Okay, here’s a disclosure. I may come across as riding the petty train for one stop. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had one or two individuals in my life that enjoy saying to me, “You look tired.” It may have something to do with my eyes I’ve had my entire life. They are not bright. They appear more closed than open. Further, what many people do not realize is that I’ve worn corrected lenses since I was four. I remember years ago my mom shared that once she took me to the grocery store as a child and the cashier said, “Poor baby, she has the weight of the world on her shoulders, look at her eyes.” So suffice to say, I’ve always been struck by people saying, “You look tired.” As adults, I would hope we would grow to a place that we opt out of saying the first thing that pops up in our head. Can you imagine if all throughout life we did that? Such a practice might be a bit problematic as well as damage relationships in the process. Nevertheless, I’ve learned to just respond, “No, I’m not.” That usually stops the person from saying anything further, but I have to admit that the statement often lingers with me. What I would like to offer, particularly to those that profess to be in the Body of Christ, is Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death.”
It is difficult enough to deal with the thoughts in our own heads that the enemy consistently creates. He desires to operate through distractions by trying to convince us that we are not the apple of God’s eye. Daily we must remind ourselves of John 3:16, that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. He did this for us, this sacrifice was made with us at the center of the decision. And as often as we need to remind ourselves of this fact, we must. The enemy detests this, because salvation will never be an option for him. So therefore, he must do his best work while he can because his end is imminent. In the interim, he attempts to use us to contribute to his dirty work, by focusing through our actions, and even our statements, the end portion of Proverbs 18:21 by speaking negatively over ourselves, and those we come in contact with.
For me, it’s hearing you look tired. For others, people may comment on your weight, your marriage, your parenting, your finances, or your ministry. What gives them the audacity? I’m not certain. Further, I don’t know that addressing it is worth the time and effort. I also know that we can’t change others, but God can. Recently I was leaving an office and walked in between two employees smoking outside. I had to walk between the fumes and it wasn’t pleasant. I opened up my mouth to share, “You should really give that up, it’s bad for your health.” No one gave me permission to make this statement, nor asked for it. I found myself in the same position that gets on my nerves, offering empty, judgmental words to someone without their solicitation. The Word of God tells us in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” It is critical to ask ourselves, is what I am offering in the spirit of doing good? Is it helpful? Is it edifying the Kingdom of God? Is this the appropriate time? Most importantly, has God commanded you to say it, or is it your flesh that is in the driver’s seat? It is imperative that we refrain from speaking negativity into the atmosphere. We’ve got a lot of work to do in the earth. We’ve been commanded by God to get it done. Just as it seems the year passes by quickly, so must we take hold to demonstrate to a dying world the light of the world. The only solicitation I am requesting in this season is from God, so please excuse me if I reject what you offer. But if you join me, I’m sure we can accomplish what is described in Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.”