Who Said That?: The Voices in My Head

VOICESIt’s noisy inside my head. That’s because it can get really crowded in there.

I hear voices—a lot of them.

Sometimes it’s just one voice saying something clearly. Sometimes it’s a muddle of voices. Sometimes it’s like there’s a loud party going on upstairs, and all I hear is a confusing racket. And no matter how many times I hit the ceiling with my broom handle, the din won’t quiet down.

The “voices” are my thoughts.

My personality is introverted and introspective. I’m naturally focused inward, and I’m always reflecting on something. As a dear friend once put it, “You’re like me. You live inside your head.”

And that’s where the “voices” live–all the thoughts I’m always thinking.

Most of my life, I’ve been a passive listener to all of those voices. That’s been a real problem for me, because the voices say contradictory things. Only in recent years have I begun to learn to distinguish one voice from another, and to sift, sort and separate the messages I’m hearing.

This is what I’ve found. There are really only two primary communication sources: 1) The Spirit of Truth and 2) the father of lies. And, although the messengers and the messages may vary, there are two broad categories of communication—truth and lies. It’s a simple matter–but not always an easy practice–to affirm the former and reject the latter. Here’s why:

  • The lying enemy runs his operation from the outside (the world system under his influence) and from the inside (our old self).
  • The enemy shouts his deception through a multitude of megaphones (cultural attitudes, prevailing philosophies, educational trends, business and political ideologies, unhealthy religious systems)
  • The deceiver speaks in the 1st person, seeking our agreement with his lying suggestions.
  • The enemy disguises himself by using unwitting couriers to deliver his messages. Sometimes we listen to a lying message because of our misplaced trust in a courier. (a well-meaning friend , a family member, a religious leader)

Here are some things that I’ve learned about interacting with the voices our heads:

  • Instead of being passive receivers, we must be alert and engaged. We can’t let a lie just hang there, but must identify it, and actively reject it.
  • It is necessary for us to continually affirm the truth. We must speak the truth to lying voices and rehearse the truth to ourselves.
  • It will not serve us to settle for intellectual assent to the truth while we live in practical unbelief. We must live in the truth by practicing the truth.
  • If we want to hear the soft whisper of the Spirit, we will have to learn to quiet our own spirits.

We also need healthy spiritual community to help us distinguish the voices and develop a discerning ear regarding the messages we’re hearing. Since I’ve entered into healthy community, I’ve noticed it’s not so crowded inside my head anymore. I haven’t had to use my broom handle in a while.

How about you? Do you hear voices?

10 thoughts on “Who Said That?: The Voices in My Head

  1. I’m smiling as I read this post because well … yes, I do hear voices. Some of them I want to silence (the lies) and some of them I need to keep on talking (the voices of my fictional characters).
    Your post expresses such a fundamental truth to healthy living: What are we listening to? And here’s one of the best things you bring out: It will not serve us to settle for intellectual assent to the truth while we live in practical unbelief. We must live in the truth by practicing the truth.

    Recognizing this one aspect of lies vs. truth makes a life-changing difference.

    • Thanks for your insightful comments. I”m afraid I let the voices in my head have the run of the place for too many years. I’ve been fortunate to have some truth speakers come into my life who would not abide the lying voices and taught me to reject them. Some old voices have come knocking recently, but now realize I can deny them entry or escort them out when they slip in the door. Oh, and I do hope that your fictional characters go on and on about themselves, sharing important details of their lives with you 🙂

    • Thank you for your comments, Carla. I am sorry about the ugliness that has paid you an unwelcome visit. You are so right about the destructive aim of enemy deceit. May you continue to be built up by listening to the voice Truth.

  2. Absolutely, I hear voices! Here’s the funny thing though, I tend to be the person who speaks truth to others when they are hearing voices full of lies. When it comes down to what I’m hearing, I may not even realize it’s a lie or I might KNOW it’s a lie and still grasp it as truth. Thankfully, I’m surrounded by a community of people who speak truth to me and for me, but I want to get to the point where I can see it as easily in myself as I can others. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Uncle Dave!

    • Wow, KB, I do know what you are talking about! After I shared a very dark journal entry with a dear friend some time ago, he made the observation that my communication to him was healthy and edifying, but the things I said to myself were dark and unhealthy. I started to pay more attention to what I thought, and I began to answer the dark voices of deceit. Thank you for sharing your own experience and for reminding me to be watchful and alert. And you are right, Katie Beth, community makes the difference. I’m glad you’re in mine! 🙂

  3. Beth Vogt pointed me to your blog. 🙂 Thanks for writing and drawing. This wonderful artwork is also healing. I love how God uses creative people to bring healing. Keep drawing!

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