“You’ll never amount to anything!”
“Can’t you do something good for once?”
How often have we allowed hurtful words to shape our identity? When people say horrible stuff to us or about us, then it’s easy to believe that what they say must be true! But really, should people’s perceptions of us be the source of our identity?
Whenever I hear words that cut my identity down, I make it a point to go to my Creator and ask Him, “Father, is this true? Do You see me like that?” Often, I find that God has something else to say– something more accurate, truthful, and loving to say about me.
This is where knowing GOD’s voice is so important. And this is where God’s voice has to take priority over all the other voices around us.
Certainly, God can use people to build us up with their words. How often have we heard people confirming who we are? Chances are, God has used a parent or a teacher or a pastor or a friend to help us see something good in ourselves. Perhaps through them, God affirmed our identity as being talented or generous or friendly or kind.
But when words are flung toward us that destroy us, kill our spirit, or steal our joy, that’s when it’s not God anymore. Remember that it is not God’s job description to kill, steal, and destroy. That’s Satan’s job! What God does is to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He’s the One who loves us so much that His thoughts for us far outnumber the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139). He’s the God who can turn our ashes into beauty (Isaiah 61); the God who lifts the brokenhearted and sets the captive free! (Isaiah 61)
When I hear words that destroy me, I know that the Kingdom of Darkness has hurled a lie toward my direction. The people who release these arrows may be unwitting mouthpieces of destruction. Whether or not they want to cause us pain, what we should do is go the direction of truth and forgive those who have hurt us.
One of Jesus’ names is TRUTH. If we don’t know who we are in His sight, then we’re bound to believe any lie about us. Have we ever asked ourselves what God thinks about us? Have we ever double-checked painful words with His truth? Even when we make mistakes and God needs to rebuke us, the wonderful thing about God is that He doesn’t make us feel ashamed of being WHO WE ARE. He is not ashamed of us—of you, of me. When God rebukes us, we still find Him affirming our identity. “Son,” “Daughter,” He says. This doesn’t change.
Remember: the BEST person who can give us our identity is GOD Himself. Let’s go to Him and ask Him who we are.
Father, please search my heart right now and reveal to me areas in my life where the lies of the Kingdom of Darkness have taken hold of my identity. I ask that You reveal to me the truth of who I am. Who am I, God? I want the TRUTH. And Truth comes from You.
Janina Marie Rivera is the author of the book, A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear and has co-authored the devotional, Dawns, published by OMF Literature. She is a contributing poet in the books Joyful Light and Whitmanthology: on Loss and Grief by Various Authors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine.