Did I really just say that?
Did I actually just do that?
You have no idea how many times these kinds of thoughts come to my mind.
Often, it’s right after I open my mouth and say something. Other times it’s hours later – days later – when my words come back to mind. And I beat myself up.
I worry that something I did – maybe a quick reaction or thoughtless response – may have hurt or angered her or them. Truth is, I’m not always careful with my words… and sometimes I act like a toddler who needs a good, long nap.
I can get overwhelmed, thinking what I shared was stupid or irrelevant. And I get embarrassed. Or I remember the way I acted and decide it wasn’t honoring or humble, and I’m mortified.
And too often, I replay … and review… and relive those words and actions, and feel ridiculous. Humiliated. Reckless.
I hate that feeling.
For me – maybe for you – introspection can be dangerous. This self-analysis can turn into a “self-condemnation-fest” unless we learn to do it right.
Because when we get inside our head and pick apart the things we said and did, so often it becomes a deadly battleground.
And the victim is our self-worth.
Even if our motives were pure… our hearts tender… our words innocent… and our intent good… the tangles of insecurity get the best of us.
And as we obsess over it, the Enemy of our soul overwhelms and criticizes us, and we decide we’re insensitive… incompetent… indecent… and inconsiderate.
And at the very root of it all is the deep feeling of shame. It’s that nagging feeling that says, “I am wrong. I am bad.”
But let’s just be honest. Sometimes…
… we don’t think through our words before we speak them.
… we react from wounded places and are harsh.
… we say or do the wrong thing at the wrong time.
… and sometimes we just say or do the wrong thing. Period.
We are not perfect.
Our humanness can rise up in careless and ugly ways. And while it’s okay to circle back to that statement or situation, self-condemnation serves no purpose.
Rather than beat yourself up, reach out to make sure you didn’t hurt them. And apologize if you did.
Instead of sitting in the pit of shame, take your fears and insecurities to the Lord. Ask Him to reveal the truth about your interactions.
And rather than feel hopeless, ask the Holy Spirit to warn you before your words or actions come off as ungrateful or unloving in the future.
“Regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it” (Colossians 3:14). Our job is to love.
And deep down, we want to be women who encourage… affirm… and speak truth with kindness and love.
So, with your words and in your actions… love others as best you can.
And just as important, use introspection wisely so you can show love and kindness to yourself… even when you mess up.