The title of this post is actually borrowed from a long time friend. Jenifer “LaDonna” Sanders is the IMPACT Student Ministries Director for the Southwest Texas District Pentecostal Church of God. A few weeks ago she spoke at Youth Night during the fellowship’s general convention. Her words held a powerful truth; one I have spent some time mulling over and subsequently trying to walk out in my own life.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” The tongue is an awfully small instrument to hold such power. Jenifer’s message centered on knowing what Christ says about you and speaking the things He says are true rather than the negative self-talk that we are all guilty of, “I’m stupid,” “I’m worthless,” “I’m always tired,” you get the picture. Maybe your negative “I AM’s” are not so glaringly obvious, but I bet if you took some time to really think about the things you say, you would find you could do a better job holstering your weapon.
Part of her message really bothered me because honestly, I don’t really know who I am in Christ. I grew up in church, was deeply wounded by the church, and then spent several years trying to recover from that betrayal. Through that journey, I’ve discovered that much of what I was taught or believed is not actually scripturally sound. I am still trying to discover what is really Biblical truth and what is just some “feel good bullshit” concocted by good-intentioned but severely misguided people.
I tend to be an “all or nothing”, extremist. For example, this morning while I was getting ready for church I knocked over a huge glass of water, it spilled all over the bathroom floor. Normally my response to a “catastrophe” such as this would be to totally lose my mind and launch into a diatribe of how I can never do anything right, how nothing ever works out for me, how something so simple as fixing my hair always turns into a mess, and yadda, yadda, yadda. I think you get the picture. Not today though…today I just cleaned it up without saying a word. One night this week the internet was down; I couldn’t update my food and fitness tracker, I couldn’t check my email, basically I was hindered from doing just about anything that I wanted to do. My husband, James, could tell by my body language something was wrong but when he asked, my eyes got big, I clamped my mouth shut and walked upstairs to go to bed. I wasn’t mad at him, but I knew that I was in no frame of mind to control my weapon; had I opened my mouth I would have made a bunch of gross generalizations about how nothing ever goes my way, blah, blah, blah.
So what does all of this really mean? Have frustrating circumstances ceased to exist in my life? Nope. Have I moved into some perfect Utopia? Nope. Have I learned any more about who I really am in Christ? Not yet. But, I have discovered a more peaceful me. These uncontrollable and highly irritating things still happen, but somehow they don’t seem to bother me as much. And, I am also learning how to express myself without saying, “always” and “never”. Taking the time to carefully formulate my words, keeping extremes from my vocabulary means I am able to more calmly discuss and question things I do not understand because I am in a place to receive. On second thought, maybe I am discovering who I really am in Christ, after all Philippians 4:7 says, “The peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Thanks Jen!
Becky J Miller