What Do People Say About You?

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are My followers.” (Matthew 5:11 NLT)

When my then 16-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia, I got several cards and notes letting me know that people were praying for us. That was a blessing as we were struggling to make sense of what was happening and how to navigate through something neither of us had faced before. But I also received a letter that was not signed that essentially said: “You’re the reason your son is sick.” That was NOT helpful, especially considering my recent divorce from my son’s mom, that I didn’t want.

Guilt and shame filled my heart and mind and I wondered if it was true. Thankfully, God had placed in my life godly men and women with whom I could share freely about the letter and how I felt. They prayed for me and counseled me to trust God and not allow Satan to bind my spirit through one of his lies.

It doesn’t help me when someone tells me what I did or am doing wrong, especially if their motive is wrong. If a trusted brother comes to me and points out something that is offensive to him or others, while it might sting a bit, I will listen out of my respect for them. God sometimes uses others to correct or guide us in the paths of righteousness. But most of the time, no one knows better than me what I’m doing wrong. The Holy Spirit is very good and kind in pointing out the things in my heart and life that are displeasing to the Lord.

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When I was a small boy my Uncle Ed would pull me up on his lap and tell me and everyone within earshot, what a good boy I was. I knew, and I suspect he knew too, that I wasn’t a good boy. When my mom wasn’t happy with me, she would sometimes refer to me (in the most affectionate way 😊) “You little hellion!” But when others would brag on me, even if I didn’t feel I deserved it, there was a part of me that was drawn to wanting to be “that” person. It inspired and encouraged me to become more than I might believe I could become.

What’s my point? It’s easy to see the things that are wrong in someone else. Why do you think that is? It’s called “projection.” We often project onto others the wrong we can’t face in ourselves. So, we quickly point out in others the very things with which we wrestle in our own lives but can’t muster the faith and/or courage to do anything about them.

As hard as it might be at times, make it a habit to call out the good things that you see in others. A brother in the Lord called me the other day. Someone had told him he shouldn’t be leading a group, that he didn’t know enough of the Bible. The “truth” is, he does need to dig into the Bible more intentionally, but it’s also true that he’s a born leader. He can motivate and draw men to the Lord and to his group like I was never able to do. And that’s what I told him. I also was able to give him some guidance in the importance of reading and studying the Bible, and praying (which he asked me about).

We don’t need to hear what we aren’t or can’t do. We need to be reminded that we’re God’s child and nothing is impossible for us. And there’s no better environment for this to happen than in our families. Yes, of course, if I wanted to get really picky, I could probably find one or two things I could nitpick my wife about. But I’d much rather brag about the hundreds of godly qualities she has. I’d rather tell her how beautiful she is; how smart she is; how powerfully God is using her in so many ways to bless others and honor Him.

Life is too short to waste our breath speaking words that aren’t uplifting, encouraging, reinforcing what God is doing in and through those we love the most. Brag on those you love. Let God’s love so flow in and through you that others are called to love and honor the Lord you love and serve.

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “What Do People Say About You?

  1. Thank you, Pastor Ed, your blog always fits and answers questions I am having. It helps me so much.


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