Do Words Have to Hurt?
In the age of Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, we’re listening to and internalizing more and more what others think of us.
Do words have to hurt? Yes and no.
Yes. Words can hurt. And ‘no,’ because those words don’t have to arrest our development.
So how do we navigate my “Yes” and “No” response?
First, as Christ-followers, we don’t need self-esteem. We need God-esteem. God-esteem means that my identity and significance, all that I am, is forever, in an eternal, life-giving way, anchored in Jesus.
Because Jesus is the eternal Son of God, we’re eternally children of God.
Understanding who we are in Christ is like a force field that blocks the hurtful words of others.
Second, the hurtful – and sometimes hateful – words of another cannot hurt us unless we give them the power to do so. If we dwell on the words, and allow those words to seep into our hearts, that’s idolatry.
Dwell on the words of Jesus and let His words seep deep, deep, deep into our hearts. That’s worship.
And the more we worship, the less we care about the hurtful words of others and the more we care about the life-giving words of Jesus.
Third, hurt people hurt people. People who hurt you are themselves hurting. Set boundaries and pray that they too find God-esteem.