Listen to the Cheer, Not the Hiss

So what voices are you listening to in your life? Have you been listening to "The Hiss"? Not sure? Lorilee Craker takes us for Round Two on this topic. Come with her and consider ... just who are you listening to in your life?

PS - Read more about "The Hiss" in Really's October 20, 2015 blog.


Listen to the Cheer, Not the Hiss

By Lorilee Craker

The old snake is smart, most of the time. He knows we would act fast if we smelled smoke. Or our carbon monoxide detectors went off. So he keeps his hissing low to the ground, subtle, sneaky. And he kills us softly, slowly.

When Elisa Morgan called Satan's sewage-spewing lies "the Hiss" in Hello, Beauty Full, I grabbed on. Mercy! How I love the right word for the right situation! She gave me a word for those sinister, low-grade, low-volume accusations and condemnations that we breathe in like carbon monoxide fumes.

I have spent years wasted on listening to-and believing-the Hiss.

For me, his hisses include the following:

  • You're aging badly

  • Your hair is frizzy

  • Boy, you've packed it on since your wedding 24 years ago (this, in the midst of sharing beautiful, sacred wedding photos on my anniversary yesterday)

  • On that note: You should have more self-control

And don't get me started on my career:

  • People just looooove that adorable _______, don't they? (this, due to regular comparisons to______, yet not much to show for it in terms of book sales.)

  • What a dumb-butt idea for a blog! No wonder no one read it.

  • You should have known to fix that glitch on your blog. If you had, your list would be huge right now. What a missed opportunity! Tsk. Too bad, so sad...

Of course, The Hiss is not sad. He's giddy, because he knows the Hiss will have more power if it hits us where we hurt.

His reason for being is to steal our joy, like a mugger. (In fact, the Greek word for "steal" in John 10:10-"the thief comes to steal and kill..."-is "pickpocket.") And when I believe the Hiss, he makes off with my bag of joy every time.

But the good news: I have begun to consciously, purposefully push back.

Hiss: "You haven't heard from _____in a while. Obviously, she doesn't like you as much as you thought she did ..."

Pushback: "There is no way of knowing why she hasn't responded to my email. Regardless of whether she ever returns it, I am Loved. I am Beauty Full. Because of Jesus. And by the way: He beat you so bad! PS: Shut your fat head!"

Or, here's a popular conversation in my head:

Hiss: "You are not enough."

Pushback: "I am enough, because He made me enough. Fill me up, Jesus!"

The more I push back, the clearer things get.

I never knew what it meant to "take every thought captive" (2 Corinthians 10:5). But now I think I do. It's not just trying feebly to ignore the Hiss. It's leaning in to Jesus' power, grabbing that Hiss and shoving it in a jail cell.


The Hiss is in prison.

It's also listening for the Cheer, because the opposite of hiss is cheer.

The Cheer shouts words of encouragement and direction. The Cheer is on my side, now and always. His voice is a clap of approval and affirmation.

It's listening to my Father cheer me on, root for me, favoring, loving me. It's hearing him say:

You're beautiful.

In your weakness, I am strong.

I have you on your own path, the best path for you.

Your blog made me laugh. I am so proud of you.

There was a glitch? Great, glitches are my specialty.

Behold, darling Lorilee. I am making all things new.

Lorilee Craker is a writer, speaker, and listener of cheers. Her latest book is Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me About Grace, Belonging and the Orphan in Us All. She blogs at, where there is always room for one more kindred spirit. You can find her on Facebook ( and follow her on Twitter @Lorileecraker and Instagram @Lorileerc. She lives in glamorous Grand Rapids, MI, in a 1924 house filled with family and too many pets.

© Elisa Morgan 2020

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