The Tone of God's Voice

By: Laura Sandretti

We’ve been learning about identity in the discipleship group I’m in. Not the identity we say we are grounded in, but the honest and awful reality of the identity we live out. If my identity was based in being Christ’s fully-known, fully-loved daughter, I wouldn’t have snapped at my husband last week when he thoughtfully brought me my phone. I usually identify myself by my failures. Instead of hearing Chris say, “I found your phone,” I heard, “Here’s your phone you poor unorganized and fragmented mess.”

Thank you. Here’s your head back.

I’m becoming painfully aware I’m good at believing God’s Word and truths for others, but not for myself. I often remind other women that they need to give themselves the same grace they give others. If your BFF made a mistake you wouldn’t chastise her, call her names, or deem her a complete failure, but that’s what we do to ourselves. I love that advice, believe it is helpful, and want women to put it into practice.

But there’s one problem. It doesn’t work.

I’ve tried telling myself there’s no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. I love the verse about God rejoicing over us with singing and I want that. But the voices in my head that tell me I’m not enough are louder, more persistent, and much more convincing.

In our discipleship group, we’re learning to do, ask, and pray about areas where we struggle. When we get to the root of whatever our struggle is (for me, attacking my husband like a grizzly bear when he tries to do nice things for me), we should search for and pray about, and tell ourselves a truth from Scripture that addresses our false belief (I’m unorganized, incompetent, useless, etc.). Today, our group leader added that we should tell ourselves that truth tenderly, like saying it to a daughter. 

The minute she said that, I realized why giving myself the grace I give others has never worked for me. I don’t love me like God does.

God doesn’t want me to just read or tell myself about His love for me. He wants me to feel, see, and taste how He loves me. He wants me to realize He loves me with the same passion I have when I tell my kids I love them. He loves us so much He wants us to consider the tone of His voice for us. I believe how we hear Him can profoundly impact the depth of our belief in that love.

Laura Sandretti is a Just Between Us contributing author and an active speaker and blogger. Additionally, she is a former public school teacher, women’s ministry director, and has a master’s degree in Theological Studies at Trinity University. Laura and her husband have three teenagers, and live in Sussex, Wis.