A few weeks ago, my brother preached a message on the Church of Corinth. He spoke on how, although Paul went in and planted “good seeds” with the teachings of Christ, others came in and uprooted all that they’d been taught and then planted seeds of false doctrine. He talked about how this false teaching began to take root in the people of the church, causing them not to know the truth.
Toward the end of service, he stated that there were some people that God had to go in and pull some things up by the root, in order for them to be delivered. As I began to pray, God let me know that I was one of those people. He let me know that there were things that He was about to pull out of my heart by the root; things that had been a hindrance to me for years, and I hadn’t realized it. And let me tell you…..He did just that! And it was a good thing too because those things, hidden things that nobody sees and we forget about, can destroy us. You know what can destroy if not pulled up by the roots? WEEDS! They grow in perfectly good flower gardens and try to choke the life out of them.
Mmmkay, so, I’ve “always” been a slight bit (well, a lotta bit) self conscious about myself. You know, about how my clothes fit, about what others thought about me, about how others perceived me. My parents always instilled in me that I was beautiful, that they were proud of me, and that they loved me. The problem occurred when I’d go to school. My “friends” (upper elementary) would bully me and talk about the way I dressed, and the boys my age (junior high) would make fun of my size and weight. These instance caused me to want to, in essence, disappear. It caused me to not always do my best, because of how all of it made me feel about me. As I’d gotten older, I blocked those things out of my mind and I chalked my insecurities up as me just being shy. And as a result, I allowed myself to get used to having “friends” make me feel down about myself. I got used to others saying, “Oh, Alecia? That’s just the way she is.” and I went along with, allowing them to define me. I was always skittish about working with or interacting with people that I didn’t know. My love for people was overshadowed by my disdain for myself. I allowed myself to be less than I was. Those self conscious thoughts and feelings caused ripple effects in other areas of my life. Those weeds had began to take over the garden of gifts that God have grown within me. And yes, though you think you’ve gotten over those things, they can rest their ugly heads in ways that you least expect them to. They can cause feelings that you don’t even they are the cause of.
Because I was so self conscious, I became insecure. I never wanted the attention on me (like….not just spotlight, but “please don’t look me in the face when you speak to me” type of attention as well) or in my general direction. This caused me not to want to step out and do things that I KNEW I’d been called and instructed, by God, to do. I was convinced that my gifts weren’t good enough and that maybe I should just keep stuff to myself. I’d conditioned myself to stay within the realms and confines of what others expected of me. The thing about that is, the things that I did, the box that I kept myself in, were all things that I was fully capable of doing….I felt accomplished….kinda (okay…not really). Things like that have a way of causing us to be satisfied with where we are….comfortable. Kinda like weeds in a flower garden, many of them are pretty…they
resemble flowers….they seem to belong there, but a gardener knows better. I knew better but I had ultimately decided that it was best to “play it safe” and just do what I was “good at” instead of what I was born to do. That is until God did a number on me…my heart…and my mission. And that instance was only one of a few of the “weeds” that He yanked out by the “root”. And these were things that I never realized were occurring until God highlighted them to me.
I said ALL THAT to say…….(I know you’ve been waiting)…..ehem…..How many times have we missed out on opportunities because of our preconditioned insecurities? ANNNNDDDD, how many times have we just chalked it up to being “just how we are?” NO!!! That is NOT “just how you are”, bro/sis! It’s not…I promise it isn’t. Something, somewhere, at some point in time, has caused you to “become” this way. Something has taken root in your heart, causing you to be angry, insecure, bitter, depressed, untrusting, aggressive, etc. Something in your MUST be pulled up and out by its roots. We have “weeds” growing in our hearts that must be destroyed.
My brother’s book will be released on next Tuesday, October 3rd (Treasures of a Worshipper by James Tyson II…..shameless plug), but one of the chapters is titled, “A Change of Heart”. He made a statement that says, “Life or death I dependent on the functionality of your heart.” Liiiikkkkke, how many of us are slowly “dying” because the “arteries” of our hearts are clogged with so much bitterness, so many insecurities, so much jealousy and guilt, from things that have taken root over the years? When we are suffering from things that happened to us or disrespected us over the years, our hearts do not function properly. We continually try to bear the weight of the pain we still feel, even if we can’t quite recall where it came from. We must serve all of these things (as he instructs in his book) eviction notices!
So, I challenge y’all today to serve an eviction notice to ALL of the things that are holding you back from being the BEST you. You may have to think a while or make a list. You may have to do some digging to find out why “you are the way you are”. Sometimes, it’s people that we must evict from our hearts. It could be a relationship, gone bad, that has you still seeing what they “saw in you”. It could be the way a parent or family member has treated you over the years or when you were small. Those things, those memories, those scars take root and slowly destroy us. Since I have consciously allowed God to deliver my heart from those things I “thought” I was over or I had honestly forgotten (probably on purpose), my life has changed immensely and it has created room for growth and a desire to take chances that I wasn’t willing to, before.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)