I’ve grown up in the Christian faith. One could say almost accurately that I was born in the Church. From the time I drew my first breaths into the world not much longer after that My mom was holding me in Church. Liberty Tabernacle and it was pastored by my Godparents Pastor David and Sister Mona, and Sister Dee, My Godmother’s mother led worship on Sunday morning. From a young age I encountered the Holy Spirit’s touch as She (Greek word for the Holy Spirit is feminine) moved through the church. I was scared out of my wits one Sunday evening when my mother started dancing around the church and I had no idea what was happening, however as I grew up that was just another thing I became aware of. I remember songs being sung and the feeling of the Spirit of God drawing my to the embrace of the Father. The voice of the One who Affirms said, “Come to me beloved child.”
That feeling however I drew back from because I didn’t think I was worthy of the Love of the Father. I grew up in a house without a father present in my life physically for the first 9 years and that was glaringly obvious. I didn’t think I deserved the love of my heavenly Father because my Earthly one abandoned me and “surely there must have been something wrong with me for him to leave.” The voice of the Accuser inside of my head told me.
When I was 8 years old I remember hearing the Gospel being told to me in Sunday School but from my perspective I was terrified because for the first time I heard about Hell and how my sins would send me there and how if I just prayed a prayer I would be saved. I said a prayer but I didn’t believe fully because I just did not want to go to Hell. I didn’t understand.
As time progressed over the next few years the voice of the Accuser in my life grew louder than the voice of the Affirmer. I was abused by a man who said he was going to be my father, the voice of the Accuser “You deserved the abuse. It was all your fault.” rang loud in my mind. The voice of the Affirmer was screaming “This is not your fault. I never wanted this to happen to you!” was there but I just couldn’t hear it. The voice of the Accuser, “You can never trust a Heavenly Father, look what your earthly ones have done!” I could hear but I could not hear the voice of Abba my Affirmer “I love you and I would never harm you.” was a voice I struggled to hear.
Even after I became a Christian while I could hear the voice of my Affirmer, the voice of the Accuser would try to sneak it’s way in. “God can’t really use you because you battle depression.” “God can’t use you because you have an addiction to porn.” “God can’t use you because you’re gay.” “God can’t use you because you are broken and damaged and too afraid to get up and speak in front of people.” “God can’t use you because you’re too fat” “God can’t be calling you to lead in ministry because you are a woman.” These were lies I heard in my head. I listened to the Accuser and those who were the voice of the accuser in my life for a long time.Even at times I became my own accuser because I thought that surely God can’t use me because I was too unworthy of his love and call.
There was however the voice of the one who Affirms that shouted and said.
“I can use you because you are willing.” “I can use you because you are my beloved daughter.” “I call you worthy because I have made you worthy.” “You are whole and restored.” “I can use you because I make all things work together for your good.” “I can and I will use you.”
My question to each one of you is simple.
How often do you keep listening to the Accuser when you should be listening to the Affirmer?
How often are you the voice of the Accuser rather than the voice of the Affirmer?
Let us examine ourselves to see which voice or voices do we listen to who increase the shame in our lives and cause us to hold one another in contempt. Perhaps we should cut those voices out.
Let us seek to listen to the Voice and those who embody the Voice of one who affirms and validates our lives, our callings, and propels us to love one another and encourage us to do good for one another.
May the God who sees you and me pour out the richest of blessings upon us all