When I was in the 5th grade I entered into a school talent show.
You remember those, right?
Well, at the time I was obsessed with Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in Your Eyes” (don’t judge me) and I was desperate to prove my classmates wrong. You see, all year long, there was this girl who declared that I “didn’t look like a singer,” and would laugh saying, “there’s no way she can sing.”
Now obviously looking back at her words I laugh, considering no one “looks like a singer” (What does that even mean anyway?), and I’ve been singing as a worship leader for years.
But at the time, I was allowing her words to dictate to me who I was and what I could and couldn’t do.
On that fateful day, I walked on stage and heard the lady at the piano play the opening intro to “Lost in Your Eyes”…over and over annnnnd over.
After what seemed to be a hundred years of staring at my entire school as they began to laugh and point, I ran off stage and…well, tossed my lunch. Fun times.
Words have power.
I think we’ve all experienced a time when someone’s words negatively affected our life. Even those of us with the thickest of skins will eventually have to retreat from harsh, negative, or critical words.
21The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~Proverbs 18:21
The old saying, “…but words will never hurt me…” is false. Words have the ability to seep inside of our hearts and minds. If we’re not careful, the words we allow inside will continue to play over and over, affecting our decisions, in turn affecting our whole life.
I’m so thankful the words of Jesus have more power.
For me, it took a thousand kind words and years of experience singing in front of more accepting crowds before my former classmate’s words began to fade and I was no longer hindered by stage fright.
But, it wasn’t until starting a relationship with Jesus and allowing His words to permeate my life that I was free from all of the words I had been carrying around.
I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. We all have words that hang on us like unwanted baggage that gets heavier by the day.
The more of His words we read, sing, listen to, pray, and focus on the less other people’s words or the words we tell ourselves affect us.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~Ephesians 4:29
Let’s remember to stop and think before speaking or listening to words that aren’t benefiting those who listen. This includes ourselves.
11I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. ~Psalm 119:11
Dig into the words of Jesus and lock them away in your heart. When negative words start playing in your head like a broken record, unlock the words of Christ.
Then let go and watch those words fade, fade, fade.