beloved1What names do you call yourself?  Life giving names: Lovely, strong, enough, wise, blessed, forgiven, beloved?  Or  shaming names: clumsy, foolish, fat, ugly, not enough?

It matters…a lot. This is something I struggle with; that’s probably why I write, speak and teach about it so often.

The journey from living in shame and self contempt to forgiveness and freedom – or at least self compassion- has been long and hard. Shame is a brutal and destructive companion. I wrestle with these names G0d calls me, desperately wanting to believe they are true about me – or maybe it is desperate to actually live in the awareness of their truth…either way, I am wrestling and desperate…

I have a gold medal in whack- a-mole  earned from years of practice!  But… I am working on a black belt in Grace! In learning to say what God says about me, rather than the lies that shut down the creativity, liveliness and beauty that is me!  I stumble, slip and fall back into old habits more often than I would like to admit, but less than before, so that is a victory …right!? It’s easy for me to encourage my friends and clients reminding them that any movement forward is worth celebrating, no matter how small, because it is one step away from self harm and one step towards self compassion… and I am learning to take my own advice.

Why is it easier to be kind and compassionate to others and not to ourselves? What would happen if we spoke grace and self compassionate words to our minds and hearts?  What if we told ourselves the truth – God’s truth – and say what God says about us- instead of the junk and head trash?We listen to and believe what we tell ourselves more than what anyone else says about us. Think about it.. those old tapes we heard,  become new recordings in our own voice. words big-1 I am wrestling with this today.

Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words of life and death are on the tongue.”  When I studied this verse in the original language, I found that “dabar” Hebrew for “words”  has many meanings and nuances. Including: communicate, agree, claim, blame, condemn, harm, idea, judgment, name, question, record, rehearse, think, whisper and more.

I am struck by the ways I can whisper lies to myself, or rehearse truth until it sinks in, pronounce judgment, or conclude grace and kindness. (Bible journaling has expanded and deepened my study of God’s word. I discovered it in December and can’t get enough!)

As you look at this image and consider all the ways your words impact your mind, thought, heart, mood, confidence, relationships and walk with God, which ones jump off the page? and Why?

She Reads Truth- Day 23  talks about the image of the lifeguard watching to make sure were are safe, rather than the whistle blowing drill sargent demanding we get it right. Which would you rather have on your team? I think God is grieved when we shred ourselves or speak words of contempt, and condemnation to ourselves. This reality more than anything else has shifted my self talk.

Who am I to say to God, “But if You only knew about… my sin, ugliness, pettiness, rebellion, avoidance… You would say the same things!” Nope… not a chance.  God doesn’t shame us. The Spirit convicts us to bring sorrow and repentance, not shame and scrambling.

And by the way, God already knows about all the secrets, sins, struggles we try to hide.  seriously!  And knowing all the yuck doesn’t change God’s heart and love for you and me one little bit! I believe God wants us to live in the freedom and truth of being forgiven, fearfully and wonderfully made, created for a purpose, forgiven and beloved – exactly as we are and simultaneously in process of becoming more like Christ.

Whew, wouldn’t if be something if we actually did!??

This song Child of the One True King by Matthew West spoke to me this morning –  and reminded me that regret and words of condemnation are not who I am – who you are! Listen to the words, watch the powerful video and see how your inner talk changes! I hope it blesses and encourages you too! (and shifts your self talk from lies to truth!)

Fill in the blank:  “Hello, my name is____”  and share in the comments below.

Be sure to grab my She Speaks Truth: Saying What God Says about Me  booklet with 24 verses of God’s words about you!

4 Responses to “What You Need to Know about Name Calling!”

  1. Jen

    I struggle hard with this. Thanks for letting me know that this is really a “thing” and really harmful. I sometimes can’t stand that voice in my head. So rude and quick to diminish. What I have learned from you, (Susie)is that “reframing” is everything. That head trash should be put out on a daily even hourly basis at times and that it saddens our God to hear those words that tear us down us. Thank you for the eye opener and the confirmation that truth needs to prevail and truth is the only voice we should be listening to. Thanks.

  2. Linda

    Words have enormous power. Spoken words have more power than unspoken, but unspoken take on the power of the spoken when repeated enough times. Spoken and unspoken words can take on the cloak of truth, deservingly so or not: and there are always those who would speak harshly or unflatteringly about us–we don’t need to join the chorus.
    It is like meditation. As we clear our mind we have to shoo away the stray thoughts that ping around. Gently, lovingly, send them away to allow quiet space. And so it is with name calling–whether of ourselves or of others. Acknowledge (not the veracity of the words, but the existance) and banish. Acknowledge and banish and replace with quiet. Ultimately, replace with positive, rather than negatives.
    Which brings me back to the whole idea of not taking ourselves so bloody seriously and keeping our sense of humor. Truly, you know you are flawed; you are human. You know you fail and fall: you are human. At the same time, you know you are also divine, of and for God. You are fiercely made and come after a long line of very flawed, but Godly humans. Why would you expect to be any different?
    Do the best you can today–maybe tomorrow your best will be better–and be assured you are loved by God. It’s a bit arrogant to second guess God, don’t you think?

    • Susie Miller

      I like the image of “shooing away stray thoughts” as they tend to be unhelpful. I am learning how the words I speak about myself color my moods, attitudes, bravery and even faith.
      Banish the ugly words and replace with peace. Yes Linda, i choose that!! Thanks


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *