Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged…. (1 Chronicles 22:13).
The other day, out on the basketball court I was feeling overwhelmingly insecure. Reason being was because I was surrounded by true veteran officials. Men who had years of wisdom and experience. Men who could probably officiate with their eyes closed (but don’t we do that any way according to popular opinion? :)). Men, who, quite frankly, I felt intimidated by and because of this, I wasn’t able to give myself fully to the game.
Since I lacked confidence in myself I found myself messing up more and not being able to call the game with as much finesse as I normally do. Truth is, these men just wanted to encourage me and offer constructive criticism. Something in my mind wanted to convince me otherwise.
This past Sunday in Sunday school we were talking about the importance of building each other up with our words. We talked about the negative self-talk that goes on inside of our own minds. Just like I experienced out on the court, we experience those same negative voices nearly every day too. Usually, the voice that runs inside of our heads says something like, “That person is so disappointed in you. They all just really believe you’re a failure,” or “Don’t call that friend, they don’t care about you,” “Don’t invite that friend over, they wouldn’t want to spend time with you.”
How do we break such negative self-talk? By the transforming of our minds as we take captive every thought, making it obedient to Christ.
As David prepared Solomon to build the temple he reminded him to be strong and courageous because he knew his son Solomon would face opposition. You and I face opposition too. It’s usually from within our own selves, the voice of the enemy, that tries to weasel its way in convincing us that we cannot trust God. We cannot walk forward in faith and we will never overcome what’s happened to us.
Courage is moving forward in faith even when we’re afraid. It’s is picking up our whistle and calling the game with the same amount of humble confidence. It’s calling a friend when the voices of doubt and discouragement try to convince us that we’re all alone. It’s telling someone you admire and respect them when you’re afraid they’ll reject you or think that what you have to say is stupid.
God works in the small moments of our lives as we walk in courage and faith. Sometimes, honestly, its those small moments that encourage me to keep moving forward and trust God as I see His courage and love lived out among me in the body of Christ. Then, as I see it extended to me, I can go and do likewise for the glory of God.
Don’t believe the lies that tell you those people don’t care about you. Don’t allow yourself to become engulfed by words sent only to steal, kill and destroy your confidence in Christ. Approach God instead, with a heart of humility, confident that, in His love, you have the mind of Christ and the wisdom that comes from the Spirit of truth.
Abba, I have the mind of Christ! What a wonderful truth! I am more than a conqueror through you who love me! So much negative self-talk goes on in my mind, but I know that in you, I am free! I can walk forward, being confident of your love that dances over me! Thank you, Father, in Jesus name, Amen!