“You suck at baseball!” one boy yelled toward my seven year old son.
“Is he ever going to hit the ball?” another jeered.
My boy at 3
My son’s eyes went from wonder and enjoyment to tears and heartache as his teammate’s words cut deep down into his heart. Our peers can be cruel no matter the age and words have impact.
I went over to talk to my son to check on his heart. “Can I be done hitting now?” he questioned. As he moved out into the field, the whole team ran for not supporting each other.
On the drive home after practice we talked about what had unfolded and what hurt. Through a soft voice in the back seat he said, “Dad is it true? Do I suck?”
I don’t know about you, but I have asked this many times when people have said hurtful things. It’s a record that can shut us down and stop us from even trying. This was my son’s first year of baseball and he was excellent at it, but that day he struggled to hit the ball.
One day and one word could have stopped him from playing a sport he loves and could stop you from pursuing your dreams and I don’t want that for either of you.
When your brain or another person hurls words that are less than helpful, l I want you to do two things.
We need to reframe to stay on course. Jon Acuff said, “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Comparison is poison.” It was my son’s first year of baseball and his first year swinging a bat. He was less than great if he had been playing for years.
Who are you comparing yourself too?
Often we compare ourselves to someone that has been practicing our craft for years and then begin to wonder what is wrong with us. It’s an easy trap to fall into. The only person we should compare ourselves to is our past self. Are you growing? Awesome! Focus on the growth to reframe.
The next step to reframe is to judge the source.
I’m not talking about comparison, however, use your eyeballs. For my son, the coaches had told him several times that he has natural talent and he was batting a ridiculously good batting average. The source was two boys that struggle with kindness.
When people say hurtful words don’t just accept them as facts. The source that is infallible for you and I is God. God doesn’t make mistakes and He made you for such a time as this.
The stronger our identity in Christ is, the less others’ words will affect us. Remind yourself about what the King of the universe thinks about you. Here is a list for you to read if you are struggling with who He says you are.
Once you have reframed the words of others you and I must remain on the path that God has set before us to reach God given dreams.
Practice makes improvement. Improvement over time is what our dream chasing journey is all about. As you remain on track you will need to remember to forgive.
You will be tempted to prove people wrong and to be honest; this is terrible fuel. You will be tempted to make people eat their words or give them a nice glance of, I told you so. Again, proving others wrong is not good fuel. People speak today’s reality into an unknown future. Forgive anyway.
Forgiveness is for you; not for the seven and eight year old boys your dad wanted to slap on the baseball field. Forgiveness is for your heart to be able to focus back on your assignment instead of the wounds that have been inflicted.
Sometimes we struggle to forgive. We need to bring those things to God in authenticity. Tell Him you are struggling to forgive and ask Him for help. He will be faithful to do it.
You must reframe to remain on the path set before you. Your dream that God has placed in your heart is too valuable to set aside. No one knows what you can develop and change into except God. Trust Him to mold and change you into what He wants you to be. He will be faithful to do that too! Be blessed on your journey.
Questions to ponder: What words about your dream have you accepted as true?
Where are you struggling to forgive?
Prayer: God, words of others have hurt my heart and I have accepted many of them as true. I don’t want to listen or compare myself to anyone anymore. Help my eyes to be focused on you and what you have for my life. Forgive those who have wronged me or someone I love. Help me to grow into what you have for me. Amen.
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This post was previously published on zechariahnewman.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Photo credit: Istockphoto.com
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