Have you lost your way or fallen down, confidence wounded by someone else’s words?
Or maybe you’re walking boldly forward, full of confidence because of someone else’s words.
Either way, have you let someone else’s words overshadow God’s truth about who you are?
Last week, I allowed the words and actions of just one person to knock me smack down on my butt, afraid to get back up again. I felt bruised, hurt, and insignificant. I momentarily forgot all the words of encouragement and positive feedback from others.
Most importantly, I forgot God’s truth about me. My confidence shifted from Christ alone, to Christ plus the words of others.
I asked for prayer – I could not get up on my own.
The Lord answered. He whispered this scripture reference to me: James 2:1-11. The title of that section: Favoritism Forbidden. Before I even read one word of the passage, I knew the Lord’s message to me.
Mary, you put that person on a pedestal that is Mine alone. Because of their position, accomplishments, and ability, you forgot they are just another person like you. You allowed their opinion and actions to matter way too much.
You trusted in man more than you believed and trusted in Me.
Wow, yes, I sure did! I also realized that if they had given me great praise, I would have hung on to their every word and kept seeking more. Either way, their words do not define me…but I allowed them that power.
Then I read the passage, and these verses leapt off the page:
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. (James 2:8-9 NIV)
By showing favoritism, I sinned – I broke the law of love. How can I love anyone when I’m focused inward on how I’m feeling and what their opinion means to me? And how can I love them when I don’t allow the Lord’s truth to fill me with His confidence?
Lord, please forgive me. And please bless that person, heal them, and fill them with more of You.
I wish I could say I bounced right back up and kept on going. But (sigh), it takes a while to process through feelings and emotions – you know, that human thing – and fully forgive and receive forgiveness. Covered by the prayers of others, and God’s truth and love through those prayers, I’m getting there one day at a time, one step at a time.
Whether praise or criticism, whether given or received, words have power so we need to use them carefully.
I’m sure I’ll be hurt again by someone else’s words. And I’m sure my words will sometimes hurt others. When that happens, I’ll remember this lesson, seek God’s truth, and get back up.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: In what situation have you allowed someone else’s words mean more than God’s truth about you? I’d love to hear your experiences, and how this post may have helped you.