My Worst Enemy

My worst enemy has said the following things to me today:

You are not welcomed.

You are an outsider.

You are a terrible mother.

You are not equipped to be the wife of a pastor.

Photo credit: reverses via flickr

I want to cut her out of my life because she’s toxic. I let my worst enemy distort the way I see myself. I wish I could just stay away from her but all of these statements come from inside myself. I am my biggest obstacle in the Christian life. My thought life is my worst enemy.

In my thoughts I can turn body language into every reason why someone might have an issue with me. I can turn a quick glance into someone not being satisfied with the meal I sent over last week or into a criticism of my parenting.

It’s in my thought life that I can turn the hanger my husband didn’t put away into a reason why he doesn’t love me like Christ loved the church. I let my thoughts turn him into a thoughtless lazy monster instead of a busy pastor in a hurry out the door.

In my thought life I go down the road of over thinking and dissecting conversations to the point of remorse, guilt and regret. My thoughts tell me I talk too much and speak harshly. I seem to leave Bible study overly criticizing myself to the point of discouragement.

I let the poisonous thoughts rule over me and I cannot hear TRUTH. It’s only when I put the poisonous thoughts aside that I can truly hear the Word of God. The Truth of who I am in Christ from my Heavenly Father.

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)

So I am on a mission to take my worst enemy captive. Every little poisonous thought is going down and being redressed in Truth. When I find myself going down the poisonous road I say…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

 If it is not true…I am not thinking about it.

 If it is not noble…I am not thinking about it.

If it is not right, pure, lovely or admirable, I am not thinking about it. I will only think of the things that are excellent and praiseworthy.

Photo Credit: Peej's Photos via flickr

 I am LOVED. The hanger left out by my husband means nothing.

 I am BEAUTIFUL. That glance was not even about me. 

 I am REDEEMED. My parenting is being renewed daily.

 I am ACCEPTED. Even if that meal I sent was a little too salty or if I talk a little too much at Bible Study.

My worst enemy is going down. I am taking the poisonous thoughts captive and redressing them in the Truth. I am renewing my mind so I can see myself and others with the eyes of my Savior. I will fight to think of whatever is true and lovely.

I will defeat my worst enemy.

Photo credit: one, two

  • Karen

    YES and AMEN!!!!

    I have been teaching this very same thing and calling Phil 4:8 the scripture sifter!

    When this discipline is practiced and learned it is LIFE CHANGING!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Ahh. And I need this discipline every day. Thank you so much for your kind words and keep on teaching this truth to others,

  • Missy

    Rachel, I loved this! “My parenting is being renewed daily.”, was a special little truth to silence my own inner enemy.

    • Rachel Craddock

      Your parenting is being renewed daily, as is mine- even though those tempting thoughts tell me one step forward and two steps back – God gives us new mercies every morning. He is faithful. Keep thinking of the lovely sister:)

  • Robin McShane

    Inspiring. Thank you!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! May God bless your thoughts to dwell on the lovely, honorable and praiseworthy!

  • karyn

    Yeah, it happened to me as well. I was so discouraged and depressed and down trodden and my heart just felt so hurt. Why do Christians use the words of the devil. I wanted to say, whom am I speaking to, cos, I heard God ask me to ask but my heart is too good to say such demoralising things to believers.
    Know the feeling. Stay away from knife cutters like them. So many have experienced the same thing as I’ve experienced. I make a turn to face the LORD, upwards and turn my back to them who are nasty.
    Been there so many times. Turn turn turn to JESUS JESUS JESUS. And show them my back.

    • Rachel Craddock

      Great advice, Karyn. It reminds me of HEBREWS 12:1-3 let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author of our faith. Thanks for reading today and keep straining towards Him.

  • Heather

    AMEN! Although I don’t struggle quite as much with beating myself up as I do with completely shutting off the constant chatter in my brain and truly rest…

    • Rachel Craddock

      You are so blessed not to struggle with the inner critic. I hope that as you continue to walk in Him you will learn to turn off that chatter and rest.

  • Renee

    So many of us do the same thing. I read recently that speaking so critically to ourselves or having major thought issues….well, it is doing the devil’s work for him. He has whispered lies to us so long, we now do his job and whisper them to ourselves! Love what you shared….I AM beautiful….I AM loved….redeemed……
    Heart post!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Girl, you are beautiful, loved and redeemed! Thanks for reading and sharing your heart with me today!

  • Lucille

    I’m with you girl! Thank you. When I got up this morning I decided to shut out those screaming lies from the devil by singing a song of praise to our Lord. Did I feel better? Absolutely! Praise and wielding the sword of the spirit makes the devil flee from you. 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
    Thank you for letting me know today that I’m not in the “foxhole” alone. There are other Christians out there in the same battle but with Christ we will win!

    • Rachel Craddock

      I am walking in this with you! What a great idea to sing praises to The Lord when my worst enemy attacks. Thank you for sharing this – I need all the tricks I can find… My worst enemy is tricky.

  • Lisa

    Such a good reminder to turn those thoughts away. Those fiery darts are meant to bring us down, and in turn bring down those around us. As we turn our back on those thoughts, we are redeemed through His love.

    • Rachel Craddock

      Thanks for reading today. I am going to continue to work hard to dwell on the lovely and true. I can certainly see how my thoughts about myself can bring so many down. Thank you for reading and sharing your heart.

  • Beth Williams


    Oh how this resonated with me! I constanly critize myself as not good enough, stupid, untalented…the list goes on. My other bad habit is sometimes thinking wrong thoughts about people-even my own husband!

    I need to work really really hard on watching what I say/think about! Our current Bible study is The Power of a Woman’s Words by Sharon Jaynes. I need to review each chapter and realize how my tone, intention, sharpness/softness and volume of my voice along with words can affect people. I am striving daily to be more like Jesus–speaking kind words in a calm, loving tone.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Rachel Craddock

      I cannot wait to check out that book! Tone is a really tough one for me- I almost never yell but I have the nastiest tone with others (specifically my husband and sons, those I love the most.) Striving to be more like Jesus alongside you!

  • Holley Gerth

    Go get ‘em, girl! Take those thoughts captive, lock them up, and throw away the key! I recently hung a Red Letter Words print with the Whatever is Lovely verse on it in my garage so it would be the first thing I saw when I got home. Strange place to put it but I need all the help I can get. :)

    • qoheleth1958

      That’s not strange, that’s a *great* idea!

    • Rachel Craddock

      I need all the help I can get too. The garage seems like the perfect place for a sign to help battle poisonous thoughts- that way you are reminded before you even walk in the door. Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to encourage my heart.

  • Helen G.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for these reminders. I’m resting in God’s Truth, His Word, and daily relying on His strength to fight those inner thoughts. I, too, am a pastor’s wife, mother of 2 beautiful (but not so obedient/compliant) children, and pregnant with my 3rd (due any day, now!). I can easily be hard on myself and pay too much attention to those voices, inside and outside voices. But how could I do this mothering thing without holding on to God’s Truth and promises? Thanks again!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Oh girl, you hang on tightly to those promises. He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or think because his power is working in us- even in these challenging days with our sweet yet not so obedient little ones. He is able. Walking in this with you;)

  • qoheleth1958

    I think I would like my wife to read this one. She is so her own worst enemy sometimes. You wrote, “I can turn a quick glance into someone not being satisfied with the meal I sent over last week or into a criticism of my parenting.” She absolutely does this! Of course, I think she’s the most wonderful woman in the world – but she reckons I’m biased. Naturally, she would think so. Maybe it will help her to see how a few others with the same problem are dealing with it.
    God’s grace be with you!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Thank you so much! I should read my own posts daily as well. It is such a battle to not be overly self critical. Thank you for reading! Blessings from this side of the world.

  • Allison C. Lee

    Yes to this! Yes ma’am….love it. Love u. Read-repeat-read-repeat.

    • Rachel Craddock

      Read and repeat for me too all day every day! Thank you so much for your sweet words, love them and love you too.

  • Rachel Craddock

    Thank you everyone for reading… Once my busy boys go to sleep I want to thoughtfully respond to each of you!

    • Eva Kristiaman

      Thanks, Rachel, you described it so well and it helps the readers. That’s “the plank” in our eyes that need to be removed to see others clearly so that we can love others. This is also helping everyone who is in-the-box to go out-the-box, just do-the-right-thing is the way out. God bless you.

      • Rachel Craddock

        Thank you! Fighting to get to the heart of some of these planks I have in my eyes and I am thankful to be able to share with others as I walk in this battle with my worst enemy.
        Fighting to find joy and focus on the lovely. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  • patty morwood

    Preach it, sister! We ARE to preach the truth to ourselves (and others) so our renewed minds can be framed and filled with God’s truth instead of the world’s untruth. This is the process of becoming women of the Word, of becoming Christlike. Thank you for writing such a clear reminder of growing in the Lord and preaching the truth to ourselves and our sisters in the faith!


    • Rachel Craddock

      Oh patty, I love you and I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my post. I am striving along with you to preach to myself daily and conquer this enemy.

  • Shelly Hendricks (@Renewed_Daily)

    We share a common worst enemy! Love the idea to “sift” all our thoughts through this scripture! I’m starting that today, and hope it soon becomes automatic. God Bless You!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Sift, sift, and sifting with you. Working hard to see myself as a God sees me. Thanks for reading and for your encouraging words!

  • char

    Thank you for sharing this – replacing the enemies lies with Gods word: THE TRUTH!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Thank you for reading. Replacing lies with TRUTH with you. Thanks for reading.

  • Cathy

    So, please tell me you are living in my head. Thank you for speaking what aches to escape from my own thought life! I use this scripture as my signature on my emails…just so I can remind myself I AM WORTHY. I know I am my worst critic and my worst enemy…but through Christ I am finding hope beyond myself. HALLELUIAH!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Walking in this with you. We are worthy because of him. Hallelujah!

  • Alison Hector

    Yes to all the above, Rachel. The enemy within is far worse than the one outside. It’s a daily war, but God equips us to win the battle of the mind every day by renewing it every day.

    • Rachel Craddock

      Yes, the enemy within is far worse. Thanks be to God for daily renewal to make us more like Christ. Thank you for reading and sharing with me today!

  • Misty

    Thanks for the lovely post. Your voices sound so much like mine. I am an artist and I write about creativity on my blog and I have come to find that anyone attempting anything creative, writing, art, music, etc… they can’t accomplish a thing until they fight down the dreaded voices inside.
    Everyone who has ever done anything of any worth has had to silence that negative inner voice. It’s tough. It helps to have help from the outside. It helps to have your identity set firmly in Christ.

    • Rachel Craddock

      Thank you for sharing your heart. Fighting the voices is a battle not yet own for me so I will continue walking in this with you. I know He is able to help me silence my inner critic.

  • Beth

    Thank you Rachel for this wonderful reminder. As I walk in to lead 700 people through a 3 day conference, I needed this reminder more than ever. While the conference is government sponsored, I know that I will do a better job if I remember that I am a child of God and embrace the many blessings my professional role has brought to me – – even as my knees shake in front of those audiences. Thank you for the gift of your words I will carry them with me this week when my own worst critic starts to churn!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Thinking of you as you lead your conference. You are loved. You are redeemed you are accepted. Go get ‘em girl!

  • Lynne

    Amen! Thanks for sharing such a simple, positive way to deal with that inner critic!

    • Rachel Craddock

      You’re welcome, keeping it simple is about all I have time for right now. Thank you for reading and for your kind uplifting words to bless me on this gloomy day – when the worst enemy seems to get the best of me. We are loved, we are redeemed, we are accepted.

  • Noreen

    I needed to read this today, as my worst enemy is always at work trying to keep me from
    seeing I am made in the image of my creator. I am not bound to these thoughts. The Lord has given us everything we need. In Him I can be secure no matter what is going on around me!

    • Rachel Craddock

      Amen, we can be secure because we are secure in him. Our names are written in heaven! Whatever is happening around you focus on the lovely. You are redeemed and loved and accepted.

  • Katie

    “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)”

    That’s the verse I’ve been saying over and over this week. My constant beating up of myself is killing me, and it’s all in my head! I AM my own worst enemy!!!

    Thank you for your words today. :)