Go about your day in confidence, believing you are who God says you are. God has declared that you are brave, favored, worthy, loved, smart, strong, and creative. You are these things and more because you were made in His image.
No one can make you believe otherwise. No one can strip that away from you—unless you let them.
Most of us don't like adversity, especially when someone is trying to convince us that we're something that we're not. But the truth is that coming up against people who try to confuse our identity, can actually strengthen us.
Let me tell you a story.
Recently, I was confronted by someone who was convinced that my inability to do a certain task was due to some deep wound inflicted upon me as a child. To say I was taken back would be an understatement. Not only was this person convinced of this, they believed it was their job to walk me through inner healing.
Okay, I'm all for inner healing, but I knew — at least I thought I knew, that this weakness of mine was simply a weakness. No deep emotional healing session needed.
I tried to explain that it simply was an area I wasn't strong in. But this person pushed. And pushed. Until my refusal to engage with them made them very angry.
I left there feeling beat-up. I spent the rest of the day wondering if that person was right. Was I really a basket-case and didn't know it? The next morning I asked the Lord if it was true. No idea why I waited until the next day. He responded by laughing and shaking His head. I mean, doubled over, laughing loudly! Jesus reminded me that each of us are created with specific strengths that are crucial to our life's call and that we should celebrate those strengths. He doesn't focus on our weaknesses and no one else should either.
Then He looked at me —one of those moments that pierce into the depth of our being, and said, "Remember who you are."
His face softened and He said, "And forgive (name of person)." That was all I needed. (That and a conversation with my spiritual Mom who also responded by laughing.) I shook off the crud that this person smeared all over me and got back up feeling confident once again. To tell you the truth, I got up feeling more confident than ever. It reminded me that the enemy wants us to believe we are insignificant. He wants us to focus on what we are not, so that we won't be brave enough to run after our dreams and discover that we are actually more than we once imagined.
Here's my take-away from this experience. I hope it will encourage you.
Fear of what others think of us is a huge stumbling block. It does nothing but restrict us from being who God created us to be.
It is wisdom to listen to the counsel of others, but when that counsel doesn't sit right, take it to the Lord and other leaders. "In the multitude of counselors, there is safety" (see Proverbs 11:14).
When someone repeatedly points out your weaknesses and you consistently leave their presence feeling beat-up, stupid, worthless, etc., it is probably a good idea to permanently remove yourself from further encounters with them.
Sometimes God allows us to come against adversity because it strengthens us. Certain problems in our life can do us a lot of good if we purposefully seek God for the victorious outcome, instead of focusing on the temporary irritation.
We can only be controlled if we allow ourselves to be. Confidence exasperates those who have control issues.
Confidence and arrogance are two different things. Jesus was confident, but He also knew how to walk in humility and love. Taking your stand may not always be pretty, but do your best to walk in honor and love to those who seek to dishonor and criticize. "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men" (see Romans 12:18).
Leave your reputation in God's hands. This can be a tough one! We have to trust God protect our name when rumors flit about. And from prior experience, (see my post, "That Time They Tried to Expel Us From the City") I can tell you that God has our back!
I'd love to hear your comments! Have you ever doubted yourself or your call, because of what others have said?