I have conversations with people in my head all the time. I didn't know I did this until recently, when I traced my anxiety and frustration back to my morning shower. An innocent, almost passing thought had turned into an internal knock-down, drag-out fight in between the shampoo rinse and the slathering of conditioner.
Someone popped into my mind.
Then something they said--something positive--about someone else came to mind.
Then I compared myself and my choices to that someone else. I am quite different than that someone else.
So, in my illogical thinking, that someone likes that someone else and does not like me. (Got that?)
Thus began the conversation in my head, in which I stated the case for why that someone and that someone else should like me and respect me and approve of me. Then, strangely, I put words in that someone's mouth in response to my own. Negative words. Accusing words. Debating words. Cutting words.
Before I realized it, I had spent the better part of an hour having made-up conversations with several people, all of them negative, depressing, and frustrating.
Suddenly, I awoke to the truth of what was happening.
Those people weren't really saying those things to me. They weren't accusing me, but I knew who was. The Liar. The Thief. The Accuser. He had taken everything I already accuse myself of and planted it in the mouths of people I love.
And I had believed him. I had allowed him to steal, kill, and destroy. If I hadn't awoken to truth, I might have even let him bring subtle division and isolation between me and that someone and that someone else.
Then I thought about all the times I have let him do that to me, how I give him and his lies an audience.
People don't like you, but quite possibly you can persuade them to. Make all your decisions based upon this idea.
You are chained to this way of thinking and believing and acting. You cannot change; it's hopeless.
Hide yourself from others so they don't see how you are lacking.
What you're doing doesn't really matter.
In his scenarios, I am always unliked, disrespected, lacking, or doing the wrong things. Underneath these lies are another layer of lies regarding God, the lies from which stem all other lies and all of my sin.
God won't love you unless you perform for Him.
God has forgotten you.
God withholds His approval from you.
God has let you down.
God is disappointed in you.
Liar. Accuser. Thief. Destroyer.
I will not listen to you.
That day, when I awoke both to the lies and to the truth, I ran to God. Show me truth, God, and help me believe You. Help me pull out the recording playing on repeat in my head and put in one of truth, of reality. I so often listen to the Liar and assume You think the same of me.
Reality comes in a whisper:
Come to me and rest, child.
I love you.
You are enough because of the cross. Cling to it.
I am always working on your behalf. I do not sleep or grow weary.
I take delight in you.
Now come, lay down your defenses and fear.