Self-assurance is a wonderful God-given gift. I am not talking about conceit. Romans 12:3 rebukes us, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, . . .”
I’m speaking of confidence. With God by our side, we can conquer mountains! Joshua and Caleb did it, so can we! Conquering our insecurities is within our grasp. God wants us courageous enough to rebuke temptation but overcoming false beliefs is a challenge.
Were you allowed as a child, to voice an opinion without ridicule, or were you expected to withhold your opinion? In some families if a child spoke his mind regarding a controversial topic, there was an immediate rebuke. That subconsciously teaches a child that his feelings or opinions don’t matter and they become fearful of expressing themselves in the future. It is the same as saying; “Don’t tell me how you feel about it – that’s unimportant, just do as I say.”
No wonder people learn to fear authority and bury every emotion inside, turning to food for consolation. No one wants to be rejected and ridiculed. To discover the soothing realization that food comforts and doesn’t talk back is like a warm hug against the inner child.
Your opinions and needs matter! We are commanded to speak the truth in love but after so many years of holding the pain within, sometimes if we unlock the floodgates, frustration recklessly spews out all at once. Have you ever yelled at your spouse or child and it had absolutely nothing to do with them? Usually the cause turns out to be a subconscious painful memory.
When Julie was newly married, her husband playfully teased her about her eating habits. This struck her the wrong way and she lashed out at him. It seems Julie’s father was a malicious, belittling man who consistently taunted and shamed her at the dinner table. A flash of memory and her husband became the recipient of that hurtful recollection. Sometimes people have no idea why you act as you do and since humans are not mind-readers one must open up, conveying their innermost feelings to begin trusting again.
Choose to Release Your Emotional Bondage, Breaking that Chain:
- Stay in the Word. Memorize Scripture. It’s remarkable how a Bible verse will come to mind when needed most.
- Speak the Truth in love. Look at the intent of the one who tries your patience. Was it intentional or is someone simply unaware of your past?
- Gather the courage to divulge how a statement made you feel. If you can disclose those personal moments, such as “my father made fun of me in public too,” most will understand. If not, find more compassionate friends.
- Positive affirmations matter. You are special to God simply because you exist!
- You are important to your family. They love you and you should feel comfortable revealing who you are. If not, speak to a pastor, counselor or trusted friend.
- When under stress, don’t eat – exercise, go for a walk, read or search for relaxation outside because fresh air creates feel-good endorphins. Be proactive. Choose healthy ways to release the frustration.
Put yourself in another’s shoes. Humans aren’t mind readers and if you don’t express yourself, how would they know? Burying your feelings will only kick the can down the road.
“Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m truly helping you. I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (ISV)