A couple of months ago, our pastor talked about God's truth versus our own thoughts or the lies of the enemy. He challenged our congregation to confront condemning statements or thoughts that plague our children with the question, "Who said that?" I've challenged my kids with this question lately when they say things like, "I'm so dumb." or "I'll never be good at this." I will look at them and quietly ask, "Who said that?" And they will usually shrug and say, "No one...."
How about ourselves? It's not just kids that have these thoughts or are tormented by naysayers. I remember being eight years old and getting my first pair of glasses. They were thick pink plastic that was so very popular in the eighties - horrendous! A family member remarked, "You know what they say, 'Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses'." Guess what? That statement stuck with me from that very day and I can tell you I was sure I was doomed to never be thought attractive by a boy or a man. While that family member probably didn't mean to be hurtful, I did spend a great number of years going out of my way to win over the affection of young men and put myself in some pretty bad circumstances. I've now learned that I am lovable and wanted. The truth is, I have continued to wear glasses and have a husband who happens to think I'm pretty hot if I can brag a little, but my value is not even dependent upon what my adoring husband thinks of me, but how much God loves me. God's love is everlasting and unfailing, unlike the love of our human counterparts. (Psalm 103)
I was always a chunky kid. I was never little or tiny or called, "Peanut." One time, someone told me not to worry about being fat and that one day, I would be thin and beautiful just like my aunt so and so, how my aunt just transformed one day and became skinny and gorgeous. So, I held on to that amazing promise and awaited for my special day like the ugly duckling, when I would wake up and be thin and curvy and beautiful like the aunt I idolized. Well birthdays kept coming and school years would start and I still had heavy thighs and a round tummy. Sure, I made the cheerleading squad but mostly for my personality and not my looks. Never did I tell someone what was said and how I believed it to be true. What might have happened if someone reminded me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and all of God's works are wonderful? (Psalm 139)
What thoughts are you thinking about yourself or your abilities? What lies from your past still have a hold on you? Have you valued the words of another flawed human above the truth of a perfect, loving God? I challenge you as my pastor so lovingly challenged us and I ask you, "Who said that?" If you can point to a human being, ask God to help you to forgive them for hurting you. Ask God to restore the years those thoughts have eaten. Our thoughts can be like the locusts of Joel 2:25. If you can't think of a person who told you something, it could be your own flawed thinking or influences from this fallen world. The devil is the father of lies and we see lies every day on our tv and newsfeed. (John 8:44) Ask your father in heaven to reprogram the loop in your head with His words and His thoughts. Jeremiah 29:11 says, " For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Our loving God in heaven thinks thoughts towards you!
Now, I not only question my girls with, "Who said that?" I question myself when I am down or doubting or feeling deceived. It's a thought changing question worth asking.