START HERE

Today’s Truth

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

(Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)

Friend to Friend

This time of year, we sing Silent Night and yet this can feel like the noisiest season. The ring of the telephone and cash registers, the clink of silverware and oven timer, the endless demands that seem to come from every corner. In the middle of it all, how can we know and hear God’s voice?

I’m sitting at a table full of women one evening and we’re talking about this very topic. Someone says, “A friend once told me that God’s voice is always kind. So, if what I’m hearing in my heart or mind isn’t kind then it’s not from God.”

These words follow me out the door that night like a line of loyal ducklings. When I wake up the next morning they are still there waiting to be considered. It seems so obvious but I’ve not thought of it quite this way before. I reflect on the internal accusations and expectations I sometimes hear.

“You need to do more.”

“You have to make everything perfect.”

“You should please everyone.”

These mandates might push me to be outwardly compliant but the tone is always one of harshness and criticism. When I hear such things, I feel guilt and shame.

A few days after the discussion with the table of women I read about the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). There’s that word again, kindness, and it’s accompanied by many others like it. I’m familiar with this list but I’ve always thought of it in terms of what needs to be present in my life rather than what’s part of God’s character. But of course, fruit is always consistent with its source. I realized when we want to know if what our hearts are hearing is from God we can ask…

Is this voice loving?

Does it lead to more joy in my life?

Does it bring me greater peace?

Is it patient with me?

Is it full of kindness?

Does it express goodness?

Does it show faithfulness?

Is it spoken with gentleness?

Does it help me have self-control?

If what we’re hearing or saying to ourselves doesn’t align with the questions above then it is not from God. There is nothing motivating, reassuring, comforting, encouraging or helpful about criticism and condemnation. There is “now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Even when we do need correction or discipline, “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4).

Once we recognize what we’re tuned into isn’t from God we can ask Him to help us embrace the truth instead. We can hear His voice through His Word, the safe people in our lives, and through learning to listen in the quiet moments of our lives.

God is speaking to us in a thousand different ways this Christmas season as well as throughout the year. Every single one comes down to the same message, the one we most long to hear: You are loved.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, help me listen to Your voice of Truth. This Christmas and throughout the coming year, I want Truth to ring louder than any lie. You are a kind Father, and I will choose to believe what You say about me.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Quiet your heart for a moment. What lies has your heart been hearing? What’s the truth God wants to speak to you instead?

More from the Girlfriends

Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her book Fiercehearted will help you and those you love live more fully and love more bravely.

6 Responses to “Listening to God’s Love”

  1. Mildred Gaskin says:

    I read Luke 16:18 and it said that if you marry a divorced person you are committing adultery. My husband went out on me and we divorced. I met a wonderful man who was divorced and married him. We have been together over 20 years. I never went out with another man whiled married. I don’t understand how I can be accused of adultery for marrying such a wonderful man. I pray that God does not consider this a sin

  2. Kathye says:

    This makes me think. Thank you.

  3. kathy sherwood orser says:

    I struggle with a very negative inner voice and I know and this lovely devotional points out that clearly God does not want me to think or speak of even myself in that way. I also know that thoughts become actions, actions become habits and habits become character. I love this devotional as a filter for my words and thoughts.

  4. Cynthia says:

    I’m very grateful to have read this as well as using scripture. Thank you!

  5. Disa says:

    I just love this… God’s Love! I am so blessed in following the Lord. I have so much peace within me.though I continue to struggle day to day. I know God is with.me through out all this. God Bless.

  6. Robin says:

    I too need these words everyday! I had a wise friend once tell me that we would never allow anyone to speak to us the way we speak to ourselves! That stopped me in my tracks. How true that is. So then, why is it ok for us to be so harsh, unkind and unloving. It made me stop and think of how God must feel about that. How it must grieve His heart when we demean and degrade His beautiful creation. Seriously, who do we think we are? If He created us in His image and we bash it, we are worse than those who don’t believe. God didn’t create trash and Jesus didn’t die so that we could live binded by the judgments of our small minds. And while I continue to block out my negative thoughts, I will press into His endearing words of love for me.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8