Your Inner Barney Fife


Inner Barney Fife

He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. (Psalms 7:15, NKJV).

That’s the theme verse for your Inner Barney Fife.  This is the corner of your soul that…

  • Shoots yourself in the foot
  • Insecure
  • Gloms onto others
  • Never succeeds
  • False bravado
  • Blowhard
  • An adorable loser
  • Accident-prone
  • Sees problems where there are none
  • Has a thing for Thelma Lou

If you’ve ever felt like your own worst enemy, you’ve met your Inner Barney Fife. He’s a charter member of the sinister menagerie lurking in your soul. Your Inner Barney Fife works tirelessly to make you an adorable failure. You are a champion of “almosts..”

  • You almost land that dream job…
  • You almost ask that good-looking guy/girl out on a date…
  • You almost apply for that job…
  • You almost put together a great resume…
  • You almost read your Bible and pray every day…
  • You almost launch that life-changing ministry…
  • You almost get involved at church…
  • You almost had a good marriage…
  • You almost had your song published…

messcoverWhen opportunity knocks, Barney makes sure you’re snoozing on the back porch rocker.  My Inner Mess book grew out of messages I first preached in 1996. I wrote three chapters, gave it to some friends, and got so-so reviews. I was so discouraged, I put it away for eight years.  It was a book I almost wrote.

It took some encouragement from Dave Meurer, an author who dragged me to the Mt Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference, to get me over the Barney Fife hump.

What gets you past your self-sabotaging, foot-shooting, inept Inner Barney Fife? For me, it was coming to believe I really had something to offer the world. I had to own 1 Corinthians 12:21: “And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.””

Your Inner Barney needs to feel valuable; not in a patronizing, “Mommy thinks you’re the best” way, but in an authentic, “new creation in Christ” way.  You need to embrace your true identity in Christ, as a uniquely gifted servant of God. So what if your dad called you good for nothing, your peers called you a loser. You are who Jesus says you are. You derive your identity from him–not from the crazy people who surround you.

You are who God says you are.

jesuswalkingonwatercartdotcomYou need to believe that however brightly you shine, it is for Christ. It is to radiate his glory.  It’s not about the impression you make; it’s about Jesus.  Only then can you take the pressure off yourself.  Only then will Barney stop shooting you in the foot.

Self-esteem is what happens to people who embrace their riches in Christ, and esteem Christ above all.

My cousin, Steve Hendricks, of Sundance Creative, drew Barney for me. He’s a great guy and an incredible artist.  He’s done some other caricatures, and I’ll introduce them here in the coming days. Inner Brat, coming up next.  Wait till you see her picture!


6 thoughts on “Your Inner Barney Fife

  1. Hebrews 10:38 (NKJV)

    But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And if he shrinks back,
    I will not be pleased with him.


  2. I feel like him sometimes. I just told my husband this week….”I want to be a better wife, better mother, skinnier, better pastor’s wife, better servant in our church, best homeschool mom, best friend to others, best daughter, blah blah blah.” And I know that when I truly see my identity in Christ, those things will improve and maybe even explode into beautiful relationships/attributes. Thanks for this post.

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