Sticks and Stones
"I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is."Imagine these words being spoken to you. They're ugly, hurtful words. If I heard these words spoken about me, I'd likely shut down immediately and walk away. Then, I'd play them over and over in my head as I toss and turn in bed that night. How about you? What would your response be?
Now, what if I told you those words were spoken by someone who knew you well - like a brother, a sister, a best friend, a spouse. Picture someone close to you. Someone who knows you well. Imagine this person is in the room with you. Now hear their voice as they tell you:
"I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is."How do you feel now? If it was someone close to me, I would react differently. My emotions would likely turn to anger this time and I would probably retaliate with a hurtful comment. Or some bitter exclamation to show how hurt I am and possibly try to hurt them in return.
Words hurt. The sticks and stones saying is simply wrong. Words do hurt. And they can go on hurting longer than it takes you to recover from injuries caused by sticks and stones. For me, to ignore words like this and continue walking forward takes strength beyond my own understanding. I know I couldn't do it on my own.
So, to whom do these words belong? They were spoken by Eliab, David's older brother. You know, the David from David and Goliath. And they were spoken to him after David came to the battlefield to deliver said brother some lunch, as well as to make sure he was okay.
That's right. You heard me. David was performing an act in favor of his brother. He neglected his personal priorities to bring his brother food. He left his sheep to check on the well-being of his brother. Then, when he gets there, his brother has the audacity to tell him he's CONCEITED? and has a WICKED HEART? I don't think so.
Oh! I'd be fuming. Tell me this hasn't happened to you. It sounds all too familiar to me. I think I could step right into David's shoes here. I go to do something nice for somebody close to me. I have their interests at heart. Then, when I arrive to show my heart, to extend love, that love is not returned. Instead, they jab at me. Mock the person I am or the service I've come to perform. It hurts to the core. And my response is rarely pretty. It deflates me. Usually, it takes me awhile to build myself up and step back onto the battlefield. But, clearly, I'm not David.
What did David do, you ask? He didn't turn and run, I'll tell you that much. He turned to his brother and said, "Now what have I done? Can't I even speak?" Then, continued asking the soldiers what would be done for the one who killed Goliath until he was invited to see Eliab's boss. That's right, he went to talk to King Saul. And no, it wasn't to tattletale. This is when he went to volunteer for the fight against Goliath.
You see, David didn't let Eliab's words get to him. David stood resolute in who God made him to be. David could have been hurt. David could have stormed off feeling unappreciated, unloved, despised, judged, and rejected. But, instead, he essentially said, "Excuse me! I am here for a reason! God sent me here to slay the giant. You're not going to stop me. Now get out of my way and watch," and he went.
That's what you need to hear today, Leaders. You need to hear that:
Regardless of what people say or think about me, I must trust in who God created me to be and know myself.David did. His brother was cutting him down. His brother was slandering him. "You're only here because you're conceited and have a wicked heart." To which David shut out that noise, stood firm in who God created him to be, and kept moving forward.
That's what I'm calling on you to do today. Don't get caught up in the words people say about you or the words you THINK they say about you.
SHUT OUT THE NOISE.
Don't get lost in the hurt it causes you. Don't base your self-worth off of other people's opinions. There is only one opinion that matters.
LOOK TO GOD.
Don't question who you are. Know you were uniquely crafted for a reason. Your personality traits, emotions, passions, hair color, eye color, shape of your toes, EVERYTHING about you was carefully designed. God planned for you, formed you, delights in you, sings over you, and plans to give you a hope and a future.
STAND FIRM IN HIS WORKMANSHIP.
Don't lose sight of your goals. Keep that dream in your heart and don't let other people's opinions, actions, or words steer you off course.
KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
If these words resonated with you today, consider printing, posting or pinning some or all of the visuals below to serve as a reminder.
With Love from the Kitchen,
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