If you ever look back to try to figure out why you are the way you are, I’m sure you’ll identify specific moments that were accompanied by specific words that shaped your thinking.
Those words may even seem to have taken on a life of their own.
Words, whether positive or negative, can affect the course of our lives. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” No truer words have been spoken (no pun intended). Words can either bury us or resurrect us.
As words roll off the tongue, they act as a sharpened pen that writes deeply on the tablets of our heart. Words can write into us confidence or failure. Words write the script long before we step onto life’s stage and find ourselves acting out the drama, because words precede actions.
Words spoken to us in the past often sign off on our future.
Such was my experience.
It seemed that almost everything that happened to me just confirmed that what I was told as a child was true.
It is a fact—a scientific fact—that words spoken to us are etched deeply into the memory of the heart’s brain.
Scientists have recently confirmed what was written in the Bible thousands of years ago. They discovered that the heart actually has its own brain. It has the capacity to think and store memory. The Word declares that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7). In other words, the thoughts imprinted in the brain of the heart, which came from words previously spoken to us, direct the way we view life and the way we think about ourselves. Those words can be so attached to who we think we are, it can seem next to impossible to believe otherwise.
The negative assaults launched slowly at our hearts since our childhood are like mini “heart attacks” on the brains of our hearts, and they have shaped the way we view life. This “heart brain” is where our feelings, or our emotions, are formed. Our emotions are the place from which most of us view life. So is it safe to say that feelings are the greatest distorter of revelation. Our emotions oftentimes hide the truth of God’s Word. So even though you want to believe what the Bible says, it’s as though there is a blockage in the brain of your heart. You then suffer from unnecessary anguish.
Could you then say your heart is broken? Technically the brain of your heart is broken.
But God says in His Word that He will bind up the broken heart. God wants to come along and serve as a surgeon who makes those broken places whole. As our Great Physician, the Holy Spirit wants to mend our hearts until they are totally transformed and functioning as He intended. He wants to not only rewrite our future but also use our past to help others.
When I was a little girl, religious women told me that I didn’t have a mother because God didn’t think I deserved one! The words “you don’t deserve” or “God doesn’t think you deserve” are the ones that have shaped most of my life. Those words became imprinted in the depths of my being. Those words—an opinion—formed who I thought I was and my feelings about the way God felt about me.
I couldn’t enjoy amazing opportunities when they came along because I didn’t think I deserved them. I would purposely sabotage them, putting myself down and talking myself out of them, all because my innermost being shouted, “You don’t deserve it!” Back then I would rather not try, than try and see what I felt was true become a reality. I’ve often said that great things can happen to you and for you, but if it doesn’t happen in you, then the way you view yourself won’t change.
We are led by our hearts or, rather, the brains in our hearts. Our whole Christian faith is about believing that we are loved by God.
We, as messed up as we are, are unconditionally loved by this all-loving God, and He alone can change us from the inside out and conform us into His image and likeness. That’s the gospel, the good news . . . no, allow me to correct myself . . . the great news! Now, without this belief system being firmly fixed in place, our foundation is very shaky.
No, let me correct myself again . . . it’s more than shaky—it makes our faith so weak that it can be blown down at any moment by the slightest hint of someone’s disapproval. It will leave us living in fear that God is displeased with us. We become fearful of making a mistake, fearful of being judged or criticized, and profoundly fearful of failure. So we procrastinate stepping out in faith and doing what God calls us to do, not because we don’t love God but because we fear He really doesn’t love us.
That is what happened to me.
Oh, I knew that God loved you, but I really didn’t believe He truly loved me.
When I put my head on the pillow at night, I was never sure that I had done enough. I lived under constant accusation and guilt.
I would hear voices in my head that said: “If you really loved God, you would have prayed for two hours. If you really loved God, you would have put all your money in the offering. If you really loved God, you would have driven Sister So-and-So to Timbuktu!”
So then, beneath the weight of this heavy load, I spent all my efforts trying to gain God’s approval instead of resting in the knowledge that I already have His approval and because of it I can breathe and live for Him—and so can you.
Question: Do you believe in the power of words?
Copyright © 2015 by Maria Durso, All Rights Reserved. Purchase a copy of my new book, From Your Head to Your Heart, on Amazon here.