Lies, Labels and LOVED. – Encouragement for Today – June 30, 2020

Cindy BultemaJune 30, 2020

Lies, Labels and LOVED.

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"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires ... and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22, 24 (NIV) 

Within an hour of Jen sitting at my kitchen table, I had filled her with two cups of coffee and an earful of lies.

"I'm a disaster ... I'm fat, I'm disappointing everyone, I'm ..."

That's when Jen placed her coffee mug on the table with a thunk, leaned in and asked, "Cindy, who said that to you?"

Her question stopped me mid-sentence.

Compelled by love, she pressed for an answer, "Really, Cindy, who said that to you?"

My thoughts rolled back through two decades, countless voices and one high school bathroom stall.

Scrawled on the chipped wall of the girls' restroom were six words: "Cindy is a fat red cow."

Those words pierced then and were still adhered to me today like a sticky name tag. "Hello, my name is Cindy. I'm a fat red cow."

Much had changed since that dreadful day.

The restroom had new paint, I had new friends like Jen and most importantly, I had surrendered my life to Jesus. I was now a Jesus-loving girl, telling anyone who'd listen about how He'd set me free. All that was old was made new! He gave me a new identity and new names.

Yet here I was stuck in old muck. The lies hadn't lost their stick!

Does this sound familiar? Have you surrendered your life but not your labels? Maybe you're wearing name tags that read, "Hello, my name is Stupid, Rejected, Hopeless, Unloved ..."?

If that's your story, here's my question: Friend, who said that to you?

Who told you you're a bad mom, not good enough, not smart enough, fat or maybe even unloved?

It wasn't Jesus! The voice of Jesus is love, and His words are always Truth.

Jesus not only receives us, but He also frees us. He sets us free from lies, labels and false name tags that wound but were never meant to stick.

He teaches us in His Word how to live a life set free. Ephesians 4:22, 24 reminds us "... to put off your old self ... and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Here's the thing. Lies don’t fall off; they are taken off. We must choose to peel them off one by one with His Truth.

The Truth is Jesus has named you from A to Z.
You are A - Accepted. Your worth does not come from appearance, accolades or achievements.
You are B - Beautiful. God knits us into His masterpiece!
C - Chosen. God picked you!
D - Delivered. He delivered us from old patterns and habits and made us new!
To Z - Zealous for God.

After Jen's question, I went back to the basics, A-B-C style. And of all the Truth-filled names God's given me, I have this one on repeat: L - Loved. Loved. Period.

Yes, I add a period to loved. I am loved, no matter what! No matter how I feel, what I’ve done or what anyone scrawls on the bathroom stall. I am Loved. Period.

And friend, so are you. When old name tags start to stick to your new life, remember it's your choice where you bend your ear. And the Voice of Truth says you are seen, known and so very LOVED.

Dear God, thank You that Your voice always speaks love, life and Truth. Give me the strength to choose daily to take off lies and put on the Truth so I can live fully, walk freely and remember all You say about me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 John 3:1a, b, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (NIV)

Romans 8:39, "No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NLT)

Remind yourself and the tween girl in your life that she is LOVED. Period. The LOVED. U & ME Conversations Kit is an engaging, four-session Bible study that strengthens a girl's relationship with God and her mom (or mentor). Check it out!

Get your free "A to Z Truth-Filled Identity List," available for download on the GEMS website. For over 60 years, GEMS has been the go-to ministry for spiritual growth for girls through relationships and relevant resources. Stop by today for more encouragement.

Enter to win a free LOVED. U & ME Conversations Kit from GEMS by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 3 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Tuesday, July 7, 2020.}

Listen to the voices speaking to you. If they're lies, ask God to help you put them off. (And if they're too sticky, phone a prayer friend!) Put on Truth by declaring you are Loved. Period.

Who needs you to ask, "Friend, who said that to you?" Choose a way to share this today: "You are Loved. Period."

Cindy Bultema is the executive director of GEMS Girls' Clubs and has served in ministry for over 20 years. She is passionate about reaching girls and women with the life-changing message of Jesus. Cindy lives in West Michigan with her husband and their four children. When she's not running her full household, you can find Cindy walking her two dogs, meeting a friend for coffee, attending her son's hockey games, or trying to figure out what's for dinner.

© 2020 by Cindy Bultema. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks GEMS Girls' Clubs for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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