by Fred Bennett
Ashley arrives home from school. As she comes in the back door after skipping through the neighbor’s yard, she shouts, “Is there anything to eat?” From deep in the apartment comes a voice saying, “You are just like your father. Always looking for handouts.” Ashley shrugs and, without saying a word, turns and wanders toward the street with her head down. It’s one of those days. She puts in her earbuds and walks down the street.
Some People's Reality
Words echo in our ears. As much as we try to drown them out with anger, revenge or diversion, they haunt us throughout our lives. Words dictate our actions. They form our opinions of ourselves. Words change our lives.
Has your life ever been changed by a word? Do any of these phrases ring in your ears?
You are a loser!
You never do anything right!
You weren’t planned!
You always make me so angry!
You are just like your mother!
A Bible Word
There is a word that can change your life for the better. It’s a Bible word. It conquers fear, anger, and pain. It is found throughout the whole of Scripture. 1 John 4:18 explains it best with these short phrases. “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth not is made perfect in love.”
Perfect love casts out fear. There is no fear in love. The one word that can triumph all other words is love
There is a word that can change your life for the better. It’s a Bible word. The one word that can triumph all other words is love.
Trying to Escape
Ashley continues for four blocks, turns right, and, pulling out her earbuds, she walks into the third house on the left. Cliff, who is twenty-three, lives here and always has groups of teenagers hanging out at his house. As she walks in someone shouts, “Ash!” Four teens come running and give her a group hug, and they continue into a smoke-filled kitchen. Ashley asks, “Can I get a hit of that? It’s one of those days.”
This is love for many who are haunted by words and pain. Someone who will give them time and space in which to escape their environment. This is not perfect love. Perfect love needs no escape because it has no fear. Fear and anger blind a person until they are driven by a desire for getting even or running away. Perfect love gives a person eyes to see needs in an environment that is painful and difficult. Perfect love gives. Fear is selfish as it tries to control everything to eliminate pain. Perfect love accepts pain and forgives.
Perfect love needs no escape because it has no fear.
If she turns her life over to God, Ashley can go back home with love and serve her mother. This is difficult. The words will not stop. The pain will still be felt. But Ashley does not need to be driven by the pain of words and actions. She can be drawn through life by a God who is managing her pain.
Let God Manage Your Pain
Any person can inflict pain. We are born selfish. Our desire to please ourselves will hurt someone along the way. The confession that our own words and actions can and will injure others is freedom. You are released from living to escape your environment and sent to live to please the God who made you.
The escape you long for is found in believing that God will love you despite your sins and flaws. You are created on purpose for a purpose. Don’t let the words in your surroundings or the words in your head keep you from the voice of the God who made you. He put you in this world on purpose. Your situation is part of His plan.
Serve Him. Don’t serve your circumstances.
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Dr. Timothy Cooley, Sr.
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