Because I feared the people

and listened to their voice.

—1 Samuel 15:24 

Want ek het die bevel

van die Here en u opdrag oortree

omdat ek vir die manskappe bang was 

en na hulle versoek geluister het

—1 Sameul 15:24

Is there any one of us who has not been swayed by what other people have said to us? I doubt that any of us are so well-grounded and close enough with the Lord that what is said to or about us has absolutely no effect on how we feel or what we ultimately do as a result of other people’s opinions. 

Is daar enige een van ons wat nie beheers is deur wat ander mense vir ons gesê het nie? Ek twyfel dat enige een van ons so wel-gegrond en naby genoeg aan die Here is dat wat gesê is aan of oor ons absoluut geen effek op hoe ons voel of wat ons uitermatig doen as ‘n resultaat van ander mense se opinies nie.

You may have a mother or father, boss or husband, or even ex-boss or ex-husband whose words continually bombard your mind giving unrest to your soul. For some unknown reason, we automatically embrace hurtful words and choose to believe them—even if the person comes back later to retract what they said. People often blurt out cutting words when they are hurt or frustrated. Unfortunately, because we believe that they meant what they said, we’re choosing to hang on to what inevitably weighs us down and steals our joy. What’s the remedy?

Jy mag dalk ‘n moeder of ‘n vader, baas of man, of selfs ‘n eks-baas of eks-man hê wie se woorde jou gedagtes aanhoudend bombardeer en onrus aan jou siel verskaf. Vir een of ander onbekende rede, omarm ons outomaties kwetsende woorde en verkies om hulle te glo—selfs as die persoon later terugkom om terug te trek wat hulle gesê het. Mense blaker dikwels snydende woorde wanneer hulle seergemaak of gefrustreer is. Ongelukkig, omdat ons glo dat hulle bedoel wat hulle gesê het, verkies ons om aan te hang aan wat onvermydelik swaar op ons druk en ons vreugde steel. Wat is die geneesmiddel?  

Wounds that Festered

Wonde wat Gesweer Het

Years ago I was in the midst of such a terrible spiritual battle that had been deeply established within my marriage. My husband (at the time) was struggling (as he always had) with self-worth. When anyone you know or love struggles with this problem of not feeling worthy, it is often remedied by that person putting you (and other people) down shamelessly in order to feel better about themselves.

Jare gelede was ek ten midde van so ‘n verskriklike spirituele stryd wat diep binne my huwelik gevestig het. My man (destyds)  het gesukkel (soos nog altyd) met eiewaarde. Wanneer enige iemand wat jy ken of liefhet met hierdie probleem sukkel of nie waardig voel nie, is dit dikwels reggestel deur om daardie persoon (of ander mense) skaamteloos af te kraak om beter oor hulleself te voel. 

For what seemed like the umpteenth time, my husband sat me down for almost an hour condemning me for not following the book that I was teaching from, A Wise Woman, and what the group of women I was teaching would think if they really knew me. It was after that umpteenth time, that I finally took what he said to the Lord and asked Him if it was true. I never ever had questioned the validity of it, simply assuming my husband was right. Wow, was I wrong. What I heard was totally different and it literally changed my life. It helped to silence the words that normally would be replayed over and over again in my own head, making me doubt if I should really be ministering to other women. 

Vir wat gelyk het soos die hoeveelste keer, wat my man my laat sit het vir amper ‘n uur en my veroordeel het dat ek nie die boek gevolg het waaruit ek onderrig gegee het nie, ‘n Wyse Vrou, en wat die groep vrouens wie ek geleer het sou dink as hulle my regtig geken het. Dit was na die soveelste keer, dat ek finaal wat hy gesê het na die Here toe geneem het en Hom gevra het of dit waar is. Ek het nooit die waardigheid daarvan bevraagteken nie, en eenvoudig aangeneem dat my man reg was. Wow, was ek verkeerd. Wat ek gehoor het was heeltemal anders en dit het letterlik my lewe verander. Dit het gehelp om die woorde wat normaalweg oor en oor in my eie kop gespeel het, en my maak twyfel het of ek regtig aan ander vrouens moet minister.

 You know, my Darling, that when we hear the truth it always silences the lies. That is why we must take whatever we hear (especially a bad report about ourselves) to the Lord and talk to Him about it—not waiting until it’s done immeasurable damage, but right away, immediately. The truth is, we know it’s rooted in the enemy who’s made it his mission to steal, kill and destroy us—so making us feel worthless and undeserving is in his wheelhouse right? So he uses those he’s already wounded and enslaved, having them spew out unkind and cutting words he continually feeds them, and then we listen—choosing to believe lies as truth. “Do you not know when you present yourselves to someone as slaves of obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

Jy weet, my Liefling, dat wanneer jy die waarheid hoor dit altyd die leuens stil maak. Dit is hoekom ons watookal ons hoor moet neem (spesiaal ‘n slegte verslag oor onsself) na die Here toe en met Hom daaroor praat—en nie wag totdat dit onmeetbare skade gerig het nie, maar dadelik, onmiddellik. Die waarheid is, ons weet die wortel is in die vyand wat dit sy missie gemaak het om te steel, dood te maak en ons te vernietig—en so ons waardeloos en onwaardig in sy stuurhuis maak voel reg? So hy gebruik die wie hy alreeds gewond en verslaaf het, en maak hulle onvriendelike en snydende woorde uitspoeg wat hy hulle aanhoudend voer, en dan luister ons —en verkies om die leuens as die waarheid te glo “Julle weet tog: as julle julle aan iemand onderwerp om hom as slawe te gehoorsaam, is julle die slawe van dié een aan wie julle gehoorsaam is. As dit sonde is, beteken dit vir julle die dood; as dit gehoorsaamheid aan God is beteken dit vryspraak en lewe.” (Romeine 6:16).     

So why do we continue to play into this web of destruction when our Beloved is just longing to be gracious to us? Since almost all of what is said that hurts us, is actually rooted in the deep hurts of that other person.

So hoekom gaan ons voort om in hierdie web van verwoesting te speel wanneer ons Beminde hunker om grasieus aan ons te wees? Aangesien amper alles wat gesê word wat ons seermaak, eintlik gewortel is in die diep seerkry van die ander persoon. 

What the Lord did that day was so precious, something I’ve never forgotten. He asked me one-by-one if I followed a chapter, beginning with the last chapter of the Wise Woman workbook. He asked me if I followed what it said regarding teaching my own children. I had to reply sheepishly, “Yes.” Next was whether or not I trusted the Lord with my fertility, when He reminded me that I had even risked death, twice, by not following the doctors (who would have jumped to do a hysterectomy when I was hemorrhaging). I replied, “Yes” once again. One-by-one He continued asking me about each chapter, until He asked me if He was my First Love (Chapter 2). Of course I was thrilled to say, “Oh Yes!!” Then, He ended by asking, “Where is your life (and home) built Michele?” I had to answer, “On You and You alone! My Rock.”

Wat die Here daardie dag gedoen het was so kosbaar, iets wat ek nooit vergeet het nie. Hy het my een-vir-een gevra of ek ‘n hoofstuk gevolg het, en begin by die laaste hoofstuk van die Wyse Vrou werksboek. Hy het my gevra of ek gevolg het wat dit gesê het aangaande die opvoeding van my eie kinders. Ek moes verleë antwoord, “Ja.” Volgende was of ek die Here vertrou het met my vrugbaarheid, toe Hy my herinner het dat ek die dood, selfs twee keer gewaag het, deur nie die dokters te volg (wat sou gespring het om ‘n histerektomie te doen toe ek besig was om te bloei). Ek het geantwoord, “Ja” weereens. Een-vir-een het Hy voort gegaan en my oor elke hoofstuk uit gevra, totdat Hy my gevra het of Hy my Eerste Liefde is (Hoofstuk 2). Natuurlik was ek verheug om te sê, “O Ja!!” Toe het Hy geëindig deur te vra “ Waarop is jou lewe (en huis)  gebou Michele”” ek moes antwoord, “Op Jou en Jou alleen! My Rots.” 

Dear bride, from the moment I heard the truth, that instant, all those horrid condemning voices in my head were silenced. Yes, the accusations actually continued, but only for a short time, and I believe it’s because it no longer affected or rattled me. As a matter of fact, instead of feeling badly or ashamed of myself, when he’d sit me down, I felt only compassion. How horrible for anyone who feels the need to put someone else down all because of feeling so badly about themselves. 

Liewe bruid, van die oomblik wat ek die waarheid gehoor het, was al daardie aaklige afkeurende woorde dadelik in my kop stil gemaak. Ja, die beskuldigings het eintlik voort gegaan, maar net vir ‘n kort tydperk, en ek glo dit is omdat dit my nie meer affekteer of geratel het nie. Om die waarheid te sê, in plaas van om sleg of beskaamd vir myself te voel nie, toe hy my laat sit het, om vir hom te luister het ek net medelye vir hom gevoel. Hoe aaklig vir enige iemand wat die nood voel om iemand af te kraak omdat hulle sleg oor hulleself voel.

Looking back, it’s really not all that surprising, because at the time we were near the end of our marriage, and I, of course, didn’t know he was deeply into adultery. So as a pastor, I’m sure the enemy was bombarding him with all sorts of condemnation and shame—tearing away at him. Sadly, as it is throughout the church, he was never taught to take these “negative” emotions to the Lord, asking Him for the truth. Had he done so, maybe he would have felt convicted by his sin, while at the same time, feeling His tremendous love. This, I believe can get any of us out of the deepest of sins and heal our wounds, His love. 

Deur terug te kyk, is dit glad nie ‘n verrassing nie, omdat destyds was ons naby aan die einde van ons huwelik, en ek, HET natuurlik nie geweet dat hy diep in owerspel betrokke was nie. So as ‘n pastoor, is ek seker die vyand het hom bombardeer met alle soorte kondemnasie en skaamte—en het hom verskeur. Droewig, soos wat dit is dwarsdeur die kerk, was hy nooit geleer om hierdie “negatiewe’ emosies na die Here toe te vat nie, en Hom vir die waarheid te vra nie. Het hy dit gedoen, miskien sou hy skuld gevoel het oor sy sonde, terwyl hy op dieselfde tyd, Sy ontsaglike liefde, gevoel het. Dit, glo ek kan enige een van ons uit die diepste sondes kry en ons wonde genees, Sy liefde.

Epidemic

Epidemies

Dear bride, I know that I am not the only one who is living with those negative voices. Just this past week I had the privilege of sharing a few hours with one of my beloved WW group members, who is also one of our church leaders (and who used to work under me). She told me that while I was still working at the church, the enemy had been bombarding her mind, telling her that if I only knew what she was really like, I would tell our senior pastor, suggesting he ask her to step down from her position. Wow, it seems that this is one tactic that the enemy loves to use—probably because it works so well!!

Liewe bruid, ek weet ek is nie die enigste een wat met daardie negatiewe stemme lewe nie. Net hierdie afgelope week het ek die voorreg gehad om ‘n paar ure met een van my beminde WV groep lede te deel, wie ook een van ons kerk leiers is (en wie onder my gewerk het). Sy het vir my gesê dat terwyl ek nog in die kerk gewerk het, die vyand haar gedagtes bombardeer het, en gesê as ek net geweet het hoe sy eintlik was, sou ek ons senior pastoor vertel het, en aanbeveel dat sy haar posisie afstaan. Wow dit lyk asof dit die een taktiek is waarvan die vyand hou om te gebruik—seker omdat dit so goed werk!!

Then, soon after this, I had the same sort of email from two other church leaders—saying if I really knew what they were like I wouldn’t want to associate with them. And each time I was stunned. Then shortly after He showed me it’s not just women here, but it’s the same all over the world. Within a few minutes after landing in Africa, while driving away from the airport, one of my longest and dearest friends (and who’s also a RMI leader working with Erin), turned to me, taking a deep sigh, then bolstered all her courage to confess, “what she was really like.” I listened, knowing this confession had been held back for years. Then, when she finished, all I could do was to lean over to hug her and tell her I struggled with the very same things.

Toe, kort hierna, het ek dieselfde soort epos van twee kerk leiers gehad—en gesê as ek regtig geweet het hoe hulle is dat ek nie met hulle sou assosieer nie. En elke keer was ek verstom. Toe kort daarna het Hy my gewys dat dit nie net vrouens hier was nie, maar dat dit dieselfde oor die hele wêreld is. Binne ‘n paar minute nadat ek in Afrika geland het, terwyl ek uit die lughawe uit gery het, het een van my langste en liewe vriendinne (en wie ‘n HMI leier is wat saam Erin werk), na my toe gekeer het, ‘n sug uitgegee, en al haar moed bymekaar geskraap om te bieg, “hoe sy regtig was.” ek het geluister, en geweet dat die bekentenis vir jare teruggehou is. Toe, toe sy klaar gemaak het, was al wat ek gedoen het was om oor leun om haar ‘n drukkie te gee en haar te vertel dat ek met dieselfde dinge gesukkel het.  

Darling bride, the truth is, we all struggle with the very same things; isn’t that what the Bible says? “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to [wo]man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Liefling bruid, die waarheid is, ons almal sukkel met dieselfde dinge; is dit nie wat die Bybel sê nie? “ Geen versoeking wat meer is as wat ‘n mens kan weerstaan, het julle oorval nie. God is getrou. Hy sal nie toelaat dat julle bo julle kragte versoek word nie; as die versoeking kom, sal Hy ook die uitkoms gee, sodat julle dit kan weerstaan” (1 Korintiërs 10:13).

Then to prevent this onslaught of cutting words that have become so common, we also need to keep in mind this verse—which really helped me discern whether I should ignore something or take it to heart. “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Dan om die aanslag van snydende woorde te voorkom wat so algemeen geraak het, moet ons ook hierdie vers in gedagte hou—wat regtig gehelp het om te onderskei of ek iets moet ignoreer of dit ter harte neem. “Verder, broers, alles wat waar is, alles wat edel is, alles wat reg is, alles wat rein is, alles wat mooi is, alles wat prysenswaardig is - watter deug of lofwaardige saak daar ook mag wees - daarop moet julle julle gedagtes rig” (Filippense 4:8) 

This means, only IF what’s said is: honorable, right, pure, lovely, it’s true (which means we must always remember to go to Him to see if it’s the truth), and it also needs to be something you want to praise God for. And if it’s not all these things, then don’t let it enter your heart because whatever is being said is not from Him. 

Dit beteken, net AS wat gesê is:lofwaardig, reg, rein, mooi, is is waar (wat beteken ons moet altyd onthou om na Hom toe te gaan om te sien of dit die waarheid is), en dit moet ook iets wees waarvoor jy God wil prys. En as dit nie al hierdie dinge is nie, moet dan nie laat dit jou hart binnegaan nie omdat watookal gesê word nie van Hom af is nie.  

Use every vicious word for good, giving you the opportunity to spend deeper times with Him. Simply remember and make it a habit to take each and every question you have about anything, no matter what it is, to the Lord. Ask Him to let you know what He thinks about it. Then sit quietly to listen, and feel drenched in His love, which you can turn around, and shower on everyone around you.

Gebruik elke venynige woord ten goede, om jou die geleentheid te gee om dieper tye saam Hom te spandeer. Onthou eenvoudig en maak dit ‘n gewoonte om ieder en elke vraag wat jy oor enige iets het maak nie saak wat dit is nie, na die Here toe te neem. Vra Hom om jou te laat weet wat Hy daarvan dink. Sit dan stil en luister, en voel deurweek in Sy liefde, wat jy kan omkeer, en op almal rondom jou stort.