Friday, December 2, 2016

Not an Ugly Jacket

"I'm broken."

"I'm worthless."

"I'll never get "it" right."

"There's no way I can amount to anything."

No matter what others might have said about us, or what we might have told ourselves about us (lol, we do it, don't we?), it doesn't define us. Research shows that our positive and negative comments should be at a ratio of 80/20 to maintain a good relationship. However, from the moment one of those ugly-ish, not-so-nice, comments soar through the air waves into our awaiting ear canals, we'll probably never forget it. They often get 100% of our attention and focus. Why is it so? Why does it take ten positive statements to even begin to erase one negative one?  Uugh!

After we hear it, we often rehearse it over and over until eventually we know it backward and forward. Just think about it, someone might be having a bad day and may lash out and say something totally off putting to us. It could be about our character or something we failed at. At first, we're shocked. Then, unless we've trained our brain not to do so, we most likely begin thinking about it. (At least us thinkers do!) "Are they right?" "Am I __________?" Anybody been there?

Eventually, if we don't consciously put it out of our minds, we'll begin to believe it. Is it actually true? Probably not or maybe perhaps it is so. Still, that poor individual might have just been having a bad day. We might have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. We're all prone to spew on occasion if there are enough contributing factors in life to get us off balance. 

How many of us have made statements to our children or family in moments of frustration that we wish we hadn't said? How many times has the tone of voice we used carried an extra punch to cause someone grief? Then there are those times when we say things innocently that might be taken the wrong way. Goodness!

Regardless, our whole life is made up of these types of incidents. How many things have we believed about ourselves which aren't actually true?  How many statements have we lived up to simply because we thought that was how it was supposed to be? How many of us aren't what we could be because we've heard the voices in our head reminding us that we're not (or we are) this or that?

It's possible to just grow into those statements, sort of like putting on a jacket that isn't really our size. What could we possibly be if we didn't hear those un-truths? What could we do if we didn't agree with those statements we've heard about ourselves in the past? The truth is, we don't have to wear that jacket. Nope! In fact, we don't even have to try it on! 

Isn't it freeing to know that we are NOT what we've heard - from ourselves or others? There's only One who can define us and He already has. He says:

"You can be mended."

"You were worth my life."

"You can do all things through Me."

"I have great plans for you."

Let's remember His comments and promises concerning us. It's always the truth! Let's try to make it a practice of trading that ill-fitting jacket for a coat or royalty on a regular basis. I know, words hurt much more than sticks and stones, regardless of what we learned to say in elementary school. Yet, if we can make a conscious effort to listen to the right voice...I'm still trying to get the hang of it. If you have those ugly words about yourself, rattling around in the back of your head. Empty them out today. Give them to Him.

We look so much nicer and will feel so much more comfortable in a tailored coat, fitted personally for us, by the King. 

He sees and knows what nobody else can - and He calls us His own. His possession! Chosen. He has nothing but good to say concerning His precious children. Know your true identity! Don't be conned by the words of any other. What hope!

Be encouraged, and let's be cautious with the words we use each day. Lift someone up this holiday season. Let our words be the reason someone smiles today! 

 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9