Written by Ashley, mom to 3 boys (#3 to be born next month), husband to one boy, and new regular contributor to Drops!
Read John 15:9-25
“Mean people suck.” Oh man, I love that bumper sticker. I couldn’t have said it better myself. You undoubtedly have someone in your life that the second they open their mouth that “wa wa wa” sound effect plays in your head. Negative. Critical. Borderline rude. It’s hard to remember that it’s the devil inside of them that makes them that way.
I started a blog about six months ago to expose the blemishes of my everyday life. So far my most read blog post is about the day I woke up and discovered I had a muffin top. Go figure.
Recently, I got some not-so-good feedback about my blog. It was a damaging blow that I tried to brush off, but the comments made me reconsider posting anything else. Even though I’m confident in who I am, because of the relationship I have with Christ, the words still hurt.
A few days later I worked up the courage to write out and publish a post titled, “Your Grace Has Found Me Just As I Am.” It was all about God and his unfailing grace.
A gal that I barely know responded to the post by saying, “Ashley, I am not a religious person...but this was an awesome post and it’s refreshing to see someone put something into perspective in a way that anyone can grow from.”
Wow. What I had to say was what someone needed to hear. God always puts people in my life at the exact time I need them. I never imagined he would use me to be someone else’s "person."
A dear friend of mine is a part of the worship team at her church. She shared with me that one Sunday she was singing and she noticed a couple of women looking in her direction and laughing. She feared they were laughing at her and she told me she didn’t want to be up there anymore.
Instinctually, I wanted to know the names and addresses of these ladies so I could go offer them a piece of my mind.
Instead, the Holy Spirit poured into me and we had a great conversation about how Satan uses situations like that to prevent us from sharing the truth.
Satan is a crafty little booger. He knows our weaknesses. He knows what is going to make us cry. He takes advantage of our human nature.
The second he senses that we are up to something good, he tries to sever whatever confidence we’ve got. Whether it’s a feeling of judgement from an acquaintance, a snide comment from a friend, or downright mean criticism from a family member. He uses looks and words from others to tap into our insecurities.
God’s word says, “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long...” (Deuteronomy 33:12). The Lord has equipped each of us with special gifts. He carefully crafted us and designed specific ways to allow us to serve and bring glory to Him. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us...” (Romans 12:6).
Some people in life are joy stealers. Just as some people are put in our day to brighten it, some people are put in our day to cast a grey cloud.
Girlfriend, we need to be ready with a mighty prayer to conquer these joy stealers. (Do you like that last little “girlfriend” bit? I’m channeling my inner Beth Moore and I gotta say, I like it).
“What is gained if I am silenced...?” (Psalm 30:9). Don’t let harsh words silence you and prevent you from fulfilling God’s destiny for you. Pursue His dreams for you without any hesitation. Seek God’s will above all else and refuse to settle for anything less. You may get some unpleasant feedback here on earth, but let me assure you, God will have the last and the sweetest words for you!