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The words that tear us down — and build us up — begin with ‘You are’

Words have power. God used words to create the world. The Bible, one of our key access points to God, is full of words — mean words, nice words, pretty words, loving words, hateful words, big words, small words. They’re part of our lives. I’m utterly fascinated by the power and beauty of words.

Mary Edwards

I have a friend who’s a couple of years older than I am who’s a beautiful model of what it’s like to live for Christ on earth. We exchange prayer requests. Once, as I was telling her about some battles I’m fighting, she told me, “You are powerful.” Wow. That stuck.

To be honest, I don’t remember much more of that conversation, but those three words bounced around my mind for days. “You are powerful.” While all words have power, “you are” statements have a special kind of power — Captain-America-with-his-shield, Percy-Jackson-in-the-ocean, Hermione-Granger-in-the-library kind of power.

We’ve all be told some type of “You are” statement.   Let’s be real; they don’t all make us feel like Percy Jackson at the center of a hurricane. They make us feel more like pre-super serum Steve Rogers getting beat up in the alley. Maybe it sounded something like this: You are ugly. You are fat. You are unimportant. You are irrelevant. You are stupid. You’re not talented. You are a failure.

We’ve all been told things that tear us down, break our hearts, destroy our confidence. It always hurts, no matter who says it. Maybe it was your friend, or the mean girl, or your significant other, or your parents. Or maybe, maybe it was you.

“You are” statements aren’t always bad. You are funny. You are organized. You are ambitious. But the really, truly important ones come from Scripture. Let me introduce you to some “You are” statements that are true, no matter who you are:

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

• You are a child of the King. (1 John 3:1)

• You are redeemed. (Isaiah 43:1)

• You are chosen for this time. (Esther 4:14)

• You are set apart. (1 Peter 2:9)

You are loved. (Jeremiah 31:3)

You are fought for. (Exodus 14:14)

You are freed. (John 8:32)

Friends, God speaks the truth about who you are.

“We’ve all been told things that tear us down, break our hearts, destroy our confidence.”

I want to challenge you. Every day for 10 days, write down one or two positive “You are” statements that describe you. They can be biblical. They can be personal. They can come from your friends. It’s important to rely on those who love us when we can’t love ourselves, but it’s also important to learn to truly love and value who we are.

If negative “You are” statements pop into your mind, write those down too. Then crumple up the paper and throw them away. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Satan’s lies are no match for God’s truth. Go. Speak truth — to yourself, to those you care about, to the world.

My friend, you are powerful.

Mary Edwards and her family worship with the Eastridge Church of Christ in Rockwall, Texas. This fall she begins her freshman year at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. She and her mother, Martha, write the blog “Restoring God’s Masterpiece,” at restoringthemasterpiece.weebly.com.

Filed under: faith Harding University In the Word opinion Opinion Top Stories

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