“Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, ‘We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!’ But the men who had gone up with him responded, ‘We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!’ So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted.”
How To Truly Quiet Negative Self-Criticism: God’s Whispers of Love
The world is very noisy. It’s always telling us what we need to do in order to be good enough — critical voices to be noticed, to belong, and to be loved. Which melt into own words of self-criticism.
We may have taken on those negative words as self-criticism. It makes us feel shameful because we’re afraid it’s true. So, in this world of pressures to be strong, never doubt, or struggle — and always know the answers and to do things well — you may feel tired. Weary.
Is there a place where we can really belong? To just be loved for who we are? Is it realistic?
If you feel the way I do sometimes, you would understand what a challenge it is to simply be God’s beloved.
If we focus on all the negative voices — what others have said about us (or not said about us), whether in our relationships or communities of faith — we can feel the way the Israelites did when they were about to enter the Promised Land God longed for them to experience.
Israelites who saw the big giants in control of the land — who saw their own fear and felt powerless and outnumbered — were the ones who hurled negative insults and later, even stones at Joshua and Caleb, their very own (Numbers 14:10). The people longed to enter into the land of milk and honey. But, they just didn’t think they had what it took.
But, I love how Caleb responded. Caleb first quieted them.
Today, you and I have a more beautiful voice to quiet all those negative voices, including our self-criticism.
God’s whispers are different from the stressful voices that exclude and stress us. God’s intimate whispers of love calm and renew us.
In quietness, the Voice of the One who calls you beloved longs for you to experience His love for you.
Do not be afraid… Your God is among you. He will bring you quietness with His love. (Zephaniah 3:16-17)
Take time today to enjoy something quiet. Maybe it’s looking outside your window to see the raindrops still and quiet collecting on a tree branch. Maybe it’s simply listening to your favorite worship song as you lie down in the afternoon sun on your bed.
Let God’s love wash over you and bring you to that quiet space where you are unconditionally loved and accepted.
Give yourself permission to take steps to be His beloved and you’ll find those negative voices loosen their grip on your heart.
God sees the real you and He loves what He sees in you: your heart. You are His beloved.
Then, quietly, you and I will be able to offer to others what we have received ourselves.
We can offer the quietness of God’s love as the beloved.
We can offer the gift of listening, comfort, and a quiet welcoming acceptance that life doesn’t have to look perfect in order to be worthy of attention. We can simply love others by being present with their real selves.
And suddenly, we find ourselves fighting those negative voices less and less.
Why? Because the Promised Land is no longer a place we need to fight in order to enter into belonging and being loved.
The Promised Land is your heart. God’s Promised Land is where you are continually letting God love you.
And nothing can ever separate you from the love of God. God’s love makes us victorious — no matter what any one says about you or what circumstances might look like.
Hear God’s whispers of rest and love for you.
You’re worthy. You’re cherished.
You are beloved. Just rest.
Together, let’s encourage each other. Keep listening to God’s whispers of rest, blossoming and stepping out to be the beloved. God’s beloved.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution…? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:35-37)
What is God’s loving whisper to you today as you look into a new week?
Look past the giants that might appear to challenge you and rest in the gentle, unconditional love God holds for you. You are safe in His embrace.
By Bonnie Gray, author of new 40-day devotional Whispers of Rest, who invites you to experience God’s loving whispers to refresh and guide you at FaithBarista.Leave a Comment
Summer Rae says
Dearest Miss Bonnie,
Thank you so much for such an amazing post. God’s loving whisper to me today (and every day for the past few months) is reminding me, that I am enough… just as I am. Only through His amazing grace and unfailing love, praise Him! I think of all the times I felt alone… but, He was always right there with me…. To know and accept God’s unending, unconditional, selfless love is one of the most amazing, life changing things and I thank my Heavenly Father all of the time for the relationship I have with Him. Thank you so much for such an encouraging post; I pray you have a blessed day!
This side of Heaven,
Bonnie Gray says
hi summer rae – what deeply soulful and beautiful name you have. must be such a beautiful reminder of how tenderly Jesus whispers your name. you are his summer rae of light and love. you are a poetic soul – it’s beautiful to hear how you hear God’s whispers of love for you. how sweetly you bless us with your reflections – so personal, intimate and real. thank you.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
This has been one of those weeks – filled with noise and interruption – which for me can be so unnerving. My heart has yearned for the quiet place, but I was so busy trying harder that I couldn’t let go and just let myself go there. Go to the place where Jesus holds me, the small, helpless lamb in His ever so strong arms, and gently carries me close to Himself where I can hear His heart of love beating for me. This is my safe place where I feel like His beloved. When I let him gather my exhausted self up and I let Him carry me and just love on me. He delights in me and I forget that when I’m so busy spinning in circles that I don’t let him embrace and quiet me in the security of His loving arms. Thanks for this beautiful reminder as I head into a new week with a different attitude.
Bonnie Gray says
hi bev – it’s always so tender to hear how God speaks to you. and it’s so poetic how you say you let Him carry you and just love on you. such beauty. thank you! and may your new week be touched with these moments.
Also to Summer Rae and Bev, I thank you all for the words of encouragement, words of affirmation.
I am realising that the topsy turvy world I’ve been embracing is not necessarily what God wants for me.
Your post has confirmed what yesterday’s post said too.
It’s OK to rest, I will start today as I accept what God has been saying through His people
Have a great week.
Bonnie Gray says
hi juliette – it’s so special how God is whispering to you – to confirm in your spirit what you feel God has been speaking into your heart. may you feel the affirming hand of God’s hand in yours – to follow whatever it may be to step away from the topsy turvy world – because He is embracing you to something more beautiful and true to your desires. thnk you for sharing.
Stephen Aki Braimah says
I thank The Creator for your OBEDIENCE and BOLDNESS for this essay on QUIETNESS. Yes, indeed, in quietness WE ALLOW THE STILL SMALL VOCE, OF GOD, to penetrate and soothe OUR FEAR, ANXIETY, WORRY, and ALLOW GOD TO EQUIP US with the necessary tools for VICTORY and DISCIPLESHIP. Thank you and Remain blessed.
Thank you Bonnie for sharing! I always feel so busy and sometimes it’s so easy to forget to just rest in His presence. Really needed this today! Blessings and love always ❤
Bonnie Gray says
hi stephanie, so good how God touched you right where you needed his tender reassurance of his rest and presence. thank you for sharing so vulnerably.
Anita Weichert says
Thank you Bonnie! My negative voices have been on overtime this week. My relationship I’ve had to really look at and make some decisions, and one was do I want to be lonely. I awaken every morning and my first thoughts are This is the day the Lord has made, be glad and rejoice in it, and you know what I then look out my window, I purposely moved my bed so I could every morning and night look out at his beauty. And this quites me and I feel his peace. thank you for this devotional today. I know I am never alone- he holds me and loves me, it’s the realtionships here with others that I have trouble with. I have to look to myself and see that its me that needs to receive too. In him, Anita Weichert
Bonnie Gray says
hi anita, what a beautiful movement you made responding to God’s invitation to draw you close to his love in nature and the sunlight of the window. relationships are very hard and painful – its’ part of our human experience – so be kind to yourself. God understands. and there are kindreds like me who understand and are working through our own hard relationships too. have a wonderful week knowing you’re beloved.
Rebecca L Jones says
I strained my voice recently, over use, and having to be louder in order to be heard and a bout of bronchitis silenced me, I could hardly pray. Friends, and singers know about this and the even trying to whisper is is not good. Sometimes, we mat think we have to shout but it is in quietness, we find strength and His power rests on us.
Bonnie Gray says
hi rebecca, what a literal and metaphorical experience of whisper this devotional is for you. i’m so glad you shared your experience with us. may God continue to help heal you in recovery and keep sharing what whispers you’re hearing through this time of recovery. it blesses us!
Cindy Landy says
Once again. Thank you Bonnie!
Such comforting and beautiful words. Hugs!
Bonnie Gray says
dear Cindy, it’s always special to hear your voice and experience of how God is touching you in the moment. i hope you’re touched with beatuiful moments and feel as beloved as you truly are todya.
Anna Brown says
Bonnie you speak into my heart, when I read your God given words I feel able to breathe deeply and I feel affirmed. Thank you.
Bonnie Gray says
sweet anna, how beautiful it is to know that words that comfort my soul and help me breathe – are reflecting God’s voice and whispers for you. i love how you’re hearing God’s voice of love and feeling affirmed. may those moments keep you company today and throughout this week. thnx for sharing so vulnerably.
Your words are always soothing, thank-you for sharing then with us.
Have a blessed day,
Beth Williams says
What a week this has been. So much noise & busy for me. My aging dad got put in hospital a week ago Saturday. I’ve been anxious about seeing him daily. So much so that I’ve gotten drained emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I have chosen to let myself have a few “down” days to rest and remember God is in control! He can conquer this mountain. I’m in need of spiritual whitespace once again. Taking time today to enjoy myself and quietly listen to God!
Thank you. This is so timely. I’ve not been very good and leaning into His whispers of lately and so needed the reminder.
Pearl Allard says
Needed this right now. Bonnie, thank you for passing on His whispers of love. Sometimes they’re easy to miss. Deeply grateful.
Jerilynn Bayi says
Thank you for sharing this message.
I love this verse, Zephaniah 3:17 – God in our mist quieting us with His love. I especially like the last sentence of this verse: “He will rejoice over you with singing!” Wow, can you even imagine God singing?!!! Awesome right!!! Like no other voice anyone has ever heard – God singing us a love song!!! Simply Awesome
Love the idea of quieting the voices and listening to God before the week begins. Almost like choosing a phrase or word for the week. I keep hearing, “rejoice.”
You really inspire me
Thank you for that
Debbie Simler-Goff says
This ministered to me Bonnie. Thank-you. I especially liked:
“God’s whispers are different from the stressful voices that exclude and stress us. God’s intimate whispers of love calm and renew us.”
Oh how very true this is! Truly intimacy with our Lord is found in quieting ourselves and listening for His still small voice.
Nancy Ruegg says
“God’s whispers are different from the stressful voices that exclude and stress us. God’s intimate whispers of love calm and renew us.” Such beautiful comfort in those words, Bonnie. I’m thinking that God’s whispers bring other positive elements to our spirits, too. You’ve inspired me to take note of other ways his whispers minister to me. When stress starts to unravel my sanity, I want to intentionally turn my attention to those whispers and experience his peace and presence. Thank you, Bonnie!
Wendy A says
Hi Bonnie, never underestimate the tremendous power and gift you give to God’s people by saying “just rest / be the Beloved”. We need constant reminding. It is a message that will always need repeating over and over again. Sending you much love in Christ. Wendy A
Meghan E. Weyerbacher says
Lovely, Bonnie! I love this passage in scripture…so comforting and soothing. Blessings to you sweet friend!
Isn’t it amazing how you can read a verse of Scripture many times and miss something so important in it? I love Caleb’s response! This past week has been very challenging for me. My 91 year old mother-in-law came down with the flu and died within 72 hours. Prior to this sudden illness, she had been independent, living in her own home and driving her car short distances. We honored her wishes and brought her home and I was able to use my nursing skills to care for her until she breathed her last. But funerals and family and …is difficult. Your words were so comforting to me. Thank you Bonnie. I needed this today.
Blessings and love,