A few weeks ago I was confronted with an issue in my heart that I had tried to dismiss for a long time. This issue was brought to me by a close friend, not out of anger or hate…but by hurt.
I had hurt her.
Oh, how I hated to hear those words out of her mouth. She didn’t feel safe in our friendship anymore and she thought that maybe we should take a break from our friendship.
To be honest, these words cut straight to my heart.
My flesh cried out, “But wait, you’ve done the exact same things I’ve done!
But through these last 15 years of letting Holy Spirit speak to me, I could hear the words, “Candace, own what you’ve done and said. Don’t run away from this, face it.”
That voice is always the truth. It never manipulates and it doesn’t twist things around. And ten times out of ten, it’s encouraging me to look inward at my own heart instead of at others.
For me, when I look inward at my heart, there are layers. I’m quick to start out with seeing pride. Pride says, “I can do this because I deserve it. I’ve reached this level in my walk with God now and I can dabble in this behavior and not be pulled into sin by it.” That is so dangerous. Holy Spirit will never say, “You deserve this.” But I bet you can guess who will use those words? The enemy.
When I dig a little deeper, I can see a lack of confidence in myself. That I believe that I don’t have enough inside of me to be worthy of the calling I’ve been given, so therefore I must compensate. I must elevate myself to look better than others and I must discretely push others down so I stand taller. That’s a lie I thought I had mastered until I was confronted by my friend.
To be honest, I felt like a fraud.
I preach sisterhood, love, forgiveness, self-control, but I had not mastered my tongue. The Bible compares it to the rutter of a large ship or the bit in a horses mouth. It steers your life and I would even call it a weapon of “mass destruction.”
In James 3:5-6 in the Passion Translation it reads, “And the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power! Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness and is the most dangerous part of our human body. It corrupts the entire body and is a hellish flame. It releases a fire that can burn throughout the course of human existence.”
The tongue is mentioned numerous times in the Old and New Testament and I’ve learned when something is mentioned over and over in God’s Word, it’s really good for me to take note of because it means that it’s something God deems very important for His children to learn.
Digging a little deeper, I can finally see the root of all of this junk I had to sift through to see where my behavior was coming from. It came down to me not believing the real truth of how good God really is.
Is He really who He says He is?
Well it’s the same lie the serpent used on Eve. Did God really say what He said? Will you really die if you eat the fruit?
If I can’t believe the truth about God, how can I believe the truth of who He says I am? How am I to be like the Father, if I don’t really believe that He’s always good, no matter what is happening in my life or the world around me?
So where did I go from there?
Well, I stopped and turned towards Him.
I faced Him.
And you want to know what the coolest thing about God is? No matter how far we run, no matter how much we try to cover ourselves up to look a different way, when we make the simple act of just turning 180 degrees back to Him, He’s right there.
Right there waiting.
I didn’t have to jump through any loopholes. Clean myself off, read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Recite some prayers or pay penance (even though my Catholic upbringing really wanted me to!)
No, all I needed to do was go and sit at His feet.
That’s where you find Him.
His love will knock you down. His arms will pick you up. His Words will put a healing salve on your heart. And He will not hold you at arms length but bring you right into Him. Like a daddy does to his child that’s fallen and scraped up their knees. He doesn’t dish out condemnation, but only love. He restores you right back to the status of His Child. A role that you actually never left, but one that you were choosing to deny, because your mind was fogged over by the lies you were believing. God will wipe away that fog, just like you do to the mirror after a long, hot shower. You’ll be able to see yourself the way He sees you and He’s not focusing on the things you’ve done, but only on who He created you to be.
Everyday this is something that must be put out in front of us. You can truly know who God is by spending time with Him. Also hold every thought captive and shine the light of God’s truth on it. Is it a lie or is it the truth?
Face Him. Get in front of His face. Allow Him to love you fully. All of you.
Every deep, dark part of your heart. Just let Him in.
p.s. That friend that I hurt, well, she gave me the same kind of grace Jesus offers. She forgave me and wouldn’t allow me to earn my way back into her life, because that’s not what love is, but she forgave me and we’re walking this out together. God is good.