A friend was hurt recently over words someone said about her. It was apparent she was in deep pain though the words, spoken in context, weren’t intended to offend. What was minor for one, was major for another.
Often, when we react intensely to an offense it is because it has triggered a previous wound, a rawness that has never fully healed. Though the pain is felt in the moment it is not actually about that moment. In my friend’s case, the wound comes from a lie she has unwittingly embraced as truth.
A lie that says she doesn’t measure up.
Are you, like my friend, troubled by nagging thoughts that you’re not enough? At one time or another, we all experience feelings of inadequacy. And the feeling can be justified: a first-time parent with a newborn, a novice chess player, or a student taking an exam not studied for. But if the feelings of inadequacy center on who you are as a person, know with absolute certainty that they are lies.
We each carry a unique perspective, influenced by our life experiences, our family, the world, the enemy, and our internal sound track. But there is something you need to understand. The messages, expectations, and beliefs that come from them have absolutely no meaning unless you accept them as truth. And what you believe to be true, manifests in your life as if it was true.
Over the years, I’ve also heard messages that I wasn’t enough, that I was faulty or lacked value. Some were spoken out loud, though most were piercing whispers in my heart. But I learned a secret. Those messages don’t define me. They may be someone’s truth, but they aren’t my truth.
The real truth of who you are comes from your Creator. But until you fully embrace His truth as your truth, you’ll spend life weakened and under attack. My friend longs to be accepted for who she is, but finds herself thwarted time and again, because deep down she still believes a lie. As a result, she can respond to others in a distorted way. When they pull back it reinforces the lie. My friend’s pain is very, very real. But it is needless.
Lesson for the Journey:
If someone said you were a purple gorilla, you’d walk away unconcerned because you know it’s untrue. A person’s opinion of you will only cause you distress when you’ve forgotten the truth of who you really are. The moment you accepted Christ as your Savior you became a new creation, one that He calls cherished, victorious, chosen, and fully whole. So before you react, remember who you are. Anyone else’s opinion simply doesn’t matter.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)