Friday, March 10, 2017

Sticks and Stones

As I stare at the bruises on my arms from the 6 IV sticks I received, I notice they are healing. One week later, but they are on the track to clearing me of looking like an abuse case. I can't help but think of that phrase, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." While bruises hurt and can't be touched for a few days without a little wincing, words do hurt for a very long time.

I've always been the kid to stick her foot in her mouth, then regret it for days, weeks, months after. I'm not even exaggerating. I still think about the time I said something stupid to someone while working 10 years ago at camp and I still call myself an idiot over it because apparently my joke became someone's reality. I didn't know the history there nor did I know what their life was dealing with in that moment, because 1: I didn't bother to find out. 2: I didn't think outside of my own shoes. Words last. Bruises fade.

We are in a time right now where everyone is throwing around hateful words. They don't realize it - that is the sad thing, or maybe they realize it and not care. Either way, it needs to end. These words are destroying lives, hurting families, and breaking up friendships. If I sound dramatic, then you must be one of the ones flaunting the words, unknowingly expressing rights for the sake of your own agenda, and you fail to notice how your blanket statements and pointedness towards your "friends" can actually do harm right in front of you.

Luckily, in 1 Corinthians 13, we read this: "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."

Because of this passage, I can feel a little release. The people who speak harshly to me and have never taken the time of day to understand my life, my history, my family, my struggles, my heart, my daily hardships...don't deserve rental space in my head. The last few months have been hard. I'm going to be brutally honest here: I've had things go through my mind that have been unhealthy, unloving, and have caused me to question who I am as a daughter of the King. Those words have made me depressed for months and it has affected my family. But do the ones who throw words at it, in hopes of solving world problems even care to know the problems of the people around them before casting "their opinion"? Obviously not. 

So from now on, if you're like me and are affected by peoples' words, start over today.
Remember they don't have credibility in your life because:
1) They don't love you
2) They don't care about anything but their words and their "rights". Thus, they don't care about yours, unless you jump on board with theirs.
3) They will never assume the best out of you. 
4) They have not earned your respect. 
5) They will go public and never actually sit down with you to know your life. 
6) They will probably hate you no matter what you say. 
7) They should be ignored for all the reasons listed above. 

I've set a standard for myself when receiving "criticism". If someone is going to cast criticism at me, and I'm going to actually listen to it and consider it, they must:
1) Love Jesus
2) Love the Church (in general)
3) Love me
It doesn't work otherwise. 

You are loved. Just make sure you find those people who love you and meet your criteria and listen to them, not because you are fearful or hateful, but because you are important too. Don't ever allow toxic people to make you go to dark places over political or personal agendas. Those things don't last anyways. Jesus does and His love endures forever.

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