We all feel hopeful in the new year, until the inner critic threatens to choke all creativity. What keeps you inspired to keep living boldly?
As an engineer, I was always taught to check and verify the accuracy of my work. As a writer, I push myself in the opposite direction as my pen hits the paper. When it comes to art and creativity, it’s important to express myself as clearly as possible without holding reserved seats for criticism and naysayers.
Problem is, I am often my worst critic.
Analyze yourself too closely and it’s like sucking oxygen away from a flame.
Are discouraging words threatening to blow out the inspiration God’s placed on your heart too?
As we step out into a heightened focus around our One Words for 2011, we need to be careful of our inner critic, who loves to zero in on our weaknesses and limitations.
After all, we are not into the work of self-made projects or self-improvement resolutions.
We are taking a journey down a series of experiences and conversations with God this year.
God is the author with the pen, paintbrush or the quill to the music sheet. God has pronounced you His symphony, His Van Gogh, His Great Expectations.
If you’re like me, you might be rolling your eyes at this point.
With an inner critic very much alive and well, what hope does someone like me have?
Most days, my thought life reads more like “Low Expectations.”
Like any Master Artist, God had a few words to share with me.
Stop trying so hard to be someone special.
What if you actually believed you already are special?
I love you.
The Faith Triangle
Three words that can change my world.
God. loves. me.
How important are these three words?
Think back to 7th grade science period with Mr. Lindquist.
The Fire Triangle is
“a simple model for understanding the ingredients necessary for most fires. The triangle illustrates a fire requires three elements: heat, fuel, and… oxygen.” (via Wikipedia)
Without heat, a fire can’t begin or continue. Heat is the ignition.
Without fuel, a fire stops.
Without oxygen, a fire simply extinguishes.
When we compare these three ingredients to the three found in Scripture —
“and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
— we find the ingredients to keep our faith alive.
In The Faith Triangle:
The heat that ignites our faith is the Holy Spirit.
The fuel that keeps our faith burning is hope.
The oxygen to our souls is the love of God.
Maybe you’re like me when I pray —
“I love you, God” rolls off the tongue more easily
than “You love me, God.”
Encouraged by a Sunday sermon I heard a few weeks ago, I started meditating on God’s love for me, whenever I started feeling choked by critical voices.
It’s definitely easier to beat myself up for what I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done.
But I decided to say “You love me” to God as a heartfelt experiment rebuttal, even though I felt kinda silly doing it.
I’m making some bold moves, shaky in myself but confident in His love for me.
Even if the feeling’s been just an ember.
“Not that we are adequate in ourselves
to consider anything as coming from ourselves,
but our adequacy is from God..
Therefore having such a hope,
we use great boldness in our speech …”
2 Corinthians 3:5, 12
How do you deal with your inner critic?
How is hope shaping your new year?
** SPECIAL UPDATE**
I’ve selected a special Faith Jam topic next week, in anticipation for Valentine’s Day. Check it out below and be sure to weigh in with your voice.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Keep faith fresh with a faith prompt and add your voice to this community.
Today’s topic 1/27: Hope
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link” or just comment directly.
Here are the friends in our Keep Faith Fresh Community who submitted “Hope” in the One Word For 2011 Faith Jam.
If you’re up for it, drop by & say hi to these friends. (*) indicates a One Word post.
I’ll be selecting some of our Faith Jam topics from the One Words For 2011 we’ve created together. Let’s encourage each other. Swap our stories.
Next Thursday’s Topic 2/3:
What I Wished Someone Told Me About Dating
(The following Thursday Topic 2/10:
What I Wished Someone Told Me About Marriage)
* I selected the above topics for both single or married, guys or girls.
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
Build the Keep Fresh Fresh Community: Link back to Faith Barista or Grab the HTML Code For The Faith Jam Badge
It’s a jam session. As time allows, say hi & drop a comment when visiting the community faith blends!
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.