During my time as a Corporate CEO, I used to think that if I kept the “right things” in my mind I could chase the negative voices away. I was trying to make up for my “un-Christian” thoughts and the guilt they produced by staying busy and chasing worldly success to force all of that negativity into retreat or cover it up. I was playing a no-win “activity management game,” and I lost.
The more I did and the busier I got, the less I had to think about all of the fear and doubt sloshing around in my mind. But it was like trying to drink a glass of water on a roller coaster. Impossible. The busyness simply did not work.
I thought the voices and doubt would eventually flee, but of course that didn’t happen. With each new “slip” I made, the horn of my imperfection blared again, and I drifted further from God and fell deeper into a sense of depression and despair.
The chasm between my negative thoughts and God’s peace made me sad. I might as well have been standing on one side of the Grand Canyon and trying to fly across to God’s arms on the other side. That is how far away from him I felt. But having those negative thoughts run through my mind was not the real problem. The trouble came when I allowed them to stick and take up residence in my soul. Allowing that to happen insults God because we are only looking at the negative side of the equation and not God’s message of hope and love.
STEP 1: STOP COMPARING!
When we sink into the negativity pit, we are saying God doesn’t care about us, and that’s simply not true. We feel like a failure, so we do everything we can to minimize or cover up our failure by using relativism to discount it and to rationalize our situation by saying that compared to something or someone else we are not doing so badly. The easiest way to feel better about ourselves is to watch the television talk shows or videos on YouTube. Talk about depressing.
STEP 2: CONNECT WITH GOD’S TRUTH
When we listen to Satan’s voice, negativity courses through our veins like a poison slowly killing our hope as we feel more and more unworthy. Our hopelessness leads to a “why try” resignation because we think we cannot, and will never, find God’s peace. This is when we are most vulnerable. If we fail to connect with God’s beckoning call and message of truth, then we will fill our lives with activity to avoid being alone with Satan and his nefarious voice.
STEP 3: BLOW UP PERFECTION
We will try everything except going to God to get away from them. We think we are blocked from God because we don’t understand theology and don’t live a perfect life. That is exactly what I thought. How could a stressed-out and constantly striving CEO like me be one with Christ in his inner sanctuary?
NO! We have never been told to be perfect. I try to look at it through this lens:
“Yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” Joshua 24:23
Remember, it is not our effort that counts.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
That’s how we win the Voice Battle.