Do you hear voices? Don’t worry, according to J. S. Park, hospital chaplain, blogger and teaching pastor, this is perfectly normal. We all have both external and internal voices that are constantly speaking to us, and they have unimaginable power.
The four internal voices are valuations. They rate others and ourselves and confer moral judgements. Exalting voices lead to pride and self-justification (when applied to ourselves) or people pleasing (when applied to others). Condemning voices can cause self-doubt and insecurity (with ourselves) or judgement and resentment (of others).
The external voices are precipitated by events and situations outside of ourselves, things we can’t control. They are guilt (what I did), family dynamics (what I grew up with); trauma (what was done to me) and grief (what I lost).
We can’t eliminate these voices, and they are not all bad. The challenge, according to Park, is to develop our own strong, internal voice composed of our non-negotiables and values. This gives us a reference point, and a way to evaluate all the other voices that come swooping in to confuse and distract. Park quotes a pastor friend who puts it like this:
“God made you the way He made you because He wanted to say something through you that He can’t through anyone else.”
In other words, finding your voice means finding the genuine you along with the story you want to tell, and then telling it well. It is the message and hope you want to speak into the world.
Park relies upon stories from his experience as a chaplain and his own life to illustrate and illuminate his points. It requires some understanding of psychology and a self-reflective mind bent to appreciate fully.
VERDICT: FOUR STARS. Not everyone will like it, but I did. I do wish more time had been spent on the “how” of developing an authentic personal voice.
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The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.