When I first began a monthly column for another site, I wanted the Lord to use each column to speak to the hearts of others, but I had no idea what I was going to write that would be suitable for a first-timer. Puzzlement set in…Oh, Lord, what in the world will I write?
That’s when another one of God’s life lessons hit me, like the V-8 commercial, with a slap in the head!
An off-hand comment, an innocent remark with no ill intentions hidden behind it, was made by someone that referred to me and another person in regard to our writing abilities. The person making the comment believed himself/herself to be more knowledgeable than I am as to the nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation (which was a distinct possibility), but what he/she said, or actually wrote, made me doubt my ability to write.
How does this relate to you? Well, maybe you’re not a writer but you have another talent, gift, or ministry. What if you know you’re obeying the Father in whatever His calling might be for your life, but you let someone’s comment, whether mean or unintentional, knock your self-confidence out from under you?
Or what if someone’s off-handed remark regarding your weight, your clothes, your hair, your speech, or whatever, causes you to doubt your self-esteem? Do you have a pity party?
I almost did.
The Lord makes me laugh so often…usually at myself. On the day of the comment, one of my devotionals I read in my quiet time was about Joseph. Though not a funny line, I laughed out loud when I read this by an anonymous writer, “Let us remember that if self-pity is allowed to set in, that is the end of us – until it is cast utterly from us.” Don’t you love it when the Lord plants those little tidbits just for your benefit?
The enemy invitor was just about to tempt me into accepting his invitation to a full-blown, two-attendees pity party, with hats, streamers, and balloons, even a big cake, with me as the clown! However, the Holy Spirit acted as a stop-gap. He reined in my emotions and tied them up at the hitching post so I didn’t gallop off in the wrong direction.
As Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” (Gen 50:20 NIV) And as Paul said, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31 NIV)
Though that comment had no evil bent, there are those comments that do. So, when a comment of either unintentional or malicious design is said to or about you, do you accept the enemy’s invitation and attend his pity party, or do you invite the Lord to take over?
Whenever a negative remark comes your way, destroy it before it gets a foothold. Don’t let it cause you to lose your self-esteem or self-confidence. Even if a comment is an innocent one, the enemy will try to use it to bring you down, if you agree with him.
So, how do we stop those remarks from getting under our skin? Remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthians? “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5 NIV)
Don’t accept any pity party invitations!