This morning, the devotional journal I am working my way through led me to Luke 10:1-16. What a powerful passage! I’d encourage you to go an read it, taking time after to prayerfully reflect and journal.
I wrote these words in my digital bullet journal.
Those words then led to this post because it’s so easy to allow our minds to take a trip down memory lane, recounting all the mean-spirited things people have said to us or about us. We live in a digital world, so no longer are things merely said in the coffee shop or in a handwritten letter. BUT – we don’t have to live in the hurt!
There are many things Jesus has taught me these past few years, especially as it relates to others and myself. Here listed, in no particular order, are a few of those things:
- When people take to social media to trash another human being, it’s a reflection of them, not you. It can be veiled and masked in all sorts of ways, but if it’s meant to hurt others, you’ll know it when you read it. Discipline yourself not to read stuff that is harmful about you or others.
- Not everyone will like us, and that’s okay. It’s not our job to people please, it’s our responsibility to be men and women of grace and truth. Jesus was. (Jn 1:14)
- Have a group of people in your life who will tell you the truth and who will love you enough to do so. When you find those people, treasure them! (I think I say that often, but it’s vital to finishing our race well.)
- Remember Jesus’ words, like lambs among wolves. I don’t know about you, but that leads me to believe that there harmful things headed our way. No one said this Christian journey would be easy. But here is a truth: We can choose how to steward our life. We can choose how we will handle hurtful things! And the even better news: Jesus is fully with us and able to carry our load, willing to give us HIS wisdom.
- Our mission here on earth is not to change other people, it’s to love them. And we can love people enough to pray for them, leaving the results to God. We all are sinners. We all need God’s forgiveness and grace. We all need to be transformed. We all need God’s spirit to search our hearts and reveal what’s in there. (That’s a blog post for another day!)
- Shaking the dust off our feet is allowed. It’s okay to NOT pursue relationship with certain people or people groups. At times we will be rejected when brining the Good News, but remember, it’s a rejection of Jesus, not you.
- Don’t take things so personally! Get curious about your reaction to things. If you find yourself reacting poorly, figure out why and then deal with it. BUT, don’t let it shipwreck you! Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how many times in the last 25 years that I shied away from doing something because of a single person’s hurtful words, what a waste! I don’t live there anymore and I am unwilling to allow hurtful words to stop me from fulfilling every single purpose that I was created for!
We are like lambs among wolves. Some may bite harder than others. Some may pursue harder than others. Some may gather a pack around around them. Whatever the case may be, Jesus warned us. And he not only warned us, he provided Himself to us. Let’s be reminded today that Jesus is our comforter and strength. Our shield and wisdom. Our warrior and friend.
Saying a prayer for all of you who’ve been on the receiving end of hurtful words and found themselves sinking as a result. May you rise strong in the strength of Christ. May Christ’s wisdom lead you and may his love be like healing balm to your soul. May the Spirit remind you of all the promises and truths found in scripture. May your heart and mind be refocused and reminded of the call of God, and may you find your feet on the path that’s been ordered of the Lord.
Carmen, through teaching, speaking, pastoring, blogging, and podcasting, invests in others so they can lead and live better. She is the founder of LEAD Women Ministries, ordained with the PAOC, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal Church, holds an MA in Leadership & Management, and she can often be found collaborating with other leaders or organizations on projects where there are outcomes to grow people’s confidence, competence, and character.