You’re the only family not invited to a relative’s wedding. You wonder, whaaaat did we do wrong?
You send an email with a question and get crickets, leading you to imagine all kinds of crazy scenarios why.
A colleague always seems to outshine you, leaving you feeling inadequate.
Some close friends start avoiding you because they disagree with a leadership decision you made.
A family member betrays your trust and disregards a promise, refusing address the issue.
These are all real-life dings that friends have shared with me.
Your dings are different, but we all get them. It’s an inevitable part of…well…being us.
A ding can take our emotions hostage if we let it.
It can bind and gag us, leaving us in a dark basement with feelings of “less than”, shame, and “not good enough”.
I think of Daniel, Shaddrach, Meshach, Abednego – all taken captive in Babylon.
In spite of the power being exerted over them, they chose not to let their spirits be taken hostage. They trusted in the Lord – His values, His opinion, His calling on their lives, not Nebuchadnezzar’s.
But think what intention this required! The temptation to cower, compromise, compare, or conclude they were second-class would have been constant. How many times did they repeat something like this to themselves?
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7
So…maybe we should ask a question of our ding:
God, what do YOU say to me? About me?
Confession: It’s easy for me to ASK these questions, but to be still and really listen for the Lord’s answers? Much harder!
Erwin McManus reminds us: “Don’t let an arrow of criticism pierce your heart unless it first passes through the filter of Scripture.”
Instead of being held hostage by our feelings, can what we’re feeling be liberated by the sword of God’s Word? What perspective, peace, or promise frees us there?
Recently I shared a ding with a friend and she reminded me we are to “respond with the energies of prayer”. She wisely suggested praying: Lord, I welcome You into this ding. Let it bring out the best in me.”
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! … And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How do YOU deal with the dings?