My youngest daughter came home one night from bible study crying. When I asked her, what was wrong, she reluctantly shared with me that a girl in her class called her an ‘ugly duck.’ The words I needed were to help her understand jealousy and the various ways it is manifest escaped me.
Now, I try teaching my children to respect others, and they know that there will be consequences if I discover that they aren’t doing so. Having said that, how do you explain to your daughter that hurting people hurts people? I assured her that she wasn’t an ugly duck.
“Where are your feathers?” I asked. “Can you fly?”
Apparently the objectives on classification of organisms in her science class had failed to prove these obvious points to her.
“Besides, you look just like your mother,” I reminded her. “Do you think I would have married her if she looked like an ugly duck?”
Fragmented pieces of understanding started to penetrate her mind, and I watched her as she wiped away tears from her eyes. Although I felt I had presented her with enough evidence to persuade her that she was, in fact, beautiful, I still wasn’t certain that my words found strong footing. It is amazing to me how we willingly believe the negative things individuals say about us and are so slow to believe the positive.
“Weren’t you voted class favorite by your peers?” I asked.
She gave me a teary-eyed nod.
“Well, honey, that means something, unless of course they voted you their favorite most unattractive person.”
That comment produced a rare and much-needed smile.
“I will tell you this – it will get better in time,” I told her. “You don’t believe me because you are young and you cannot see it now, but it will. You will grow and you will learn to let the wounding words of others bounce off of you. Their words only have the power you give them. You must grow wiser and learn not to allow everyone to have the power to ruin your day or else you are in for tough road ahead.”
In the words of TLC, ‘Don’t go chasing waterfalls but listen to the rivers and streams that you use to.’
In other words, learn to listen to the ones who are vested in you, love you and have your best interest at heart. Listen to the Creator and not the created.
God says, “You are wonderfully and beautifully made. You are precious in his sight.” You are so important to Him that the very hairs on your head are numbered. You are so important to God that he gave His only begotten son for you. From this moment on, whenever someone talks bad about you, you must decide which report will you believe, whether it is the hurting words of hurting people or the loving words of God.
As the Bible says, “My sheep hear my voice and another they will not hear.”