How To Overcome the Bully of Doubt

Satan is a bully who tries to make us feel small, inadequate, less than and insecure. You don’t have to believe him anymore.

This week, in chapter 7, we’re identifying and learning how to defeat our second most common doubt… “I’m such a failure.” It’s the wicked step-sister of “I’m not good enough.”

My prayer, hope and deepest desire is make sure failure no longer gets the final say in your life, JESUS does! Because YOU ARE are more than a conqueror through HIM (Jesus) who loves us, you can learn to  fail forward and grow from your mistakes and full blown sins. That is how you become a women with a God-fident heart.

In today’s video teaching, I want to empower and equip you to stop letting doubt and discouragement beat you up and start letting God words build you up instead!

{If you are reading this via email, click here to return to my website to watch the video.}

{Download FREE Confident Heart “AM/FM Thoughts Printable here}


Your Turn:
Click “share your thoughts” below and  let’s talk about what GOd speaking is to your heart today through the video and/or chapter 7? What is one or two things you’ll take away today?

Last Week’s Giveaway Winners:
Michelle Raue  – You are the winner from last Tuesday’s Roll-call and giveaway. You will receive a year’s subscription to the P31 Woman magazine and a $15 gift certificate to our Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Store. Also AbbyJenni Mac and Phoenix you are the winners from last Wednesday’s Confident Heart giveaway. You will receive copy of my book, “A Confident Heart”  along with my message, “Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence” on CD.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. This sentence reassured me of how God sees my life. “Every time you fail to be the woman God calls you to be, or the woman you expect yourself to be, let God remind you of the progress you’ve made. Even though you may not be quite who you want to be, you are not who you used to be! You get that much closer to whom you were meant to be every time you fail forward.” I will strive to see the big picture and see things from God’s perspective. Thanks Renee ~ this is the best study!

    • Lilet N says:

      Thanks Renee for that encouraging words. Its so timely that I’m in a situation where I doubt my capabilities but through your message, I was lifted up and realized that those thoughts are deception of the devil. Only in Christ we find hope. More power to your ministry. God bless!

      • Im praying for you Lilet – that Jesus will keep taking your face and turning it toward Him!! He believes in you. He’s equipped you to do and be who He’s created you to be. It’s not always easy – sometimes it’s stinkin’ hard. But I”m so glad you’re beginning to recognize your doubts as not being from Jesus but straight from the enemy.

        In Christ there’s hope and power!!

    • Thank you Chris for sharing what encouraged you in Chapter 7. That is a sentence that God wrote to me – and then I shared with all of you on the pages of ACH. It’s something I needed to learn and replay again and again. We need to remind ourselves that we are making progress and celebrate those – even if they are small sometimes. Praying He keeps changing us all from the inside out –with HIS life-giving truths and perspectives!!

    • I can identified the “bully”…it can come from some people in our lives, friends, coworker, ….or ourselves. Just today I had encounter we woman I know from a church I used attend…my home church…and she offered unsolicited advice.. She tried to make me feel inadequate because my life is not perfect and I she thinks might be missing out on life because I am the care giver for my elderly mother….and she said I should see a psychiatric because according to her I don’t make time for myself, which I do..but it was one accusation after another. I don’t consider this person a friend. A friend that cares about you would be supported no matter what stage in our lives we are…and would not be judgmental or would be patronizing and condencending. I told her I don’t need psychiatric because I have JESUS AND he direct my steps.. Keep in mind this suppose to be a christian woman, but some christian have one foot heaven…and the other in the hell. I loved this video. Thanks for reminding me these are lies from the enemy to make me feel inadequate…and a person that cares about would offered advice in a spirit of friendship and love…clearly this person had major issues of her own that she had not dealt with and is projecting those issues on others.

      • Shannon Steckel says:

        Susan, I can so identified that and I’m still struggling with the “bully”. I have been hurt by friends who I have though were my friends. I thought I was over it but I have realized I’m still struggling with it. I know part of me was to blame since I over stepped my boundaries but than my phone had a malfunction and kept on calling them. So, I was almost cited for phone harrassment. So I went to church to play the piano where I get my frustration I went to the church and than the pastor saw me played the piano than told the choir director and I was no longer aloud to play the piano. However, I know she had some other issues but now I’m afraid to get too close to people but I try to tell myself this is how it is suppossed to be and I should just be thankful for what I have but today has been challenging so hard but I know it because devil is getting in the way since I’m getting closer to God. It still hurts but life goes one and I know it only destroy your own health.

  2. Thank you so much Renee. I love the AM/FM discussion. It really sticks with me and helps me re-direct my thoughts toward Christ and away from the lies of the enemy. I’m also going to remember the gold versus dirt analogy–looking for the good instead of focusing on the negative.

    God bless you for your wonderful ministry.

    • You’re so welcome Mary!! God always shows me stuff in a way that I can remember with pictures – probably b/c Im so forgetful the others ways He’s tried to teach me. So glad it’s impacting you too!!

  3. Diane Zamora says:

    Renee, each and every week your words inspire me and provide me with the encouragement that God loves me.

    Your references regarding AM (Against Me) and FM (For Me) was right on target. I too have my radio set to a Christian radio station. It helps get my day started in being positive and carrying God in my heart.

    I recently went on a women’s journey and then had your blog come across my email soon after. Since then I have felt God has put me back on my faith path. As women we get so lost taking care of others that we fail to take care of ourselves. I started to feel like I was spinning out of control and lost. It’s so easy to get pulled down by all of the negativity surrounding you. Especially as women, we sometimes tend to pull each other down instead of supporting each other. I have learned that we are all accoutable for our actions. I strive each day to be a good servant in the Lord’s name.

    Renee “Thank You” for weekly providing me with the encouragement of words and reminding me how much God loves me for ME! I pray that I might help others with your words of encouragement. I have been using your book at work and sharing your website with other women in my office. Thank you for being a good servant of the Lord and going out and bring His word and love to us.

    • Thank you Diane for being an encouragement to me today!! I am so thankful God led you to the women’s journey and then to my blog. What an honor to be His servant speaking into your life and reminding you how important you are to Him. I’m so glad you are taking care of your heart and soul through BIble study and the message of my book. And THANK YOU for sharing it with others. That is wonderful!!!

  4. Thank you Renee. There are so many things to try and remember, but so enjoying the bible study. God has given you a real gift to be able to help share your teachings with us ladies. God bless you Renee.

  5. Something that really clicked with me was reading what you wrote about conviction vs. condemnation. It hadn’t really registered to me that those ugly things that pop into my head weren’t just coming from inside me, but that the enemy was putting them there. I honestly thought that the Holy Spirit was giving me those feelings of “you need to be better,” “you need to try harder or you’re going to fail,” “you’re not a very good person/friend/wife/mother,” etc. But now I know, that’s NOT the Holy Spirit speaking to me. That’s the enemy, trying to bring me down. Thank you so much for this book and especially these past few chapters. I’ve always been prone to self-deprecation but now I’m realizing that I am a child of God too and He hurts when I hurt. And when I hurt myself, that’s just silly!

    • YAY!! Love that you are learning and believing who you are in Christ – a holy, dearly loved Child of GOD!!! He does hurt when you hurt – and it just makes me so mad that we let the enemy have his way without even recognizing we’re letting him. He’s sneaky but we’re are smarter than him – and GREAT is HE who is in us than he who is in the world!!

      Keep reading and listening for God’s voice of affirmation and love over you — even His conviction is a loving tone :0)

  6. Thank you Renee for this message. Last week, I wrote to you about how I seem to keep failing and sabotaging my attempts and my husband’s as well in reconciling our marriage. This morning, God gave me the opportunity to have discussions with my husband, whether good or bad, about our marriage. While my husband was letting me know he doesn’t believe I can ever move forward and that he doesn’t want this marriage anymore, as much as it hurts to here it, I have joy in my heart because if what you wrote last Wednesday. That even as my husband do not accept or wants to be with me, I am accepted and secure with God. That I am not a complete failure that my husband tells me that I am. I asked for forgiveness from my husband for the things I said and did that hurt him. He didnt accept it. I thank God for all the things He is doing, whether it is hurtful or not, because all things work for His glory. He is kind and marvelous, I will work on myself, the person God wants me to be, being a good mother to my children and continue to be God’s child. Have a wonderful day in Christ.

    • I do remember your story and praying for you!! Abby I am so sorry for what your husband is telling you and how he’s not willing to forgive. Yet, can I tell you just how proud I am that you are not letting his refusal define you. You are allowing God’s word to secure your worth and significance. That is huge sweet friend!

      You ARE NOT A FAILURE – in any way, shape or form. Oh yes, we may fail but we are not our failures. Praying for you to keep listening to and living in HIS truth. Blessings!!

  7. Chapter seven was so encouraging to me. not only did it make me realize I am not alone. That God loves me even when I beat myself up for my failures. The chapter taught me that God doesn’t see me and my failures as I do. He loves me anyway. Also it taught me to look at my children differently. Mining for gold.

  8. Angel P says:

    It was reassuring to hear this. Sometimes I need to experience things with all of my senses, read the word (sight), hold the book (touch), hear your voice (sound). It helps me process the message and have a better understanding. Thanks for you message today. It reminded of what I have read.

    • So glad you took time to listen. I feel like these videos bring the message of the book to life and are an important part of helping it “stick” – especially for us visual learners. 🙂

  9. Thanks for the thoughts about this being a daily thing. I need to focus on God’s thought for me every day. Thanks again.

    • It really is a daily journey – sometimes moment by moment for me. But HIS truth really has the power to set us free. I am living evidence of that!

  10. God’s timing amazes me! I was feeling very overwhelmed at work this week and thinking what a failure I am because I can’t meet all the deadlines I set for myself this week. This chapter helped me realize I am not a failure, the deadlines are my own and I did not seek God’s guidance in setting them. I’ve shushed the AM thoughts and replaced them with FM thoughts. After all, what God wants done will get done and the rest doesn’t really matter! Thanks for the reminder that God loves me for me and I don’t have to Superwoman to earn that love.

    • OH such good stuff! I feel like I”m reading a conversation I’ve had with myself a few times. He will make sure we accomplish what matters to Him. Thanks for reminding me back!

  11. I agree to that fail forward is a good thing to remember. I am graded everyday at work, literally. It is easy so easy to be fearful of that, that all it will take is one time of not paying enough attention and I cld be let go. Sometimes I like to use music to keep the FM thoughts like that one son,. It is well with my soul… I give it to God that way.

    • I know that must be a lot of pressure Marsha – being graded every day. Feeling afraid to make a mistake b/c it could cost you your job. Praying for Jesus to guard your heart and mind and help you become more and more confident in the tasks you do each day and to give you peace that surpasses your understanding!!

  12. Shannon Steckel says:

    I love the am/fm differences it is amazing and so true. I always compare myself why doesn’t this friend like me like her other friends. However, I realized that many of us have variety of friends some may like shopping friends, possilbility excercising friends, moving friends, wine friends. In addition, I realize I have the best friend who will never leave me aside and that is God-He is in control and once you put that in your life you may be shock at what happens. For this friend has invitied me to something, part of me say it is a mistake and she didn’t mean too but the other half says “stop” saying that too yourself. You have encourage this person so why not be invited. It is just amazing when you put God first in your life but I still have a hard time with it. But He knows we all do so that is why He created friendship and fellowship to encourage and strengthen us. Plus these teachers who take to time listen to God and let them shine through them is such an inspiration. Thank you Renee

    • Love how He is working in your life. You go to that thing you were invited to and be a blessing to the other people there. he wants your there loving on and encouraging people. Satan wants you to stay home and doubt yourself. Don’t let him steal your fun or your friendships.

      We all have insecurities about friendships but like you said – when we find our best friend in Jesus it’s so much easier to ride the ups and downs of relationships and stay secure in His arms!!

  13. This chapter has really helped me a lot. I know I have mentioned before that I am in christian counseling and that I am working on past issues I never dealt with before. Well one of them was believing that I was never good enough. I realize that all this time it was and still is Satan who fills my head with these thoughts and I know that God loves me for me and he created me for a purpose. I have come to terms that my earthly father who has passed away many years ago may have never loved me and that he may not have known how to love. I am confident most of the time in knowing that I am loved by my heavenly Father and he will never leave nor forsake me. Sometimes I fall into believing Satans lies but I pray that God will reveal to me the truths and guide me on the right path. Thanks Renee for your words of encouragement they help me to know I am not alone in my journey.

    • Kelly, I feel like Jesus wants me to assure you that your father’s inability to love you is not a reflection of whether you are loved or worth loving — YOU ARE!!! He was broken but that doesn’t mean you are. Don’t let that history write your destiny. You are loved, chosen, accepted, secure and significant to THE FATHER. You are the apple of HIS eye!! I’m praying for these truths to be engraved on your heart in ways that you can not forget!!!

  14. August Rose says:

    God is speaking to me more and more about having confidence in Him. Not in others or even myself. For example, I was about to give up on working out. When I read how the enemy tells us we deserve whatever we are craving and how he gets us to go for it. I wanted to shout yes I understand! Reading Chapter 7 gave me the courage and the confidence to keep going. Replacing the sabotaging thoughts with truth is something that HAS TO be done. Not in a pain staking way but in a I dont have to take this! I know whose I am kind of way! I am so thankful for this book and for the scriptures that replace and uproot the lies and doubt that I have lived with for so long. Especially the hurtful words of others that I needed to replace and stop replaying in my mind. I love my new freedom in Christ! Thanks again Renee! August Rose

    • Love what you shared here: “Replacing the sabotaging thoughts with truth is something that HAS TO be done. Not in a pain staking way but in a I dont have to take this! I know whose I am kind of way!” Amen!! that is exactly what it has to be for me – I almost have to get mad at the enemy and I have a feeling God is happy when I do!

      I love that you are finding and loving your new found freedom in CHRIST!!!

  15. August Rose says:

    I forgot something special in my aforementioned comment. I absolutely LOVE mining for gold! I read the chapter at the gym on the treadmill. While I was there I got some disturbing news about my daughter. Right at the spot where I was reading about mining for gold. I decided to remain calm, tell her all the things I really love about her and then show her what I found. She was so sorry and I felt like I loved her the way God means for me to. I gave her grace and mercy. She thanked me and helped me lead bible study at my job today. (By the way my message was about having confidence in God and His word). Mining for gold helped me show love and acceptance to my daughter and I can’t help but see the look on my daughters face when she asked if she could erase somethings on her twitter page so that I wouldnt see them. I gave her a do over just like the Father does for us. I could see the pain on her face of knowing I saw something she shouldnt have put on there. I know that look because I have had it myself. Thank you Lord for showing me how to parent in love and not condemnation! And thanks again Renee! August Rose

    • Wow, I am so encouraged to read how God timed that you would be reading that part of the chapter just when He would give you an opportunity to parent with HIS grace and truth – just the same way He parents us. I can’t tell you how much that means to me that He worked in your heart that way and you listened. You listened to His spirit and look at the sweet reward of your daughter’s response. Amazing isn’t it?

      Thank you for sharing August Rose!!!

  16. Hi Renee: Thanks so much for your teaching. Reading chapter 7 filled my heart with confidence. The video reminded me about faith and determination, and the importance of keeping my mind clear and clutter free of insecurity, pride and doubt. .Also I loved how you showed how what we think affects the way we feel and that in turn affects the way we live. if we just fill our minds with God’s truth everything thing in our life changes for the better. I feel more happy, courageous, energetic and and creative when I fill my heart with God’s truth.
    God bless,

    • Thank you for taking time to leave a note Anna. I love hearing what sticks out to each person. It truly is amazing what happens when we fill our minds with God’s thoughts and truths. That is why I am so passionate about us posting our Word and God’s word for the weeks all around us. That we will know the truth and His truth will keep setting us free!!

  17. deborah fultner says:

    I found your video and this chapter so uplifting! The phrase fail forward, is new to me and I don’t think I’ll forget it. Usually when I fail, I waste time beating myself up and over apologizing. It’s only later that I give the problem to God. Yes,I should apologize and have a sense of guilt,but I need to remember to fail forward because God will not let me fall (Ps. 37 23-24 NIV 1984). It such a blessing to have you lead this study.

    • Im so glad you are part of the study Deborah!! I am tempted to do the same thing when I fail and it’s such a waste of energy, time, focus and emotion. Guilt is a life-depleter! Grace is a life giver. We need to apologize, learn from our mistakes and move on with Jesus!!

  18. Jennifer says:

    For years I would sit in church, small group and in my family afraid to speak up because of the guilt and shame of poor choices. This past week the Holy Spirit must have had me on auto pilot because I found myself sharing part of my testimony – the part I thought was the worst – in spite of the AM thoughts running rampant in my mind with three individuals that I looked upon as “perfect” – or much closer than myself. I was completely blown away when these three individuals started to tear up and each shared similar testimonies that they had not shared with others. All those years of doubt that I wouldn’t/couldn’t measure up – to finally open up and see that not only was I not alone, it allowed three other people a chance to breathe and release their own doubt. Will be sharing your AM/PM inspiration and thank you for embracing your truths so we can breathe.

    • Wow, now I”m in tears. How amazing to see God work in such a beautiful and powerful way on your behalf – honoring and blessing your courage and faith!!

      All that time Satan just wanted to keep your mouth shut because he know the threat of your testimony!! Reminds me of Rev 12:11″They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony!”

      I am so excited about the way God is working in your life and the lives of those who will be blessed by your story. Thank you so much for sharing Jennifer!!

  19. Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

    it all sounds so easy to do…I read & understand, but I’m having the hardest time to put it into action. I have so many AM thoughts… I’m sorry- but I’m just being honest, I see everyone’s comments and how they have been touched to move foward, and I’m still not getting it? I’m still feeling stuck, and wondering what does God have in store for me? I constantly think what is my purpose in life? Is it even worth trying to find it at this age? I have days when it’s so dark- I literally come home from work and go straight to bed- just to make this day go away and bring another fresh day- when the next day turns out the same- I come home and go to bed a sleep it away…I have downloaded “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” to read to help me lose those self doubting thoughts… I don’t know what’s wrong – I started off so strong, and now I feel weak again- in my low dark place….

    • Im praying for you as I fall asleep tonight. YOU are not alone sweet friend. praying for a better day tomorrow!!

      • Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

        Thank you Renee! I read all of chapter 7 and man it’s so tough. Failing foward really hit home for me! “I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS” I just have to stop beating myself up so much….

    • christine lowe says:

      Hi Donna
      While reading your post I thought about how bad satan wants to keep you stuck so you can’t get any closer to God. Please don’t let him win Donna. You deserve better than that. satan is a bully and afraid of you getting stronger. Keep reading and listening to Renee’s messages. I felt stuck too in chapter 4 and felt like quitting. In the very next chapterI felt the heaviness lifting and started to get more intentional. Reading when I didn’t feel like it. Writing out the fm thoughts, listening to christian music. Please give God a chance to heal you. I’llbe praying for this to happen for you Donna.
      Walking in His Love

      • Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

        Thank you Christine- I needed the uplifting of a sister today 🙂 I’ve come this far… I am not gonna quit! I have even subscribed to The 7 Day Doubt Diet and to Proverbs 31 ministries for my daily Encouragement. I also love our local Christian station 95.5 The Fish 🙂 I try to keep feeding myself POSITIVE… but why why why does NEGATIVE beat me down in the end… I get home and I just don’t have the energy- the feel good in me to do something for myself… I become defeated and shower and crawl into bed so that I can show up for work again tomorrow??? Please pray for me… this is very unhealthy??? Thank you so much for your concern and caring words….

    • karen in Canada says:

      Hi Donna
      I agree with Christine and Renee, satan is such a bully! I totally believe that as we move and work closer to where God wants us to be – the harder satan is going to try to decieve us so that we stay stuck. Please find the strength in Jesus to not give up. If it’s any consolation I struggle with many similar thoughts and feelings. Just Sunday I was in such a spin I couldn’t think much positive. I Thank God these moments are fewer are farther apart than before. Renee’s book is providing some wonderful tools and a great network for support.
      I read your post earlier this afternoon, then went for a run and prayed for you now I am back to post. I will continue to pray for you, that the Holy Spirit will not let you get discouraged.
      If I didn’t live almost half way across the world, I’d give you a big hug
      Please know you are not alone, I struggle too.

      • karen in Canada says:

        Remember….” where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM!!!!” I often turn to uplifting praise music when I in a funk…

        • Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

          Karen my friend!!! Thank you so much for thinking of me!!!! That’s right Jesusculture!!! Thank you for helping to take the blindfolds off my eyes… I have to be strong, I must be being tested? How can I be so strong going into this Bible Study and then fail terribly at chapter 7? I don’t get it really- I call these days I have “The Blah Days” I have no reason as to why they happen? when they happen they just happen and when people ask me what’s wrong – I just say I feel “Blah” I’m trying to keep everything POSITIVE in my life, memorizing our word for the week along with the verse of the week- even been trying to memorize all the books of the bible taking it two a day I’ve made it all the way up to Isaiah / Jeremiah. I just don’t know what happens to me, that all of a sudden, I’m not good enough, smart enough, strong enough…my self worth and my self image is taken away from me and I become this frail don’t know what my purpose in life is for? Then I start to feel that I wish I could go home to Him stop all this negative feelings-worry, sadness, anger, self doubt, unworthy… the list can go on and on…. Please continue to pray for me- to learn the difference between conviction and condemnation. I wish you didn’t live so far either because I would gladly take that hug in person 🙂

  20. Jenny Mabe says:

    Awesome message and such an on time word. Everything that I have been reading my pastor or someone else has said the very thing that I have read in the book. Its amazing how God works. I so needed this study and glad I’m apart of it. Please pray for me through this study and on top of that my pastor is doing a study on breaking free. Everything is tying in together.

  21. Thank you for your message on AM and FM thoughts. I was crying as I listened to your message because I have felt attacked these last few weeks. I am living in China with roommates. We are all Christian with different personalities. I am getting ready to return to the US in a few weeks and they have been giving me many suggestions, which sometimes over whelm me. As a result, I have gotten mad and have felt very guilty about my angry feelings. I just subscribed to your email messages and I have enjoyed listening to two of your video messages. I have a heart for China, but I do not know or am afraid to seek what God wants me to do to help people in China. I need prayers for courage to search inside my heart for upsetting things in my past and I need the courage to face those things. I also ask for prayers for my roommates. Thank you for listening and I will also pray that your ministry continues to touch many other women who are hurting like me. God Bless.

  22. Bonani( South Africa) says:

    Thank you Renee for the words of encouragement, i am in a situation where i keep on failing one module and i cannot get my degree and also in a job where i dont like but i know once i get this module i can get out of this job. I thank God because with God nothing is impossible and i am trusting God that what he has started he will finish. Thank you Renee you are such a blessing to my life and i have even bought the book for my friends.

  23. Yesterday, I started re-reading Ch 7 to see what would “really” stand out, since the day before had left me in whirlwind of stuff. With tears in my eyes God showed me, “…how critical I have become-not only of myself but also of my family”. That is in a different order than Renee’s words for a reason. God showed me first that what we perceive as failure isn’t always an actual failure. I struggle with the desire for a clean, organized and orderly house. Satan has convinced me that since I can’t achieve it, I am a failure. What God showed me is that an unkept house isn’t failing….it is living. Something my husband has tried to tell me for years, but of course, I didn’t believe him. (It is so much easier to hear it from God…lol) Unfortunately, instead of only being critical of myself on this issue, I started pointing fingers at my family and how much they contribute to my “inadequacies”. If he would just pick up his clothes..if she would just help a little..etc.
    In pointing fingers we allow bitterness and resentment into our hearts. Towards others, towards situations and most importantly, towards God.
    I need to spend some more time focusing on this new revelation, but this is where it is at so far.

    • LaDena,
      This has been one of my struggles too, as silly as it seems to type this…my mom was a clean “freak” and so a “clean house” has always been an unconcious standard of worthiness for me. When I can’t manage it the way I “think” it should be done I–when I am listening to Satan’s lies–I start blaming myself for failing, then when that becomes too painful, I begin to blame and accuse my husband and kids…after all they are a contributing factor in my failure and ought to “share” the blame and the shame (at least that’s how the “logic” goes) I am learning slowly (been working on this for a year and a half now) to identify the thoughts behind the anger and the frustration and the ‘literal panic’ I feel when the house gets really messy–the thoughts of not being in control, the fear of being judged by others, the belief that I am a failure because I can’t even keep my house clean…then I take out my index cards…I have verses written on index cards that I just read again and again to replace the lies with truth–and God is honoring that. I STILL ‘lose it’ over the house, but it happens less and even when I feel like a failure over the housework, or parenting, or work….you name it…the lies in my heart are slowly being replaced by God’s truth. I just hang on for dear life to Phillipians 1:6 that reassures me I’m a “work in progress”…because I’ve even used my failure to get the “God stuff” right as more evidence that I was a failure, but it’s just not true! My heavenly Father ASSURES me that I am a work in progress and that I will ALWAYS be a work in progress until I get to heaven. I don’t have to get this right all of the time and He STILL loves me! I wish I could live in that confident place all the time! (but I’m a work in progress so I’m okay with just “moving in that direction” most of the time…I KNOW my Father is pleased with that!! )

      • karen in Canada says:

        LaDena and Sandy – Thank you for being so courageous and honest about sharing your struggles with the desire for a clean house! What a trap that is! I never saw it as a trap that the enemy is using to keep us from getting closer to God! In what you have shared I see my anger and resentment and sense of failure! I too blame my husband and family and then the bitterness just brews 🙁 The time and energy I spend angry and bitter could be time spent with GOD!! I have so much to learn from all of you,
        Thank you again for sharing:)

      • Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

        Sandy- Thank you so much for sharing! I am that way too… and when my house is out of order- I’m out of order… It drives me crazy…. and if I don’t keep up it becomes so overwhelming to me. I panic too. My Mom God Bless her- she had the cleanest most organized house on the block- always had dinner on the table at dusk – she was so on it!!! so I understand… but because of what you shared I won’t let it drive me crazy no more- when I’m at the edge of losing it I’m going to remember “I am a work in progress’ .My heavenly Father ASSURES me that I am a work in progress and that I will ALWAYS be a work in progress until I get to heaven. I don’t have to get this right all of the time and He STILL loves me! I wish I had an automatic switch in my head to set this off when I feel the BLAHS!
        Thank you for sharing!

  24. God is FOR ME! This truth is starting more and more to sink in and God keeps reminding me so that I won’t forget – through a Word last night and then the video here, through a song this morning… it’s God whispering His truth to my heart replacing the insecurity and the restlessness even though my circumstances haven’t changed – they still seem scary – God is bringing me peace. Praise Him!

    This morning I turned on Kari Jobe’s album (not thinking of this!) and now this song is running through my head and I’m going to try to keep it there. And in my heart. God is using your words, Renee. Thank you for being willing to speak and publish them. (Here’s Kari Jobe’s song: For Me) : )

  25. I find the concept of failure being a postive thing as a revolutionary thought. I have so many times allowed failure to beat me down and make me want to curl up into a ball on the floor and just give up. I use to not try new and different things because of my fear of failure, yet last year I decided that I was not going to let my life be ruled by fear, the very thing that Scripture tells us is not of God in the first place. Most of the time, I have been able to live my life this past year and half by not letting fear take over. However, after a year of filled with many deaths and changes, some days this has been a struggle. When I have allowed fear to take over, I became bitter and angry and then starts the cycle of feeling like a failure again. The fact that failure can help to turn me into a more confident woman of God gives me hope.

    I was also thankful for the description of condemnation and conviction. I have struggled with the two and did not realized how much until I read chapter 7. Thank you for the explaination on the two.

  26. hi, Renee I was reading all these comments, and I notice you are responding a lot in these comments. i’ve written many time in other posts, but because, you have responded a lot in this blog, to comments, I want to make sure that you have been reading my comments. I’m totally blind. I have an amazing computer with a speech program that will read me everything, i have to know to do the right key stroke commands, but it can do almost anything a regular computer can do. God has found me the best study. He is using this study to challenge me to spend some quiet time with him and listen because I talk, talk, talk, I’m repeating a lot of what I said in past blogs, I want to make sure you’re getting these. However, I am able to participate in this study. I get the e-mails. I’m able to hear the videos. I always thank God for such great teknology! I’ve never attended a study like this! It is so cool! we all encourage each other! It’s so cool! and all have the same struggles. I tried to download your book, was having trouble. one limitation my computer has, is I thought it just reads word files, your book is a p.d.f. file. However, my computer teacher just gave me special instructions, she said, sometimes, the speech program can read p.d.f. files, she said to open my adobi reader, and she gave me special commands. i just asked her how to open the adobi reader, I was having trouble. Anyway, I love, your discussion of am. f.m. thoughts, I wrote afew days ago, in the last blog and talked about someone named Joyce Myers! I’m sure a lot of you know about! I love listening to her! every day on TV She is great! I have so many negative people in my life, ny boy friend, and family members, it’s hard to take! They try so hard to make me miserable like them. the enemy uses other people to steal our joy. joyce Myers has a new name for the devil! joy theif! I love it! Every time, I want to take a thought captive, I’m going to say joy theif! joy theif! sorry, for repeating myself so many times, but Renee, I noticed you responding a lot to people in this blog, and i want to make sure you get my messages Okay, talk again soon! and I love reading all the comments! and getting to know everyone!

  27. Dear Renee ~

    I woke up with the “Bully”by my side and in my head this morning. It had everything to do with something my young-adult daughter said a few days ago. She has always proclaimed to be pro-life and anti-abortion, but apparently has been influenced by the world-view that life does not begin at conception. WOAH! What happened? Where did I go wrong? What didn’t I say? How could she even think this way? I’ve long since realized many mistakes in my parenting, but this?

    In my morning devo – the Scripture I was taken to was Isaiah 5 where God planted a vineyard (Israel) and provided everything it needed to flourish and grow. The Scripture states that God “expected it to produce good grapes, But it produced only worthless ones.”

    I don’t think that God took me to that Passage to tell me that my daughter is worthless or that my investment in her life was unfruitful – but to remind me that if God Himself instructed His children & provided everything they needed to produce “good fruit”; then what makes me think I could be or do anything to be a better parent than God?

    I’m a day behind on this devo – but I believe it was in God’s timing that I heard these Scriptures & Truths today, so that I wouldn’t keep the “Bully” beside me all day long – listening to his lies that I’m not fit to be a mother or that God has given up on my child any more than I have.

    Thank you Renee for a very timely word in due season.

    Blessings ~ Jackie

  28. Jessica H. says:

    After reading Renee’s AM/FM thoughts idea, I decided to put them into action (while clinging with a death grip to His promises) at an event last weekend with some friends. My first thoughts were that I wasn’t good enough and that they’re going to be others there that would know more/do a better job. But I put on my “I don’t care what you think about me because God thinks I’m fabulous” (maybe that’s not appropriate?) attitude and went! I ended up having a great time, met some new people, and created memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I know that if I would’ve stayed home I would’ve just been upset at myself for letting my doubt/AM thoughts win.

    However, a new opportunity has approached and the pesky AM thoughts still come rolling in. I’m still praying about this opportunity – it is something that I feel is completely out of my element, but think it might be something that I’ve been praying for. I’m learning that transitioning your thoughts from AM to FM is a process and something I have to do everyday while trying to re-train my brain to instead of thinking “what if I fail” to think “what if I succeed.”

  29. I combined all my “bullet points” into a paragraph of hope & affirmation:

    Jesus is my advocate My advocate is stronger than my adversary. Jesus cancelled the debt of all my sins past, present & future. God isn’t focused on my failures – He sees the “gold” in me & wants to bring it out. Accusations do not come from God. God convicts, He does not condemn. He wants to give me a new starting place. My sin is not who I am. I am a woman who is becoming all God created me to be. I may not be quite who I want to be but I am not who I used to be.

  30. Jenni Mac says:

    I really needed this today. I have panic attacks and anxiety issues, and have suffered from those for years. I have so many AM thoughts! It feels like my panic attacks are just one big, ugly avalanche of against me thoughts, and that I’m being buried by more than just self doubts. It’s straight up self hate. The longer the panic attacks last, the worse the toll they take on my spirit. I have prayed for God to lift this burden away from me, but I don’t think I was prepared in my prayer. I needed more. I needed to research the answers to my questions in His word, which is what I had neglected to do.

    I am going to write down the AM/FM thoughts on index cards and carry them in my purse, and work on building a list of my own.

  31. Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

    Today, I didn’t come home from work- and hide from the world by crawling into bed and just sleeping the day away- I re-read chapter 7 and I answered my questions- OUCH! it hurt- but I got it and it felt good!
    I also watched your video again-How to overcome the Bully of doubt, it helped me to soak in what I need to know.
    This is what I’ll take away with me from chapter 7.
    We have to accept that we are going to disappoint people, especially if we are seeking to please God. Sometimes we need to lower our expectations of ourselves and lighten our over loaded list of commitments. We also need to stop the habit of beating ourselves up with so much critcal thinking (AMEN TO THAT) What are we doing, talking to a child of God the way we talk to ourselves? When criticism comes and we have done our best, we can rest in knowing God is pleased if we didn’t do our best, we need to give ourselves grace and try again by failing foward. THANK YOU RENEE- today wasn’t as dark as yesterday- and I truly believe it was through your prayers and the other women in christ that truly cares and prays for all these women who leave comments on this site. It is so encourgaging and helpful.
    Thank you so much!

  32. Just need to share, after receiving some difficult information in regards to my husbands job status and being on workman’s comp, all I could think about was what if? But as I continue to drive home, Renee came on the radio with her radio devotion which it home for me and Renee reminded me:Where are your eyes focused? the bible says: “My eyes are toward You, O GOD, in You I take refuge.”here are you eyes focused? That even in this difficult time of the unknown, to focus on my Master, the Lord. Thank you Renee for this reminder. God Bless

  33. Shawna Salkil says:

    This chapter is hitting home with me for sure! I have always beaten myeslf down and believed the lies going through my head, even though I know the Word and grew up with it all around me. I never let it become a part of me. I can tell other people their worth and value in Christ, but never seem to get it myself. The AM / FM analogy is very helpful and is helping me readjust my focus in a more targeted way.

    I also believe in the power of Christian music to realign your thoughts. I have my alarm set to “God’s Not Dead” so I am reminded of that every morning. And I changed my run music to all Christian and it made a world of difference in my attitude throughout the day. I am currently fasting TV (except Joyce Meyer while I walk on treadmill on my non-run days) and Facebook and Pinterest while I work on my focus and realigning my thoughts. All of this was starting in my before I started this chapter, so I know this is a confirmation that I am right on with where God is leading me.

    Thank you Renee for this book, this study and your ministry.


  34. I love your book “Confident Heart” and am learning many things in each chapter. I am wondering if you have a book or could suggest a resource for young men to read that would help them develop a confident heart.

    Thank you for your response.


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