Do you answer by the name which others call you?
Thinking back on this particular day, I had the opportunity to spend a day with my beautiful, smart, sassy cousin. Let me give you all some back ground information, she was always told she had an attitude problem (major one). I’m over ten years older than her so I remember her being just a little girl. She was such a young girl, who was told over and over, and over again, that she had an attitude problem. As a result of this she grew up and answered to that name!
It is funny to me, that in life it is so easy to call out the messy ways of others, yet you rarely see people willing to help them, teach them, or guide them…..instead we gossip or complain about how awful of a person they are. As Christians, is it not our duty to help, teach and guide one another? I mean it shouldn’t come natural to us to just label each other and walk away with the mere gesture of “bless their hearts”. Instead step in and ask, “Hey how can I help you”, (with God’s guidance of course).
My cousin due to our big age difference didn’t know me that well, however she took advantage of the opportunity to get to know me. I really did appreciate that and as a believer I wanted my witness to be authentic. She also was able to develop a relationship with one of my best friends. As time went by I truly believe that this relationship rekindling was for us to speak life back into her. To let her know she wasn’t really mean at all, maybe short tempered, but we talked about developing patience and I prayed for her in that area. I also told her that she was sweet and giving, reminded her of the good and catering characteristics that she possessed, I mean she was coming to visit me, taking me on spa days…..how sweet and thoughtful is that? I believe if you speak on any quality the more you give life to it, the more it will show. So I want to talk about the good that I see in you versus the bad that everyone else has pointed out. I use this same technique with my students as well. It is so much power in our words remember let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. If we are for Christ then we have to be a true witness according to his word!
In closing I want to say as this relationship developed, I was able to see her real vulnerable side and hear narratives from her darkest moments. Yet through all this pain I still saw her smile (dimples showing and all). She made up her mind to get around from people who did not want the same things in life as her ,she no longer answers to the name that she once had been called but answers to a new name, a new purpose, and a definition of who God has called her to be!
Let this be a lesson for us all, Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Our tongue will either bring blessings or curses upon us from both God and man, in both the present time and for eternity. So I pray that we walk daily with the Holy Spirit and that every word that comes out of our mouths are to edify the lord or others!
A Sista on the Sofa Kendal
It’s so easy to tear someone down but takes real patience, wisdom, and work to build someone up and bring them closer to the Lord. God bless you and your cousin. Well done