As a leader, I am often under the microscope. People have opinions and feel free to share them whether helpful or hurtful. Some people don’t only share their opinions, they actually intend to hurt and harm with their words and actions. Lately, I have been living under the scrutiny of others whether real or perceived. This scrutiny has impacted how I view myself and my calling. I have elevated my critics to the point that they have enough space in my head to impact how I live my life. This has resulted in my feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and even depressed. Their negative influence has impacted my thinking and the lens through which I view myself. I started to view myself through my critic's eyes instead of God’s eyes. This is not only wrong, but it has also led me down a path of darkness and deceit.
The truth is you have critics just like I do. It could be a parent, a coworker, neighbor, or even a person who lashed out on social media. Your critics impact the way you perceive yourself just like me. The good news is that you don’t have to view yourself as your critics do. You can start to view yourself as God views you. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are a child of God and as a child of God you are loved, cared for, and have a purpose to live out. But that’s hard to grasp if you keep listening to the negativity your critics keep pouring out on you even if they only made a few comments and you let them echo in your head.
In order to silence those critics and their voices in your head, you can write up a series of declarations to recite daily. These declarations will help you to claim the promises of God about who you are in His eyes, and that’s all that really matters. Paul writes: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Understanding that I need to take captive every thought, I came up with these declarations. Each one specifically pertains to a truth that I need to cling to. Here are my ten declarations that I say out loud to myself every day:
1. I am a child of God. I am loved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and wanted by God.
2. I serve a valuable purpose in advancing the kingdom of God helping to make disciples locally and abroad.
3. God has called me to help others grow closer to Christ.
4. I will be transparent and authentic as a husband, father, and leader sharing highs and lows.
5. I will accept the fact that God will continue to bless me and use me for His glory because I honor Him.
6. I will surround myself with quality people and great leaders that will help me to grow.
7. I will forgive others as God has forgiven me.
8. I will seek to follow the will of God every day so that I can be the best leader I can be.
9. I will be the husband, father, friend, and leader that God has called me to be.
10. I will give my best for the glory of God every day.
I encourage you to come up with a list of declarations that you say every day. Your list will look different than mine, but each declaration should be anchored in biblical truth. So, take a few minutes to write out your declarations. Pray over them and rewrite or revise as needed. You will be glad you did. After all, you are a child of God, created with intention, purpose, and grace. You are loved by God and will be used for His glory and His glory alone. May the LORD bless you as you declare God’s truth over your life.