGateway Women

Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times best-selling author of Uninvited, The Best Yes, Unglued, Made to Crave, and 16 other books. Lysa was recently awarded the Champions of Faith Author Award and has been published in multiple publications such as Focus on the Family and CNN online. Additionally, she has appeared on the Today Show as one of the leading voices in the Christian community. Each year, Lysa is a featured keynote presenter at more than 40 events across North America, including the Women of Joy Conferences and the Catalyst Leadership Conference. She writes from her sticky farm table and lives with her family in North Carolina. Connect with her at www.LysaTerKeurst.com or on social media @LysaTerKeurst.

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