[This post is a part of the Guarding the Heart power series. If you missed the earlier posts, you can view them here.]
I hesitated to blog about this. Especially because I feel I am yet to completely master this. And I do not know if I will ever master it fully either. I think either way I owe it to you, my readers, to blog about the good things as well as the ones that are hard to share.
As I began getting involved in ministry at a very young age, it came naturally to me to trust blindly and love everyone around me. I placed some people on a pedestal in my life. It took me time to learn that people (even, men of God) are not perfect.
Out of the many scars, the deepest of them were by my closest friends who spoke negative words into my life. Without mentioning too many details, a particular man of God once said I should never try writing as no one would read it. When I was about to publish my first book at the age of seventeen, he asked me, “Who will buy them?”
Even though it went on to sell thousands of copies and was reprinted, the question itself left a deep scar. I did not understand then that I had to guard my heart and stop listening to the negativity that was coming from that person.
Words have great power. Especially when it comes from someone that you love and look up to. But the Holy Spirit is a greater teacher. He taught me some truths and pointers that will help overcome hurt through words spoken over your life and guard your heart.
We discussed few things in the first post in this series on, “Guarding the Intake“. Here are some more:
1. Reposition Yourself.
Many problems in your life may not be solved but you just need to simply outgrow them in God. Problems remain. But your perspective, your authority, your strategies, your love and most of all prayer, repositions you above the situation. Imagine what would happen if your president had to respond to all the negativity out there. He’d die trying to live to everyone’s opinion. Make it your goal to, in all love, outgrow your problem. Take these issues as your lessons to learn in life.
Jesus Himself said, “offenses must come” (Matthew 18:7) and Jesus himself reminded us to forgive, “seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22) Here I am talking about two levels
of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a sign of a successful leader. Forgive and release that person completely. Don’t seek revenge. Pardon them and release them unconditionally.
Secondly, forgive yourself. Yes, do not hold it against yourself that you could not live up to the expectations of your boss, your friend, your pastor, uncle or aunt. You are what God says you are, therefore you are accepted by God, that settles it! With this you can overcome every resentment. Be happy to be you. (See Tiny’s article, “Happy You“)
3. Step up Intentionally.
If hurt comes from someone you cannot avoid, be mentally prepared and rooted in the Word of God to not allow their words have any effect on you. I would strongly recommend that you confront them rather than keep it in your heart. Learn to take it easy and let go.
If it is any other person, be sure to prioritize your life by knowing who are the people that you want to associate with. Remember to be humble and kind yet intentional in your associations. God can use these situations for our upliftment.
4. Words are All We Have.
When it comes to communicating, words are everything. What we sow is what we reap. When someone is coming at you with you with words that are harmful, don’t become like them. Especially when you are upset and are under pressure, beware of what comes from your mouth. Don’t rush to email them out of your anger. (And, stay away from updating your status anywhere) Ask the Lord to help you to guard your mouth from saying things that you can never take back.
5. Step up in Prayer.
Most of the time, we forget this fact that an attack on your heart is to get you off track with your walk with the Lord. And let our words be wholesome and uplifting. A broken heart is a quenched spirit. Your most wise decision at this moment would be to run into His presence. There in His presence true forgiveness is born.
If you have someone who can share your hurt and pray with you then that is an additional blessing. Even otherwise your ever present help Jesus is with you.
Now that being said, take some time today to intentionally guard your heart and to sow some goodness today.
What has your experience been? Share your thoughts below.
[Next week: “The Power of Friendships” You can be notified here.]