Friday, June 27, 2014

Words That Destroy (and ways to heal)


Stupid.  Worthless.  Unwanted.  "You'll never amount to anything!"
Such words and many others children might hear from their parents as they grow up.  This is awful because parents are in a place of authority and their words can either make or break their child.
Too often, what kids are told about themselves growing up stays with them well into their adulthood; almost like a branding iron searing these put-downs on their conscious and sub-conscious view of themselves.
Words hurt.  They destroy, diminish hope, and cause tears that might even lead to suicide, self-injury, self-hatred, a warped view of others, insecurity, low self-worth, and a mind that has mastered putting yourself down.
I understand how painful words can be, especially when repeatedly told to us by those we assume should love and care for us the most.  We may start to believe that if our very own parents could "think" such negative and hurtful ways about us, then such words must therefore be true.
People can carry hurtful put-downs or cruel words said to them for years to come, and from my experience of knowing others and also through my studies, I realize that when Biblical counsel and godly support & wholesome friendships are not a daily or weekly part of our lives, all the rude remarks and untrue (yes, untrue!) statements made about us in previous times will snowball into something horrific.  To the degree that we might not be able to function properly or we continually have a warped view of how others treat us.  For example, if we receive compliments from someone or a person shows romantic interest in us, we might view this as a cruel joke instead of a nice and precious reality.
I am very adamant with and strongly believe it is greatly important to seek godly counsel on a regular basis.  It offers a support system and encouragement, as well as practical helps and wise tools to deal with any underlying issues in our hearts, lives, minds, and past (or present).
Please know that like my mom used to tell my siblings and I growing up, "Just because someone tells you that you are purple, does not make it so!"  Just because someone (a friend, fellow student or co-worker, boss, cousin, parent, etc.) says something negative about you, does NOT make it so.  They might just be having a bad day or be miserable themselves, so they take their anger out on others through mean words and hurtful phrases.  I have known people like this and have also been this way myself at times toward those even closest to me.
Here are a few helpful ideas as to how your low self-esteem can be healed:
  • Commit all hurts, losses, painful experiences, bad situations, un-reconciled relationships, mean statements, inner turmoil, and feelings of hopelessness to the Lord in prayer (by the hour), asking Him to truly restore you and bring healing to you in the best way possible - His way
  • Pray daily, asking God what He wants you to pursue in life, whom He wants you to speak to in order to seek reconciliation (asking Him to speak through you and give you the words to say and guide even your demeanor when talking to them), who He wants you to stop spending time with, and what His priorities are for your life
  • Read the Bible as often as possible (either by an audio Bible, app, web site version, on CD, or in book form) and pray that God would renew your mind (Romans 12: 2) and correct the way you see yourself, allow you to see life and everything through His eyes, and show you the true value and purpose and joy and meaning you have in and through the Lord
  • Before pursuing a college degree, job, or purchasing a new house or car in order to impress those who have spoken against you, make your walk with the Lord your highest priority, keeping Him first in all things and all decisions, and asking that His will would prevail in all aspects of your life
  • Do not rehearse put-downs or negative comments again and again in your mind.  We all have the tendency to dwell on mean words others have said to or about us, which causes us to meditate long on these things, and then we end up believing them
  • Ask God to open your eyes to any destructive coping mechanisms you use to medicate past or present wounds and to bring along healthy alternatives to dealing with pain and stress
  • As soon as you feel bitter, resentful, angry, hurt, or downtrodden when recalling all the mean words people have said to you, pray immediately that God would remind you of your value and worth in His sight and to reveal more of Himself to you through His word, to change your way of thinking, and allow you to pray for that person or people instead of rehearsing cruel words or thoughts in your own mind toward them (which really makes the vicious cycle continue..."Hurt people, hurt people")
  • Keep God and His truth at the forefront of your mind, praying that God would gently and perfectly deal with the issues in your heart and the pain you still cringe at when remembering all the hurtful ways people have treated you or what they have said in passing or on purpose
  • Totally change your entertainment choices to what is wholesome, encouraging, clean, sweet, and gracious (I used to listen to satanic music while engaging in self-harm or watch raunchy films as a way of coping.  I look back and realize how much time I wasted on what didn't help to begin with and was only a distraction...sort of like putting a band aid on the inner disease of cancer, hoping it will heal your brokenness; when, if anything, it will be a distraction and mask what can only be dealt with through seeking help and God's intervention)
  • ...remember the truth of Romans 8: 28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

God's precious word:

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their sorrows."  Psalm 147: 3
"When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise."  Proverbs 10: 19
"There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."  Proverbs 12: 18
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."  Proverbs 18: 21


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