Words Hurt and Heal
Have you had this experience? A spouse or friend says something that is intended to be helpful, but instead the words sting. Psalm 38:13 talks about having ears but not hearing. That was me. Years, and 40 lbs ago, my husband was concerned about my health. He tried to encourage me to lose weight. I didn’t hear encouragement, care, or concern. I heard I was fat, ugly, and unloveable. He said that he should be able to bring up things he’s concerned about, and he was right. But, I couldn’t stop the flood of negative thoughts flowing through my head and my sudden increased desire for chocolate. Do you do that? If the topic of weight loss or exercise would come up, I would immediately want to eat with the attitude that no one was going to tell me what to do. What a self-destructive pattern I allowed myself.
Yes, the desire to lose weight had to come from within, but why couldn’t I trust the genuine nature of my husband’s concern? His concern went straight to that place within me that I loathed. Somehow in my mind being overweight equalled being unloveable. His concern for my health didn’t mean I was worthless and unloveable. It was exactly the opposite. He was trying to tell me that I am worth it, but I wouldn’t hear it.
Psalm 139:13-14: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
So how did I get from self-disgust to being able to partner with my husband in an exercise and healthy eating plan? I started actually believing this scripture. I realized that the only one who wins if I continue to believe the lies about myself is the enemy. I started repeating God’s truth to myself until I believed it. Now every time one of those lies creeps into my head, I tell it to get lost and remind myself what it says in Psalm 139. I remind myself that I was created by a God who loves me more than I will ever understand.
The world and the enemy are quick to tell us we are worthless, that words are meant to hurt not help. There are a lot of words that rightfully hurt, but what are we missing out on because we won’t hear the love and concern from those who love us. Instead we would rather believe their intent is to hurt us the way the world hurts. The same thing happens with our relationship with God. He tries to correct us or show us a way to greater freedom, but instead we see pain, hurt and struggle. We don’t hear what is really being said. Is God trying to nudge you in a new direction? Does it seem too hard? What words bring you hurt? Share them here and begin to uncover God’s truth instead.