Breaking Ties with Others Opinions
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults. Isaiah 51:7
I remember when I sat in the room with an older person of faith whom I admired for years. They had hosted a local faith radio show for at least a decade and were respected and loved by many whom they witnessed to as part of his walk, struggle, and obedience in Christ. As a young man of faith, I recall listening to him in the early mornings of my college job, being encouraged by his words, experiences, and outlook in life. To sit in the room with him at a very vulnerable time in my journey was the opportunity my heart was hoping to receive words that would encourage me in my struggles.
However, what I received was not grace or validation but a label. This label haunted me for years after the encounter and it took me working through its effects with the Holy Spirit at my side to reject it and allow it to lose its power. It was a very disappointing experience but it taught me a lot about the weight of others words and my own.
It revealed that the one who knows me the best is God. That others who may have the worst or even the best intentions with their words don't know you as deeply or historically. It is very important to find people who are willing to trek the terrain of knowing who you are, believe the best in you, and will stick with you. It is rare, but so worth the effort to find and preserve.
"It is critically important to take such words before the Lord in prayer and to sift them through Scripture."
However, in cases where we look to others who have a very limited understanding of who you are, take their opinions with a grain of salt and a reminder that they may only have their worst experiences to superimpose on your own. What I mean is they won't always line up or ring completely true. This is key when we come to a place of needing to break ties with the words, labels, and assumptions of other people. Who knows you best, this person or the Messiah?
It is critically important to take such words before the Lord in prayer and to sift them through Scripture. The evil one loves to take the truth of who you are as a redeemed work in progress saint, and twist you up in to a vial, self destructive person with misplaced value on others words than the Lords. Consider what a plan to sabotage your life by having your value stem not from the God who "...saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."(Psalm 139:16) but from those who are speaking loudly and directly oppose the truth of who you are in Christ.
It took me four years to build enough courage to communicate to that person who had wounded me in a very vulnerable time. It had to be done and God wouldn't leave me alone about it. Confronting him was the last piece that was needed for this area of healing and though it was scary, it had an immediate release and the tie was broken of their label that threatened God's identity. The key phrase I remember communicating to them was rejecting their label of me and replacing it with the identity of "Beloved". This was huge and had a very powerful effect in my journey forward.
I pray that we can claim together that this is a Break the Tie Tuesday with others opinions that only set you back or stall your life from moving forward. That we don't return evil with evil, but we risk asking God to replace the label with his truth to cover their falsehood. To watch him redeem the situation and use it as fuel to draw you further into "whom you are and whose you are."
Keep Looking Up!