Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 4/5 - Overthinking Others’ Words

I like words.

I like speaking them. I like reading them. I like writing them.

But to be honest, I don’t always like hearing them.

Sometimes it’s because I don’t like the truth that’s being shared, even though I need to hear it. But sometimes it’s because I mistake lies that I hear for truth.

Nothing sends me into serious overthinking and second-guessing mode more than the harsh judgments or the overly critical words of another person. Maybe their words aren’t technically false – at least not completely. But if they’re delivered in an accusatory tone or in a super critical way they are still lies because they were intended to deliver a false impression.

And many times they make me believe that false impression of myself – I’m not good enough, I didn’t do enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m parenting badly, and the list goes on. I’m guessing I’m not the only person that allows this to happen.

Why do we let ourselves cling to these hurtful statements? Why do we let these lies take hold in our hearts and grow? We’re basing our self worth on what others think of us.  We’re desperately seeking the approval of those around us especially if they’re important to us.

We’ve temporarily taken our eyes off the only One whose opinion really matters. This allows our ears to hear the lies that penetrate our hearts and edge out the truth that God loves us just the way we are. We’re enough for Him.

The next time someone’s words leave you feeling like a failure and you begin second guessing your worth, measure them against what God has to say to us through Paul in Ephesians 4:8:  

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, 
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about 
these things. 

Any words that don’t meet this criteria simply aren’t worth overthinking.

The only words we should ever overthink are the words coming out of our own mouths. Let’s remember that  “gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (Proverbs 16:24)

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