Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert.
When I attended my first writers conference in 1980, writing legend Woody Wirt closed the final session by exclaiming, “I want you to say right now, ‘I am a writer.’”
I am a writer? It seemed dishonest to say such a thing. After all, I’d only had one article and one short story published. That didn’t seem to qualify as a true “writer.” What was a “true writer”? I didn’t know but I was convinced it didn’t refer to me. But being the People Pleaser I am, I wanted to “obey” what Woody was saying, so I paused, gulped, and mumbled, “I am a writer.”
Even though I felt like a hypocrite, that was an important step for me that day. I had made a choice to affirm who I wanted to be and who God had called me to be.
As my ministry developed, a phrase in 2 Corinthians 10:5 became more and more important to me for fighting against the doubts that assailed me: “we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Also during that time, I became aware of Satan’s role as “accuser” as Revelation 12:10 tells us.
Up to that time, I thought every thought I had was a part of me and I had no choice. But those verses seemed to tell me I did have a choice. As a result, I began thinking of my thoughts as arrows approaching my mind and heart. These arrows could be right, incorrect, lies, or God’s affirmations. In the power of the Holy Spirit, I needed to examine each “arrow” of thought in light of Scripture and ask, “Is this the truth? Is this the way God wants me to think, believe, and act?”
If not, then I could discard it and think the truth instead. If it was true, I could welcome it in for me to concentrate on and allow it to inform my behavior.
What a difference!
When I attended future writers conferences, the arrow said, “No one will think your writing is any good.” Truth? No! The truth is that God is providing the means of helping me write well.
When I went to my critique group, the arrow said, “When they read your vulnerable sharing of your struggles, they aren’t going to like you anymore.” Truth? No. The truth is that God has called me to share my struggles and it doesn’t matter if they don’t like me. I want God’s approval.
When I sat at my desk with the empty computer screen before me (or the blank paper in the typewriter in the early days), the arrow said, “You have writers block. Well, there goes your plans to write today.” Truth? No. Even if I have writers block, that doesn’t mean God won’t empower me to write if I ask.
What are the arrows that pummel you? Do you recognize them as possible accusations from our Enemy Satan? And do you recognize and receive the affirmations from God that are truth?
When I share these ideas, most people can identify the three main “lies” that Satan seems to throw at them most often. I then encourage them to write down for each one, the truth in the form of a Scripture that applies. Finally, display that information in a place where they will see it and be reminded of these important principles.
What would be your three? And what is the truth to concentrate on instead?