This is part two of a five week series on the power of words. We have all been impacted by the words of another. Some words have imbued us with confidence, while others have deflated us. We are created to be communicators. So, when there are words, how do we use them well?
Let’s explore this over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me and add your thoughts to the conversation! If you want to read previous posts, click: When There Are Words.
“I’m an idiot.” The boy says of himself. Far too often for my liking. He holds himself to such a high standard no person could possibly achieve it, much less maintain it. It’s a standard of perfection. No mistakes allowed.
In his mind, to fail even in the smallest way is worthy of calling himself a name.
It about breaks my mama’s heart. Every. Single. Time.
Where do we learn to talk so meanly about ourselves? I would never call a person I care about an idiot, or stupid, or anything else. Although, I confess, I might—sometimes—say that about the driver who cuts me off in traffic (Yes, yes, I’m working on that).
Since when is it okay to belittle the creation God has made—ourselves, whom He called “good”—with demeaning names?
The hard thing is, when we call ourselves names for long enough, we begin to believe these lies.
I’m not a name-it-and-claim-it believer, but I do believe that words have power. We must be careful what we allow into our thoughts. We need to guard our minds from the words that filter through our thoughts.
We do this by reading God’s word, meditating on it, and choosing to believe what He says, both about Himself and about us, His creation.
Are we going to fail sometimes? Of course.
Does that make us a failure?
When we fall short in some way, whether it’s in not mastering some skill . . .
or not doing something as perfectly as we’d like . . .
When we sin against our spouse, our children, our God . . .
Calling ourselves some horrible name only makes us feel worse about ourselves and our situation.
It eventually leads to believing something about ourselves that God never intended.
That we’re unloved. Unworthy. Less-than.
That we are defective.
When we can begin to see ourselves as God sees us?
That’s when those failings, those mistakes can be seen in the light of what they really are.
They are not a reflection of who we are.
They are not indicators of how inept we are.
Rather, they are reminders of how much we need Jesus.
Until we can truly acknowledge this need—our need for a Savior, for redemption, for forgiveness, and grace—we can’t see ourselves as God sees us.
When we come to the place of embracing how desperately we need Him, God can do something amazing.
He gives us eyes to see ourselves as He does:
Worthy (because of Him).
Our words—spoken and internal—shape how we perceive ourselves. We must make sure we have an accurate view of who we really are. Because it’s only as we see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes that perfection’s standard loses its grip on our hearts and thoughts.
I’m working to teach my son this. It’s so hard to watch the beautiful potential wrapped up within him being ripped by the death-words he sometimes speaks over himself.
It’s only when we see ourselves as God does that we are truly able to give ourselves the grace to make mistakes without condemnation. To fail and learn from it.
God never holds us to a standard of perfection. Jesus is our perfecter.
Maybe we can each begin to see ourselves through God’s eyes rather than the eyes the world has trained us to view ourselves through.
Maybe we can begin to speak words of life over ourselves and those we love.
Maybe then, transformation can begin.
What about you? How do you guard your words and thoughts? What do you teach your children about their words?