Years ago I was asked to take a position that some considered unsuited for a woman. In order to minimize negative feedback, I took the position and performed all the responsibilities but without the title. The second year, I continued in the position with the appropriate title.
During the first year, I found it very easy to slip into a negative mindset that didn’t benefit me or anyone else around me, especially not those I wanted to serve. I’m grateful for a close friend who challenged me when I said, “I have been set up to fail!” Yes, I felt that way but allowing that to become the mindset from which I lived threatened to devastate my effectiveness.
Recently, I talked with a friend who felt rebuffed by someone close to her. In the conversation, she said that when “Mary came into the room, I was thrown into the trash.” I immediately challenged her wording. Being as she wanted to continue in a life giving relationship with her friend, it wouldn’t be helpful to accept the self-designation “trash.” Even if that’s how she felt in the interaction, it doesn’t line up with what God says about her or what scripture reveals about her identity.
Things happen that challenge us as we strive to keep our minds focused on what is true. When we verbalize negativity as an identity statement (“I will fail,” “I am trash,”) it eventually becomes reality. Words have power.
It is the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts the psalmist asked God to protect. Next time you feel the nudge of negativity threatening your peace of mind, say this instead:
1I love you, Lord; you are my strength. 2The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. 3I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.Psalm 18:1-3
Happy Hump Day!