What if you didn’t listen to the mean girl in your head today?

What if, instead, you decided to be kind to yourself today?


What if you looked in the mirror and smiled? Instead of counted gray hairs and wrinkles.

What if you didn’t step onto the scale? What if, instead, you stepped into the middle of your floor and spun fast and loud to the music blaring joy out the loud speakers?

What if you read a love letter today instead of Twitter? One written to you. A thousand years ago.

God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! {Jeremiah 31:3, MSG}

What if you believed it?

What if you changed up the dialogue in your head? What if you listed the things you are good at, the tasks you’ve accomplished, the dreams you’re chasing, and the people who matter to you?

What if you wrote down the names of the people you love?

What if you thought up new ways to love them, on purpose? No matter what mood they’re in.

What if you bought yourself flowers? And gave half of them away?

What if you walked instead of scurried between your to-dos?

20010305_incourage_beach tracks

What if you sat still for a cup of tea?

What if you made a phone call over lunch? What if you shared a virtual donut with a friend and told her all the things you know would make her day?

What if you counted the number of times God says He is with you? With you. Not sometimes, not when you’ve got it all together. Not when you’ve lost that weight, succeeded at that job, tamed that child.

Just with you. Period.

280 times.

What if you remembered who you really are? Not who the magazines, the commercials, the media tell you you’re supposed to be.

What if you remembered and stopped criticizing yourself?

What if you were kind to yourself — because you are a child of God?

Beautiful. Called. Named. Beloved.

Worth more than the scale and the lists and the demands and the expectations.

What if you were to open your arms to the litany of ways in which you are beloved?

And believed it — what could you do then today?

How is it that false or foolish things that people speak over us when we’re 15 can hold more weight than the truth that people who love us speak when we’re adults?

Maybe it’s time to change that. Maybe it’s time to be brave and write down two things in the comments today:

1. What lie about yourself have you believed?

2. What do you know to be true and kind and sung over you by Jesus?

Don’t share it for us. Write it down for you.

In these comments or in a journal or the back of an envelope or on the bathroom mirror.

Write down the lie and then write down the truth and listen to the sound of the hammer smashing right through the one to make room for the other.

As our friend Jennifer Dukes Lee says, you’ve been pre-approved. Not by anything you’ve done but by everything God is.


Let’s pause to celebrate that today.

I’ll go first:

1. I have believed the lie that when someone else creates, it means there isn’t room left over for me.

2. I know that Jesus reminds me over and over again that the Kingdom of God is a co-op and never a competition. There’s always room for more.

Okay, your turn . . .

Last photo by Jennifer Dukes Lee — we highly recommend checking out the #PreApproved Movement she’s started.

  • http://www.angela-mills.com Angela Mills

    Beautiful post. 1. I have believed that I am loved less than everyone else. 2. I know that Jesus reminds me over and over again that His love knows no favoritism :)

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      This is a good reminder that I need too, Angela!

    • https://herains.weebly.com Nicolette Choi

      Amen! Right there with you sister!!

  • Rebecca

    Thank you for this challenge! I need to do this every day!
    1) I have believed the lie that in order to be loved I have to please others (to win their approval and/or acceptance.)
    2) The truth is that God loves me with no strings attached. His love is unconditional and everlasting. Other people’s opinions about me, do not matter.
    Thank you, God for your amazing, unconditional, unbeatable love!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      “God loves me with no strings attached”! yes, LOVE that!

    • https://herains.weebly.com Nicolette Choi

      Yes! Love this…

  • Andrea

    This is inspiring.
    1. I have believed that no matter how hard I push myself, no matter how much I do; I will never be enough. And that I will never catch up to being more than my failures.
    2. I know that there is no prerequisite for the love of God. That His love is far more than the failures and the attempts to be enough. I know that to Him, I am enough. And how humbling and relieving that is!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh man the “never enough” lie – yes, I’m familiar with that one too. So glad to hear you speaking truth back to yourself!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    The lie I buy into is that I am inadequate. That I disappoint God and others. I have an anxiety disorder that makes me feel very “less than enough”.
    The truth is that I am enough because God sees me through the blood of Christ. I can’t disappoint Him. As for disappointing others…I need to live my life to an audience of One. Though I feel week from the ocd, I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Thank you Lord… I praise you!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh sweet Bev – I can’t imagine you ever disappointing anyone – you’re SUCH an encouragement to so many of us! SO grateful for your voice here at (in)courage.

    • Webbgurl2000

      Bev, you are not alone. I always had an anxiety disorder that I now manage with meds, and found out I have low grade bipolar a few years ago.
      Other believers can go on a mind trick because we just need to pray more, etc. I’m going to start praying for a look to give them when they go there.. Seriously.

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        I’m laughing my behind off!!! I love that pious look that comes right before the words, “Well maybe if you prayed more or harder you wouldn’t have that anxiety.” Praying for us both and PLEASE send me a picture of “the look” to give when they go there!! You made my day!! xx

        • Webbgurl2000

          Will do, Bev.” There must be a Christian side eye giphy for ignorant comments that are made to hurting believers.

  • http://www.whatithinkiknowtoday.blogspot.com/ Ms. Witi

    This is so good for today….and my early morning thoughts….
    1. I have believed that my thoughts and words are usually wrong and in most situations it is ME who needs to change.
    2. I know God made me to be me. He has a plan for me and he loves me just the way I am.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      YES yes yes – He loves you just the way you are. SUCH a gift to each of us to remember that :)

  • Lindsey Robertson Tompkins

    I have believed that I’m not the real deal. That somehow I am fooling myself into believing that I have been saved. I know that Jesus said I am His. That if I believe and confess, that I am His. No one can pluck my from His hand. Not even myself.

  • http://sandysnavely.net/ Sandy Snavely

    1.) An older woman told me that I was a stage hog.
    2.) Jesus told me that I am His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He chose for me way before I was born.
    Sometimes introverts and extroverts have a hard time understanding each other. Hmm…it’s a co-op, not a competition. Thank you for that!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh man, it’s so hard when criticisms get stuck in our brain and begin to define us. Yes to being Christ’s workmanship! All the amen!

    • Webbgurl2000

      Wow. Why can’t people work together? I agree. That way there’s no need for jealousy

  • Melody Warnock

    I have believed that I am not enough…not womanly enough, not smart enough, not strong enough.
    I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my Father who loves me. I am enough for Him to see and love me.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Amen Melody – so fearfully and so beautifully and wonderfully made.

  • An

    I am so grateful for this this morning-to know I am not alone. 1) I have believed the lie that I have to be as others want me to be to not be hurt and to be loved and accepted. 2) Abba loves me as He made me to be and I have to seek His approval, being grateful for how He made me, really believing that He loves me. I still have to listen to what others say, but I don’t have to believe it right off. Ecclesiastes 7:21 God is so good :)

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      So grateful to hear you speaking truth to that lie, An!

  • nanci

    I have always believed that I have little or no value. Jesus counters that by telling me I am loved; He created me and gifted me just as I am and it is enough

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Yes, unimaginable value from a God who died for you He treasured you so much, Nanci!

  • cy

    Nice post. 1. I have lived with the lie that the people i love have left and will leave me because i am unlovable. 2. I know that God will never leave me and He loves me deeply to the point of giving His only Son. :’)

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Never, ever leave us or forsake us and nothing can separate us from His profound love – what a huge relief!

  • Donna B.

    That was amazing! I have even named the mean girl in my head…I call her the Duchess (think Angelica Huston in Ever After) Anywhooo….the lie that I struggle with is that I am unlovable and have no worth, which can create a huge case of the need to please. We all know this is a losing game that just makes things worse. The Truth that I am trying and choosing to believe is very simple…I.Am.Loved! He is Sovereign, He is good, and everything He does is beautiful! Including me.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh Donna, that you’ve named your mean girl you know her so well! May she not have any power over the truth of who you are in Christ!

      • Donna B

        Oh…I do! And she’s NOT a nice kid!! ;-) Amen to what you said! I am learning. Yay for me!

  • Ann Marie

    The lie I believe is I’m not enough.

    The truth is I’m loved exactly the way I am

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      So much amen to this Ann Marie!

  • Stephanie

    The lie is I am not enough and unworthy. The truth is I am a child of God and His plan completes me. I have His unfailing love and infinite grace always.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Yes yes – His unfailing love is always enough to make us each enough in Him.

  • dwishman

    The lie is that I am unlovable.
    The truth is that Jesus died for me and loves me and I am His child.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Yes, that He walked into the dark and offered Himself as a willing ransom for you and for me – such a profound demonstration of love!

  • Jeralyn

    1. The lie: I am invisible, not seen, that I have no voice. 2. The Truth: He has called me. He has gifted me. I have a message..

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      And that He sees you – Jeralyn. Sees you inside and out and loves you.

      • Melanie Whitaker

        yes!! He is El Roi- the God who SEES!

  • PamC

    Thank you for this post. Wonderful! The lie is, “I try so hard but it’s never enough.” The truth is I don’t have to try, Jesus already did it all. He is enough.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Amen and such a relief, Pam – I’m so grateful for that reminder!

  • Rebecca Jones

    Fantastic post! I believed my prayers weren’t answered but found out they were.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh Rebecca – how wonderful! Thanks for sharing that with us!

  • http://www.Theflawedtreasure.com Kristi

    Thank you for this.
    1. I have believed that I don’t have what it takes to lead and serve and love adequately the people God has put in my path.
    2. The truth is that I have been called, equipped, gifted, and impassioned to do exactly what God has me doing right now– loving and leading my family, and loving and leading the women He has put in my life.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Yes yes yes, Kristi! Love this!

  • http://justplainbeth.com Beth Richardson

    The lie I was told was that the wrongdoings of others were my fault. So I have grown to believe that when people in my immediate circle fail, falter, struggle, whatever..it’s my fault, and something I could have done better would have prevented it. The truth is that we are all only responsible for ourselves, and even if we falter and fail and struggle, our heavenly Father still loves us, and is there to help us back up. <3

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Such wisdom here, Beth. So glad to hear that truth replacing those lies in your life.

  • Beth Williams


    As always your writing is spot on!! Loved the title and blog!! When I make mistakes, mess up or fail at something I hear and believe these lies: “I must be stupid, dumb, not smart, ugly”. The devil wants to see us upset and down on ourselves.
    Truth is I am made in the image of Almighty God. He wouldn’t make an ugly or stupid person in His own image!! Psalms 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
    I am loved by Jesus Christ who died a horrific death for me. He loves me and I am a beautiful Child of His!!
    Blessings :)

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh Beth I struggle with similar lies and mean voices in my head. And like you I’m so grateful for God’s 100% guarantee that we’re been made marvelous and perfectly in His image.

  • Hollyko

    Thank you. The lie: I am never good enough. The truth: Jesus loves me unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Yes! Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks when we can hide ourselves in Christ. Love this, Holly

  • Ana Brooks

    1. I have believed (and sadly still believe sometimes) that I am someone God has decided to reject.

    2. I know that he does by reject anyone who comes to him. (John 6:37)

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      Oh Ana, yes when I think of how Jesus walked into that dark night of betrayal on purpose so that none of us would ever need to feel rejected – what a gift to each of our tender hearts. To know what priceless value we have to Him.

  • Carly Herin

    I have believed that someone else’s increase means my decrease. The truth is, God is NOT holding out on me!

    • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

      YES! I’ve struggled with the same thing, Carly – I love that “God is NOT holding out on me!” So much amen.

  • Emily Sepp Carlson

    Wow. Needed this.
    1. I have believed the lie that my worth lies in my ability to juggle all the “balls” in life without dropping any or disappointing anyone… and that the need to do that drowns out the voice of God’s grace in my life in the present, so that Jesus isn’t one of the people I’m trying to please. :(
    2. The truth is that eternity does matter now, and that the grace of God is greater than all my sins and shortcomings.

  • Sandie Noel

    I needed to hear this! I’m always thinking how alone I am but now I need to think how the Lord is with me all the time n my life matters to Him more than I realize.

  • Kat

    The lie, that “I can’t”, There are so many things pressing in on me these days and I feel that I can’t do anything about it, I can’t make it better, I can’t take anymore. The truth, God speaks to me in my heart and tells me “I have created you for this moment in time.”

  • Nancy Ruegg

    1. Now retired for almost five years, I have to fight against the lie that I’m past my prime and not as valuable as younger folks. 2. The truth is, scripture and church history are full of folks who continued to serve God, even as “senior citizens.” Praise God we never outlive purpose in his kingdom!

  • https://herains.weebly.com Nicolette Choi

    I have believed for too long that I am not enough and that happiness eluded me because of it.
    BUT GOD…He reminds me that happiness is a feeling and feelings are fleeting. However, JOY is a choice. Joy is a fruit of the spirit that is in me because of the Spirit of the living God that resides in my heart. I can choose to linger in His joy. I know now that Joy remains regardless of circumstance-unlike happiness.

  • Jen

    Amazing thots. ..ones I have not thought about for awhile…thank you!!☺

  • Renee

    I have believed the lies that I am still not enough, my voice is not powerful enough.
    The truth is I am a child of God, a daughter of the king with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living in me, empowering my voice, making me enough as I am.
    Beautiful post. to ponder….

  • Sarah

    Lie: I am incompetent to care for my family and the ones I love. They deserved someone better.
    Truth: God told me I’d be a great mom. He guides me each day through challenges, gives me eyes to see and appreciate their gifts and then he gives grace to me when I am impatient or angry.

  • Keri Siegel

    I have believed the lie that if I were a better Christian, my mom would treat me better. The truth is that we wrestle not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, and the rulers of darkness in the unseen world. Furthermore, Jesus has told us, the righteous would suffer persecution and that the our greatest enemies would come from our own house.

  • Sandra DeJean Mitchell

    1. I believed the lie that I have to take care of myself then in turn my children (my little me’s) because no one else wants to.

    2. God is an ever present Help, sending the Power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen me from within and without through the Body of Christ.

  • http://careybchristian.com Carey Christian

    So glad I decided to scroll through old posts this morning. This is a necessary read! My primary lie is that I can only be happy and safe when I’m in control. The truth is I’m safe in the Lord (Pr 18:10) and joy is found only in the Lord! (1 Peter 1)