Are there people in your life who sometimes make you feel like gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe?
Sad to say, there are people like that in my life and while I usually try to avoid them, I have recently been convicted of that behavior and challenged to embrace it with some new thoughts and attitudes.
Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with saying that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission and I dearly love that. Self confidence is tricky, especially if you have had a life time of things happening that attack your foundation, leaving you wobbly and unsure. I struggle with self esteem issues constantly; it's my Achilles Heel to be sure. I have to constantly be reminded of Who I Am in Christ or else, like the house built on the sand, I will fall.
Recently as I was enjoying my morning walk, these were the thoughts and convictions that flooded my heart and soul... I am still sorting through them and working to apply them but the other evening I had the chance to share them with my sweetie and he was quick to applaud them. In fact he said they resonated deeply with him as well. He too struggles with those pesky self esteem issues. Don't we all?
My first (gut) reaction when someone treats me with disdain (like gum stuck to their shoe) is to take it personally. It's kind of hard not to. The next thing that often happens to me is to believe their judgement about me. I become the gum stuck to the bottom of their shoe. I nurse that little injury even as I try to downplay it. But like a burr, it sticks and I become one more walking wounded. I want to change this.
instead of letting their judgement define me, I realized they are making an uninformed judgement about me, because they don't really know me? That might cause me to feel a little less hurt, and instead I might actually feel a little miffed. If I dwell on that long enough, I can go from miffed to steamed. And there is power in feeling anger. Power is good. Right?
I think however, as a Christ follower, I am encouraged to go one further. That is to not accept their judgement of me. In doing so, I won't become what they have perceived, because I know it's the wrong perception. And I won't get hurt and I won't get angry. Instead, I have the opportunity to give them a little extra grace. I can choose to overlook their behavior because I know they are wrong about me; they don't know any better. And in acknowledging this as truth, there is power.
Grace is something we all could practice a little bit more wouldn't you agree?
I'm pondering these things, praying for direction, and even, moments to exercise these thought.