How often do you hear echoed words from the past? More so, how often do you buy a ticket to the same concert that plays in your head? The lyrics:
You were never…
You could never do …
You will never be…
and the beat goes on!
I find that we put more weight on what others say about us than on what God says about how He created us. He gave us gifts, talents, and so much more. But not the spirit of fear:
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
I understand; indeed, I do! I bought into the words of others far too long!
A friend once said to me, “Darlene, if I told you that you were a good speaker, you wouldn’t believe me.” She was right! I had the beat, the melody, and the lyrics memorized to ‘Darlene, you don’t speak well enough.’ Doubt flooded my soul!
“Darlene, you play the piano too loud, too loud for the choir.” Yet, I became the minister of music for a thirty-six voice choir.
While visiting with friends, the hostess asked me to play her piano. Her deaf mother clapped after I played, stunning all the visitors. Seeing our confusion, she quickly explained that her mother felt the vibrations of the music through the floor. I realized this was God showing me His reason for never changing how loudly I played the piano.
To become who God calls me requires resisting the negative assumptions of others.
The Choice and the Cost
I didn’t begin my journey until I was an adult, but age doesn’t matter. I had to stop believing the harmful assumptions I had absorbed about myself and start to agree with God. I was growing up, finding my way through the darkness and into the light.
But growth always requires effort. The cost is the work it takes to grow, change, and accept. Courage is a choice and doesn’t come without a price. Courage is birthed as we learn to resist the unavoidable fear, anxiousness, and disbelief we all carry.
Even now, I find as I’m writing to encourage you, I’m encouraging myself!
An Endless Challenge!
New patterns of thinking never become effortless, but over time more manageable when we keep our focus on honoring God. Here are some questions you can use to check how you’re doing:
- Am I mentally parroting the voices from my past? (parents, teachers, friends).
- Am I encouraging or discouraging to others? How do you want to be remembered?
Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.. Ephesians 4:29
- Are you communicating ideas about someone else’s worth or abilities that God would disagree with?
A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
These are challenging questions to examine in our lives. I know they were and continue to be for me. I’ve reacted to situations in the present time and find they are tied to my past. Have you been stopped in your tracks because of an experience that was linked to your past?
Because I believed what others said about me and to me, my self-worth and self-esteem were destroyed. Because I didn’t know how to address their debilitating words anger grew and became problematic for me.
My journey has been painful, and I want something different for you.
So, are you willing to go through the fear and doubt that will birth courage? The choice is yours!
All Bible references are from the New American Study Bible.
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