My oldest son commented to me the other day about an exploit of one of his siblings, “That was a horrible idea, executed perfectly!” Unfortunately, with the number of children I have, we get many bad ideas that are done very well. When all my children were young I would say it was a good day if nobody threw up. Now it is a good day if I don’t have to go to the emergency room or speak to any person in authority! (Not that my kids are bad kids, just very active and creative.)
While my children are learning wisdom in choosing good ideas over bad ideas, I find myself defending ideas. In the larger community of my family this can look like reminding a child, (firmly) that everyone has a right to their own opinions and thoughts. In my own life, this is a much more insidious battle that I have to diligently wage every day.
From the very beginning God shows Himself to be a creative being, full of ideas. He created us in His image, so naturally we are also creative and full of ideas. Of course, our mutual enemy, Satan, is very determined that we should not be inventive or imaginative, and so he comes in to steal our dreams away from us. In other words, he wants to execute our ideas.
There are many ways this can happen. Sometimes it comes from negative feedback from another person. I might be excitedly sharing a thought with someone and they point out a flaw. All of a sudden I am no longer that enthusiastic. It might even come from myself and the false beliefs I hold in my own thoughts. It might come from comparing myself to someone else. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” However it happens, these negative things fly at me like arrows aimed at my dreams.
That is where the battle comes in. If I go about my day unprepared for these kinds of attacks, I am not going to make it very far following my God-given calling or vision. I do not mean that we have to be fearful, just aware. The best defense is to take control of our thoughts quickly. When a negative word comes in from someone or even ourselves, we need to give it to God as fast as possible and replace it with truth. This takes practice, but the good news is that these attacks tend to become less frequent as we get better at deflecting the arrows sooner. Then we can get back to the creative work God has put in our hearts and accomplish our ideas.
“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:45