There is power in our words towards others and towards ourselves. The messages we speak or think can either build or tear down the core of personhood. I have been listening to the musician Zach Williams and he wrote a song called “Fear is a Liar”. It speaks about how fear combined with these negative messages keeps us from experiencing joy. Messages like, ‘you are not good enough,’ ‘you are not right,’ ‘you are not strong enough,’ ‘you are not loved,’ limit our ability to love and be loved. It is as if these fear messages we have towards ourselves limit our ability to live full lives. The freedom we desire falls flat due to being held by this fear.
There is hope though. Our identities do not have to be limited by our fear.
An exercise that I have used in the hospital setting as well as in counseling where a patient or client will write down 10, ‘I am’ statements. They might write down ‘I am happy’, ‘I am sad’, ‘I am discouraged,’ or ‘I am smart.’ Writing these are to be a reflection of who they feel they are currently. But, this exercise can also be helpful to someone who also wants to identify who they want to become as a person. In this exercise the question of, ‘what would you like to see differently about your list?’ is usually raised. Some want to change everything, while some only want to change a few.
The process entails taking a hard shift in what one believes to be true about themselves, recognizing whether those things are harmful or not, and then beginning to processing towards changing these messages.
In the movie, Overcomer, there is a scene where one of the main characters is encouraged to write who God says she is by picking out all the things God says about us in chapters 1 and 2 of the book of Ephesians in the Bible. This is a moving scene, where she writes, ‘I am Loved’ among a number of other ‘I am’ messages. How powerful are these three words? What if we truly believed this to be true? How would this change the direction of our beliefs, perspectives, and possibly our circumstances as well?
We are in the last week of our focus on Beloved here at Genesis and our theme for the next several months will be Becoming. Understanding the message of Beloved leads us into Becoming. We don’t have to stay trapped by the negative messages. The awareness of these messages are now freely to be wrestled with and changed. This transformation of heart and mind leads us into becoming a person that is free to wholly experience life.