The other day, I was walking home from work thinking about a conversation I had with a friend. I kept going over the conversation again and again thinking about how hurtful a comment had been made toward me. And while this friend has been told that statements made of that kind of nature are the ones I have the hardest time being told. I'm sure we all have that one statement that makes us feel belittled and unappreciated... and if you're like me, it's the kind that throws you off your game and makes you question everything about yourself. I was given this not that long ago and it hit me just how hurtful it really is.
A lot of us usually let our identity take place in what others say about us. That was me for a lot of years. I let what people say turn me into what they were saying about me. Most of the time, it caused a lot of pain... not just for me but in my relationships. I accepted all the titles and labels that were given and wore them as my nametag. But when I was thinking about this recent statement, suddently the words came to mind,
"No weapon that is formed against you will prosper"
The book of James tells us how the tongue is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. The more I think about it, the more I realize how true it is. It's not the harsh things in life that I've faced that haunt me today... it's the words that have been told to me. It's the names I've been called.. It's the irrational angered words that ring in my ears. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. According to James, our words are deadly. We can build up one day and tear down the next just by the things we say. How interesting is that. But while I was repeating the words the have been told to me all my life, and once more, the first part of that verse in Isaiah sent those words right out of my mind.
I started thinking about how if the tongue is a deadly poison, that makes it a deadly weapon. It's the most common weapon used, and everyone has one. Now I realize that that verse was written at a specific time for a specific purpose, but that doesn't mean that it still doesn't apply to me or you. The words of others do not add or subtract my value. It is the blood of Christ that gave me that value at the cross, and it covers my life from beginning to end. The same goes for you. We can accept these labels thrown at us, or we can choose to trust who He is. The One who gave His Son for us while we were sinners.... Whose Son gave us life with His own... The One who can never love us any less than the cross... The One who relentlessly pursues us when we walk away..
Or we can trust the words of broken, imperfect people in need of the very same grace.