Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Inner Critic

All of us have an accusing voice - a nagging, troublesome conscience or tormenting memories. As one friend said, “We know the voice and it’s with us every day. That inner censor makes its presence known repeatedly - especially when we’re in a low spot.”

Too often we listen and sink even lower, thereby endowing that detractor with the power to steal our joy and rob us of peace. Our self-faultfinder thrives in our tender places - those vulnerable spots and uncertainties. It’s where we store our shame and embarrassments.

In recent years, I’ve learned to rise above that condemnation.

First, I talk to the judgmental voice. Instead of fighting it, I say, “Yes, I failed to...” or “I’m still embarrassed over...”

Second, I remind myself that God forgives me, no matter what I’ve done (or didn’t do). I say, “God has forgiven me, so you don’t have to keep tormenting me.” Then I add, “Besides that, I forgive Cec.”

Third, I say to my inner critic, “Thank you for reminding me and, with God’s help, I won’t fail in that area again.”

Recently, I spoke harshly to a friend and immediately apologized. That sneaky voice whispered, “You failed at this before. Remember?”

I laughed and said, “I distinctly remember forgetting. Besides, Psalm 103:12 reads, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’ That means it’s gone and you can’t bring it up again.”

I honestly do it that way. Maybe it won’t work for you, but it might be worth trying.

Written by Cecil Murphey - Writer | Speaker | Teacher | Survivor

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

It's Always Behind Us

Image courtesy:
About 1,500 years ago, the Desert Fathers recorded that an assembly of monks was concerned about the failure of one in their midst. They sent for Abbot Moses to pronounce sentence before they excommunicated him.

The abbot arrived, carrying an old basket filled with sand. One monk said, “Your basket is leaking sand. Do you know that?”

“Are you sure?” He looked at his feet. “I see nothing.”

“No, no! Look behind you.” And the brother pointed to the telltale spillage.
“My sins are running behind me,” the leader said, “so I don’t see them.” He turned and left the assembly.

The story ends that the enacted metaphor caused the monks to forgive the offender and asked him to stay with them.

Like Abbot Moses demonstrated, I don’t see my failures and weaknesses. They’re behind me--in the past. I tend to forget them or dismiss them as “not that big an issue.”

Such behavior makes it easy for me to point out others’ guilt, failures, or weaknesses. It also reminds me that I’m as flawed as anyone else and often condemn in them what I need to see in myself.

When I face the trickling sand behind me, I’m forced to admit what I don’t want to see. As I pondered that illustration, it nudges me to cry out like the tax collector of Jesus’ day, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

(The writer Cec Murphey is a speaker, teacher, survivor and author. He has written or co-written more than 135 books, including the New York Times bestseller 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson). His books have sold in the millions and have brought hope and encouragement to countless people around the world)

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A Christian's Possessions

A tax officer came one day to a poor Christian to determine the amount of taxes he would have to pay.

The following conversation took place:

"What property do you possess?" asked the assessor.

"I am a very wealthy man," replied the Christian.

"List your possessions, please," the assessor instructed.

The Christian replied:
First, I have everlasting life, John 3:16

Second, I have a mansion in heaven, John 14:2

Third, I have a perfect conscience and peace that passes all understanding, Philippians 4:7

Fourth, I have joy unspeakable, 1 Peter 1:8

Fifth, I have divine love which never fails, 1 Corinthians 13:8

Sixth, I have a faithful wife, Proverbs 31:10

Seventh, I have healthy, happy obedient children, Exodus 20:12

Eighth, I have true, loyal friends, Proverbs 18:24

Ninth, I have songs in the night, Psalms 42:8

Tenth, I have a crown of life, James 1:12"

The tax assessor closed his book, and said, "Truly you are a very rich man, but your property is not subject to taxation."

I pray that all of us will have this kind of tax free "wealth."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Switching roles


A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home.

He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed:

'Dear Lord:
I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife merely stays at home.
I want her to know what I go through.
So, please allow her body to switch with mine for a day.

God, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man's wish.

The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman. He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, he cleaned the cat's litter box and bathed the dog.

Then, it was already 1.00 PM and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, sweep and mop the kitchen floor.  Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home.

Set out milk and cookies, and got the kids organized to do their homework. Then, set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing. At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and snapped fresh beans for supper.

After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed. At 09 P.M...

He was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren't finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love, which he managed to get through without complaint.

The next morning, he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said:
'Lord, I don't know what I was thinking.
I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day.
Please, oh! Oh! Please, let us trade back.

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied:
'My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You'll just have to wait nine months, though. You got pregnant last night.'



A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agree that they had no other recourse but to pray to God.

However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren.

After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.

As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"

"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them," the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything."

"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."

"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"

"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."