Break free of your chains.

You may have noticed at a young age that this world is full of a darkness and evil that permeates everything. We live in a fallen world of sin. Satan rules this realm and means to destroy us. But Jesus tells us not to fear, but to place our faith in God. We do not need to be controlled by the same afflictions that harm so many today. Though the world is full of darkness, there are also joys and pleasures to be had for the one who keeps his eyes open.

Pain is a familiar friend of most. He lurks in the shadows so you won’t see him coming. He’ll sneak into your thoughts while you’re asleep, give you fantastic dreams of terror and horror until you awake in a hot sweat, panting, and pleading for breath. He’ll take you by the legs and drag you along stones and cliffs, dangle you over the edge to the sound of rushing waves smashing into the boulders below. He’ll taunt you with depravity, curse you with sickness, and tease you with solitude. But the bringer of pain and suffering only knows darkness. When light enters a dark room, does it not fill with light? Does not the darkness bade heed to such brilliance and forebear its control? A gentle flicker can conquer an entire chasm of pitch with a single spark just as a soft whisper of kindness and love can cure a wicked soul of malice and unforgiveness.

I urge you to question  your hearts, for out of it spews life or death. Whatever the tongue speaks so it is with the heart. Do not be fooled and believe that you were joking when you cursed someone, or that your words did not depict your true heart. The tongue can only speak what the heart pours forth. That is why the Scripture also says,

“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you—for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.”

-Ecclesiastes 7: 21-22

We’ve all allowed ourselves to curse someone else. We are all human. We make mistakes. Sometimes those errors cost us everything, even our lives. Maybe you’re a victim of a verbal attack, perhaps even physical or psychological. The pain you are experiencing is real, but don’t dwell on it. The burden feels heavy for now, but soon, it’ll be as a feather that is easily blown away in the wind.

Remember,

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

– James 1:12

If you’ve wronged someone, make it right today. Go to that person and apologize. Admit that you were wrong, and that your words were hateful and depicted the true nature of your heart. But make a commitment with them that you will strive to cleanse your tongue and heart of evilness and speak only words of encouragement and life to them and others around you. This includes speaking destiny into your own life. Our thoughts and words of criticism aimed at ourselves is equally damaging. Forgive yourself for your false image of yourself, and take hold of the promise that God gives you. You are a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

And if you’re the victim of someone else’s evilness, embrace the injustice. Allow yourself to mourn over the pain and suffering it caused you. But then give it over to God. Hate contained and thought on turns to malice and pollutes a good heart. If you hold onto that anger and allow it to fester inside of you, refusing to forgive the wrongdoer, you do yourself an injustice and disservice. By holding a grudge you actually harm yourself. God has a special way of healing wounds and restoring broken pieces to a beautiful masterpiece.

Light seems bland until you place it through a diamond, then it dances and sparks with color. Your outer shell is only a casing on this earth. Your true worth does not come from what you have, what you can do, or how you look. Nor does it depend on what someone else says or thinks about you. Your identity comes from Christ and the Holy Spirit that dwells within you. Embrace the pain and let it go. Forgive and be forgiven. That is the only way to free yourself from its control.