Radiant Joy Blog

Discover the Power of God to Conquer Your Inner Critic

Does your inner critic ever bother you? On the first weekday home after a long trip, I’d sat at my desk for a couple of hours trying to complete a challenging task when my husband invited me to the kitchen for lunch. He’d made an inspired salad with spring mix greens, blackberries, toasted sliced almonds, an assortment of fresh veggies, a Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing, and fresh grilled salmon, intended as a pick-me-up. I was having a lone pity party because I faced a financial task that would have been better if done months earlier, could have benefitted from better organization of paperwork and digital files, and should have been done long before the deadline. 

Are you familiar with those forbidden WOULDA-COULDA-SHOULDA statements? Sometimes, what I’ve called “my Inner Critic” is prone to push such thoughts into my mind during undesired circumstances. She also told me I used to be able to handle tasks like this much better when I was younger. But is the inner critic part of us, or are those blaming, complaining, backward-looking thoughts coming from spiritual opposition? Here’s how my deliverance prayer training leads me to understand how this dark tactic works—and how to defeat it!

The reason I wanted to complete the tax-related task at hand was so that I could resume serving God. My calling each day this week is to work on a book proclaiming God’s glorious deeds and help readers grow closer to God, fulfilling his marvelous plans for their lives (especially those in the second half of their lives). Of course, the devil wants to defeat my work on that God-assigned project! Indeed, the better the book might become, the greater the opposition an author will likely face—at least until she shows the devil that he’s wasting his efforts trying to stop her!

I’ve spent decades in ministry and frequently faced spiritual opposition. The devil’s favorite tactics include planting thoughts of inadequacy, making us too busy to serve as God calls, and believing we don’t have enough knowledge, support, money, skill, or energy to do what we’re called to do. Since childhood, thoughts like those entered my mind so often that some thought patterns became embedded lies I spent years believing, followed by prayer and deliverance time extracting them by their roots. Now they occur far less often, and I recognize them as not belonging to the person God made me to be. Yet, even as “new creations in Christ,” we have human natures and we wobble at times. The key is how quickly we recognize the slip and catch ourselves (reach out for divine help) before we fall! As Psalm 37:24, NLT, points out: “Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord upholds his hand.”

The switch from doing a worldly but required task to beating myself up was spiritually unhealthy because as soon as those thoughts filled my mind, gone were joy, peace, patience, and even showing sufficient appreciation for the fabulous lunch prepared by my generously loving mate! The fruits of the Spirit vanished.

Before I remembered the adversary’s tactics and the truth about Jesus having already won the victory, the BELIEF phenomenon had kicked in. That principle can be expressed like this: I will receive just what I believe, what I say, and what I act on. A foul mood can lead to computer glitches, missing numbers, stubborn stains, a host of errors, lost passwords—whatever seems to support our beliefs—in this case, the out-of-proportion belief that preparing tax returns is the most tedious of all life tasks.

Have you sometimes let stress over a problematic, duty-bound task take you out of your joyful state? Think tax returns, scrubbing a floor, or filling out a loan application. You want to do it correctly, but mostly, you want it over with! I wanted to return to the state I always encourage, which is Radiant Joy!

The biblical principle of MANIFESTATION says that what we focus on most and believe God will do is most likely to manifest. The Holy Spirit reminded me to be thankful that there was income to report to the IRS, that we have a computer, a file cabinet, and a roof over our heads, and that I have a husband who thanked me for doing the job by serving such a grand lunch. When I started to turn my attitude around and notice blessings, I prayed for and received divine help! My husband offered to help me find some missing numbers and suggested that I call someone to furnish those I couldn’t locate. Within 30 minutes, I made some changes, filled in some blanks, scanned and emailed some documents, and completed the job!

I asked for God’s mercy and forgiveness for my bad mood, complaining, self-condemnation, and self-criticism, and I used the powerful name of Jesus to command all that to get away from me!

Then I noticed the “Juicy Woman Journey Card” on top of a stack of cards gifted to me by their creator, Debrena Jackson Gandy, who leads groups through deep spiritual transformation. I’ve learned much and transformed significantly, but there’s always room for more growth in the pursuit of righteousness and walking by the Spirit. And people (like me) with vestiges of old perfectionistic patterns often need reminders to relax. The card, titled “The Truth about Joy,” is a gem:

“Since joy is an essential ingredient of my Divine Design, no one can steal my joy; no one gives it to me; no one takes it away and no one can keep it from me. No other ‘created being’ can be or is the source of my joy. It’s already IN me and can’t be separated FROM me.”

So, what can we do to live in continual joy?

1.    Promptly notice a poor attitude with its ugly thoughts, decide to ask for God’s mercy and help as you ditch critical words, moodiness, or false beliefs!

2.    Breathe deeply and shake them out, saying something like, “Moodiness and Negative Thoughts, I reject you now and, in the name of Jesus, I command you to get out!”

3.    Remember Philippians 4:8-9 (think about what’s true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, or praiseworthy) and Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control are fruits of the Spirit).

4.    Remind yourself about JOY being natural and yours to have.

For anyone who believes in Jesus but feels stuck in a poor attitude and swamped by a barrage of negative thinking, consider getting help from a healing and deliverance ministry such as Unbound, which you can learn about on Heart of the Father Ministries’ website. I serve on the deliverance ministry team in Albuquerque, where we welcome inquiries from freedom seekers at www.abqccc.org/unbound.

When we thank and praise God consistently, think elevated thoughts, and disregard that critic, even amidst stress, we’ll reap the rewards of peace and joy.




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