Wow. That was stupid.
That will never work.
Your hair is a disaster.
No one wants to sit with you.
If someone said any of these things to my child, husband or friend, I would be incensed. How dare you say something so cruel to someone I love?
You’ve heard the expression “Tiger Mom”? I’d make that mom blush with shame. I would make sure that everyone knew: That kind of talk is not acceptable. It will not be tolerated. You’ll be asked to leave.
But here’s the thing. The person who said those things is someone I know. And the person they were directed to is someone I know too.
Isn’t that crazy? The very language that I wouldn’t accept coming from someone else, I’ll accept from myself.
I like to think that I have a reasonable level of intelligence. I have a healthy self-esteem. No one can take that from me.
I remember one incident in particular. It was my turn to come up in front of the church and read the Prayer List to the congregation.
I know some people have trouble pronouncing names, but I’m pretty good at it. All those years of calling patients from the waiting room to the exam rooms, I guess. So up the stairs I climbed to the microphone. I make it through the list without a problem.
Returning to my seat, I didn’t get the usual “Nice job” from my husband. After church, walking out to the car, I found out why.
Chuckling, he told me I had mispronounced a name. I had read “Stash” (as in ‘cash’), a first name. He told me that was a European name pronounced “St-ahhh-sh”.
Oh no. I was mortified. I hoped the poor man’s family wasn’t in the church to hear me bungle the name. And the voices started gearing up. “You’re so dumb! Why didn’t you ask someone to look over the list with you? You looked like a fool!”
My mind was working overtime to beat me down.
When I told my husband how I felt, he had to spend some time talking me down from my self-imposed ledge.
I did finally come to understand that the voices in my head have very little to do with the truth. They have everything to do with making me feel really, really bad.
That’s not my voice. And it certainly isn’t God’s either.
So when those insults start flying, and my self-esteem is bottoming out, I stop myself right there. I mentally take a step back and ask myself, “Who’s talking here?” It sure sounds like evil.
I’ll ask Jesus to be my bouncer; he’s experienced at that. I pray that he will come and throw that voice out of the Temple. Because I ask, he will answer.
The Temple is where my heart and soul live. And you know what? I don’t tolerate that kind of talk in the Temple. Neither does Jesus.
You know what? Neither should you.