Ever seen a tied-up elephant and wonder why the giant hasn’t escaped from something weaker than itself?
Captive elephants are trained at an early age with heavy chains attached to stakes driven deep into the ground. As youngsters they pull repeatedly to be set free, but the chain is too strong for their small bodies. At some point, after much struggle, they give up. From that day, they can be restrained with a slender rope. Despite its strength, when the animal feels any resistance to its movement, it stops trying. Because it believes it cannot, it does not.
I recently watched The Help and the words of Aibileen, one of the main characters, to Mae Mobley brought tears to my eyes. “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” Despite the grammatical errors, the words are profound. Every child should hear these words.
But, we are not always told encouraged.
All of us have been touched negatively by words. You may have been called stupid as a child. You may have been laughed at by a school bully. Or you may be your worst enemy, reciting your faults as you stand in front of a mirror.
I recall babysitting a 4-year old before I was a teenager. When I walked through the door, the mother introduced her child to me. I still remember the child’s words as she looked up at her mother, “I thought you said she was pretty.” I’m not sure who was more mortified–her mother or me.
As Believers, we come to realize negative words are not the Truth. If you have no other verse memorized, I’m certain you know John 3:16 by heart. Four little words negate every negative thing you’ve ever been told, ever felt, ever thought. “For God so loved…” Thankfully the only qualifier after those four words is believe.
You are loved. As a child of God, throw off the chains and Believe. Instead of drowning in unkind words, soak in the love of Christ. Instead of standing in front of the mirror and only seeing a reflection of what you’ve been told by man, repeat the Truth. “God loves me.” Instead of allowing life to keep us captive, we must allow His love to set us free.