What someone else says about you is their stuff, not yours. My Mom, who just passed on slightly less than a month ago, said some pretty cruel things to me that she didn’t say to other family members. I felt hurt by them and waited and waited for her to apologize. She never did. Now, today, I could feel angry and ruminate over what she said and believe that what she said was true and go into a terrible funk but I am refusing to do that. I will not let her words have power over my life. They were not my words; they were not Jesus’ words; they were hers and she can own them. I refuse to own them. People can say cruel things about us, and, yes, those words can hurt, but then we need to allow ourselves to mend from their effects on us. Sometimes when I am communicating with people with parent issues I want to say something like: “It sounds like your mother needs help that she isn’t getting. That is not your fault. I know it would be hard to let her words just roll off your back, but wouldn’t it be really neat if you could do that?”

One thing that has helped me with my mom’s angry, unkind words is that they are in such contrast to Jesus’ words. If I hadn’t heard her words, I might not realize the wonder, the kindness, the acceptance, the gift, the glory, the dearness of His words. Think on His words, because those are the words that really matter.


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