"Can I Tell You Something?"
“Can I tell ya something?”
A common theme keeps popping up on my radar this past month. The root of bitterness starts young.
I sat down at a table of 3rd grade girls one evening at church before the kid’s program started just to see how the girls were doing. This one little girl sitting on my left started every statement with, “Can I tell ya something?” After a few random statements, she leaned over to me and quietly said once again, “can I tell ya something, my brother told my mom that he doesn’t love me. I covered my ears because I didn’t want to hear it, but I did.” Oh, my heart broke, I could tell this was a big deal to her. I asked how old her brother was and she said, “six.” I said, “he doesn’t know what he’s saying, and he didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”
Then she said, “Can I tell ya something? My brother wants me out of the family and wishes I be a orphan.” I could see this crushed her spirit and really hurt her. I didn’t hesitate to respond. I got down on her level, eye to eye, and said, “You are special, and God loves you very much. You were made by God. Your brother doesn’t know how he hurt your feelings and we need to forgive him. Can you ask God to help you forgive him now?” We prayed right there off to the side of the group. I don’t know what led this little one to tell me, but I immediately knew the power of these statements by her little brother could deeply affect her for years to come. We needed to nip it in the bud and cut that root out now before bitterness and unforgiveness causes a wound so big that this little one loses her self-esteem.
A 71-year-old woman is still working through forgiving her sister’s harsh statements over the years. Recently, when her grown sister was visiting for a week, she saw how much her sister loved the Lord and spent time studying the Word of God, praying, and listening to God speak to her. Out of jealousy, the older sister said to her, “Why does God speak to you? You were the stupid one growing up.” Those words cut like a knife no matter how old you are. My friend relayed the story to her friends over and over again, laughing it off like it didn’t bother her. I gently had to tell her one day that it hurt my heart when she tells that story and it must hurt God’s heart too. It doesn’t edify herself or her sister to repeat the hurtful words that were said. My friend agreed that she needs to forgive her sister and let it go.
It’s not easy. These words spoken over us hurt more than a physical wound. If not dealt with immediately, the hurt and pain festers and causes roots of bitterness, anger, insecurity, and unforgiveness. “Hurt people, hurt people” I’ve been told. So, the hurt continues to multiply?! That’s awful. We have to put a stop to it.
When someone hurts us, the anger usually is focused on the person who said the mean statement. But really is the person to blame or was it their hurt and their own insecurity that caused them to say what they said?
For this little girl to grow up remembering her brothers’ statement can affect her in a few different ways. One she can be angry at her brother and never fully love and trust him. Or the words fester inside, and she starts believing the lie that she is unloved, she is unwanted, she is worthless, and rejected.
I think the enemy, Satan, wants to tear down her self-worth more than just cause a riff in the brother/sister relationship. How many people are carrying around insecurities because of similar lies they believe about themselves?
When the Holy Spirit reveals the past to us, He wants to heal us by replacing the lie with truth from God’s Word.
Yesterday, I met with a friend who shared that the Lord revealed to her something that she heard her mother say many times before she was six years old. She was told, “We didn’t plan on having another baby. You were such a bother. You were sick all the time. You were the most demanding and difficult one.” Those statements affected her personality and self-esteem for many years.
What hurtful words have been holding you back from fulfilling your destiny? What lies from the enemy have hindered your growth as a person? Have you let your hurt turn you into someone who hurts others? Are you aware of your hurt or have you been running and hiding from it all these years?
When the Holy Spirit reveals the past to us, He wants to heal us by replacing the lie with truth from God’s Word. Take a minute to pray and ask the Lord to come show you where the root of bitterness started. He has been with you through it all and He can help change your painful memories and make them into healing memories.
Ask the Holy Spirit to come and show you. Your experience will be uniquely your own. Just be open to receive the light and darkness will flee. The pain from old wounds and old memories will be replaced with new ones. He makes all things new. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus! Renew. Refresh. Reset.