Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
I think having confidence in yourself is an important trait, don’t you think? But I have a feeling there are lots of people out there who have shattered levels of confidence, and it has affected their day-to-day lives. And I also think there is one word that affects so many—that is the word ‘rejection’.
In fact, I would go so far as to say the number one cause of shattered confidence is rejection. We’ve all been rejected, in one way or another. It’s part of life. We can be rejected by our colleagues, our parents, or our family. Yes, it’s painful and not pleasant and can have a devastating effect.
Names are hurtful
I know some people think, If I could be perfect, then everybody would like me. If I could be perfect, then everybody would approve of me. That’s not true. The Bible shows us that Jesus was perfect and he wasn’t approved by everyone. Isaiah 53:3 says, “[Jesus] was despised and rejected by men” and we read in John 1:11, “His own people did not accept him.”
There are many different kinds of rejection:
- physical rejection
- social rejection
- emotional rejection
- verbal rejection.
How many of these remarks have you heard:
- You have no right to feel that way!
- What in the world is wrong with you, anyway?
- Why can’t you be more like…?
- You’ve been nothing but trouble since you were born.
- You make me sick.
- Can’t you do anything right?
- No wonder you don’t have any friends.
- I can’t believe you did such a thing.
- You’ll never amount to anything.
- You don’t matter.
All these statements are very hurtful, and huge put-downs. Maybe you can identify with one or more of these.
Names do hurt. Broken bones heal quicker than broken spirits. External wounds heal faster than internal wounds.
In school, you might still remember years later hurtful things said to you on the playground. We say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” That’s not true. Names do hurt. Broken bones heal quicker than broken spirits. External wounds heal faster than internal wounds.
Proverbs 12:18 (GNT) says, “Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword.” Our problem is that sometimes we’ve been the one saying the hurtful things, and we need their forgiveness for the error of our ways.
We all face rejection. And when we’re rejected over and over, over a period of time we start to reject ourselves. Then we start to reject others. Ultimately we reject God because we reject everything.
How does God heal the scars that shatter our self-confidence? Psalm 147:3 says, “God heals the brokenhearted and binds up our wounds.” If you’ve been hurt, God wants to help. God cares about your hurts. He wants to bind up the brokenhearted and bind up the wounds in your life. How? The Apostle Paul knew how when he wrote in Romans 12:2, “Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of mind.”
Set free from scars
The way you think affects the way that you feel and the way that you feel affects the way that you act. If you’re acting depressed, it’s because you feel depressed. If you feel depressed, it’s because you’re thinking depressed thoughts. When God wants to change us and set us free from the scars in our past—all of those hurts from parents and partners and colleagues, and even ones we inflict on ourselves—God does it by changing the way we think.
Have you ever been in one of those fun houses with the mirrors that are distorted? Some make you bigger, skinnier, taller, fatter, and shorter. When you look into a distorted mirror, you get a distorted image of yourself. Growing up, the adults in your life were the mirrors. Do you know any perfect adults? No. Are you a perfect adult? No. We give distorted images to people. We grow into adulthood with lies about ourselves that aren’t true: You don’t matter; You’re not significant; You’re never going to amount to anything; You don’t count. You bought all that. The younger you are in rejection, the deeper it hurts. When we’re little kids, we accept it as truth if people said it. When you look at a distorted mirror, you get a distorted image of yourself. If you get false information, you’re going to come up with a false conclusion.
God says, I want to change all that by changing the way that you think. John 8:32 says, “When you know the truth the truth will set you free.” If you want to be free from the scars in your past, fill your life with the truth. The truth sets us free. It’s time to let go of some things that people said to you a long time ago that aren’t true about you. God says that when you know the truth, the truth is going to set you free.
(To be continued in Repairing Shattered Confidence – Part 2)