"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Words to the Wise (and not so wise)....

What's one of the most powerful gifts that our Creator has bestowed upon us? Words. Yes, words. Those often loud, emotional, letters strewn together, communication tools, called words. It's amazing that God gave us such a gift. After all, he didn't entrust this gift with dogs, cats, monkeys or elephants. He only only entrusted them to man.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs that, "death and life are in the power of the tongue;" that our words are the mirror from which others view us and cast judgement upon us. If you ask me, that's rather scary. To think that my tiny little tongue (compared to an elephant's, it is tiny), could determine my eternal destiny. Wow! They impact our children, friends, relatives, and the world. But some of the most powerful words we speak are the ones that no one hears ... the words we speak to ourselves. We can speak life to ourselves and we can speak death to ourselves. Our minds think about 130 words per minute and our mouths (women) speak about 25,000 words in a day. That's a lot of words! A considerable amount of those words are spoken or thought to ourselves. Most of this self-talk is harmless, such as what will I fix for dinner? or where did I put my hairbrush? I ask myself more questions than the average person does, because I am a tad more forgetful than the average person is. So....from the time my feet hit the floor in the morning, until the time my head hits the pillow in the evening, I'm internally speaking a LOT to myself.

As I ponder the past week, I am wondering just what makes some people feel so confident and others feel so insecure. The only thing I can come up with is words. Some people use them as encouragement and delight. Others use them as weapons of warfare. I just cannot handle being around the people that use them as if they were overseas, fighting a losing battle--they just keep the bullets coming and coming. Geesh! I'm pretty sure that virtually every adult female I have ever encountered has been the victim of verbal bullying. Yep. The kind that smacked her right in the gut; the kind that confirmed every insecurity she ever, even remotely, felt about herself; the kind that left her feeling like the batter who struck out with three runners on bases or the girl who never received those proverbial birthday party invitations. Wow.

Saying, "I'm so fat," "I'm ugly," or "I'm never going to be good enough,"to oneself can be extremely destructive and debilitating. It can lead to such a grave negative self-perception that it leads to emotional chaos. But....it's even worse when someone else is slaying you with their negative words--thus, just confirming the chaos you are feeling. Negative self-perceptions, repeated over a time, will brand themselves into our minds and eventually become our reality. If you repeat a wrong belief or lie enough times, you begin to believe it. "Nobody loves me," "I don't have any friends," or "I'm so ugly" becomes your reality ... even though it is a false reality. You can become stuck in the house of mirrors looking at a distorted reflection of who you really are. Each time we speak a lie about ourselves, to ourselves, we become more and more bound by it. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that, "As a man thinks within himself, so he is." Gosh, that so makes me want to practice saying positive things to myself. I guess Zig Ziglar was really onto something when he tried to involve the country in positive self talk.

When we look into God's mirror, His incredible love letter to us we call the Bible, we discover the truth. God does love you (Colossians 3:12). You have an entire cloud of witnesses cheering for you (Hebrews 12:1). You are God's masterpiece, a work of beautiful art (Ephesians 2:10). You are good enough because Christ lives in you (John14:20). You are a chosen, holy, dearly loved child of God. That's the truth. Let's get out of the house of mirrors and start seeing ourselves as God sees us.

In one of John's letters, he wrote, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 1:4). I believe that God has no greater joy than to know that His children are walking in the truth. When we are walking in the truth, the lies are exposed. We can recognize the lie, reject the lie, and replace the lie with truth. Then, and only then, can we be all that God has created us to be and do all that God has created us to do. We can experience the abundant life that He planned all along.

I believe God has great plans for all of us. His Word promises that He does. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9). But many of us are not experiencing the abundant life because we don't know who we are. We have believed the lies that we are not good enough, unloved, unworthy, and unforgivable. We have been looking in distorted mirrors for far too long. God wants us to look into the only true mirror that will tell us exactly who we are, what we have, and where we are as a child of God -- His Word. It is the key to living the victorious Christian life.

My hope for you is that you are able to uncover the mirror that God has chosen to see you through; that your 'looking glass' becomes so beautiful, because of your reflection of Him, that you can't help but love yourself as the Child of God that He has created you to be. Be blessed as you find the many ways to bless someone with your words today.

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