“Aiyo, so clumsy!”
“What can you do properly?”
I saw the wave of sadness and anger that was about to overcome him, and I recognised it. It was obvious that those words cut deeper than it should have. We could brush it off as bad parenting or poor management of emotions – but perhaps it reveals something bigger.
I recognised that boy’s emotions because I’ve been there. And perhaps you have, too.
When at the receiving end of comments that run the gamut from aggressive to unnecessary, we have only split seconds to decide how to respond. Perhaps it is much more comfortable for us to depress into a sulk or launch into a verbal war in our minds, than to calmly remind ourselves that our mistakes are not the sum total of our person.
But the actual mechanics are harder to sort out, especially when negativity already has a well-worn path to get to us. Perhaps that’s why some comments sting us so sharply even though we know they shouldn’t.
Things happen: You spilled a cup of coffee, you got drops of Laksa gravy on your shirt, or you broke a cup when washing it. They are small things – but these mishaps have the potential to reveal what’s on our inside.
It is much more comfortable for us to sulk or launch into a verbal war than to calmly remind ourselves that our mistakes are not the sum total of our person.
Some days, we may find enough confidence in ourselves to laugh or shrug it off. But on other days, it may feel like nothing we do is right and we’re the biggest failure we know; the mess on the kitchen floor is trivial compared to the mess that we think we are.
Even something as small as spilling a drink or messy eating can set us off and touch raw nerves in our complex circuitry, because it is no longer just about our carelessness or Mum’s loaded comments – what has been simmering in our belief system has also spilled over.
I remember moments when my emotions grew way out of proportion; it felt as if a switch was flipped, and the trigger didn’t matter anymore.
In those split seconds when we catch a glimpse of our boiling anger or experience a sudden, crude awareness of our own insecurity – do we surrender to our feelings? It might be comforting to relish in our anger or take comfort in our pity-parties, but the trail doesn’t end well in those places.
Are there punishing emotions and unpleasant accusations that seem to be parked at the door of your mind, always waiting for an opportunity to heap unworthiness on you? Are there words that seem to always get you down? Is there a particular trait about yourself that you are ashamed of?
In those split seconds when we catch a glimpse of our boiling anger or experience a sudden, crude awareness of our own insecurity – do we surrender to our feelings?
I will go out on a limb to say that the feeling of being trapped in our mistakes and inadequacies is neither new nor all that uncommon. We’re not all that different, really.
But there is a real path out of it.
There is a verse in the Bible that says this: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
The sweet taste of freedom is best cherished by those who know that they have been in captivity. To the captive who has been slave to unwanted anger, bitterness, harshness and rage, the sweet taste of freedom is the experience of humility, gratefulness and peace.
There is a real way out of the the hole of darkness, anger, and bitterness – and there is no need for us to live in captivity any longer; the debt has been paid on our behalf.
If your heart is tired and bruised, take comfort and find rest in the love of Jesus Christ that is promised to all those who believe in Him. In His love, we don’t have to prove ourselves.
Would you consider inviting Jesus into your life?
If you’d like to invite Jesus into your life, pray the following prayer and believe it in your heart:
I confess that I’m a sinner and I need your forgiveness. Today I invite you to come into my life to be my Lord and Saviour, help me to become the person I was created to be. Thank you for dying for me on the Cross, that I might have eternal life in You.
In your name I pray,
If you’ve just said the prayer, we encourage you to find a church to root yourself in so that you can experience and enjoy the full Christian life. Please feel free to email us at email@example.com as we’d love to help you kickstart your journey of freedom in Christ.