I recently listened to a podcast by Steven Furtick and he said something I wholeheartedly agree with:
Everybody’s running from something or somebody. Even if that somebody is themselves.
Isn’t that the truth? It’s hard enough to face the bully problem in this generation–the put-downs, beat-downs, ridicule, threats, and so on–but what if the bully is YOU (against you)? It honestly breaks my heart just thinking about it because I used to be my own bully.
I remember the first time God had me minister on righteousness to a large group. I had overcome so much self-hate through an understanding of who I was in Christ, but I was still walking it out (still am most days). But at this event, I was a new pastor’s wife and speaking wasn’t on my list of aspirations yet, so I was extremely nervous. I still believed most of my problems were just that… “Daphne problems.” Until God opened my eyes at the end of my message.
The Holy Spirit had prompted me to spread the word to all the ladies at breakfast to bring a small mirror to the service with them. After I shared my testimony and explained how God sees us and how much He wants us to forgive ourselves, I asked the ladies to take out their mirrors. I instructed them to look real close into their own eyes and say to the girl looking back, “I love you and I forgive you.”
As music played in the background, and I stood at the front praying for the ladies, something I honestly didn’t expect began happening. One by one, the ladies began finding freedom. They went from tears to shouts of praise. What I had always thought to be a “Daphne problem” was actually a “believer problem.”
At the end of the conference, our host asked for testimonies. One young lady came forward with her mirror still in hand. She was tall, beautiful, and fun-loving. Everyone enjoyed being around her. So we were quite surprised by what she shared. She said, “I’ve never liked myself. I avoid my mirror as much as possible, only taking quick glances when I have to. And I intended to do this exercise the same way. I didn’t want to disobey so I gave a quick nod to the mirror in my hand and said, ‘I love you and I forgive you.’ But I didn’t really look at her.”
With tears in her eyes now, she went on to explain how the Holy Spirit asked her if she really wanted to miss an opportunity to find healing? So reluctantly she lifted up her mirror a second time and actually took a long look at the girl looking back at her. Then she said it again with honest reflection, “I love you and I forgive you.”
She had been running from herself. And as she faced it head-on that morning, she came to realize how much her running had disabled her from showing love to her family simply because she couldn’t love herself. My favorite part of her testimony was when she said, “I can’t wait to get home and give my mom a real hug (instead of a quick one like the glances I always made in my mirror).”
The Bible says, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36).
No more running. No more bullying. No more avoiding. Sometimes all you need to do is stop and face the one you’re running from. And who knows, maybe they’ve been chasing you to get a hug?