“You see, we have a bucket inside of us,” She spread her little fingers across her heart. “When someone is mean to us, it empties our bucket. But if they say they are sorry or if they say something nice, it puts something back into our buckets.”
“Oh, I see… So if I say ‘Kamryn, I love you. You are so special,’ will that overflow your bucket?” Her face beamed as if to say, “Yes! You got it, Grandma!”
This story my grand-daughter heard nearly four years ago in Pre-Kindergarten concerning bullying really touched my heart. So simple, yet so profound. Scoop by scoop, condemning remarks can empty us of our security in who we really are. We can start basing our value on what others say instead of who God says we are.
We can become our own bully when we believe the lies cast on us by others or by Satan: What is wrong with me? I’m so ugly. I’m so dumb. I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve to be happy. I’m not worth it. I’m unlovable. I’m not strong enough. I can never do it as well as he/she can, so why even try? And on and on… Shovelfuls of the “me God created us to be” go flying out of our buckets until there is nothing left to give.
Do you beat yourself up a lot? I’ll admit I do. I have a hard time liking myself. I wonder if it’s prideful or selfish to be kind to myself. But I am learning inch by inch that it’s not only ok to love ourselves, but it’s what God wants. This is not about self-adoration or narcissism. It’s about appreciating the unique person God created us to be.
“When you wound yourself with your words,
it’s the same to God as if you were doing it to someone else in your life.
Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves.
That means all of the ‘one another’ statements in Scripture
(i.e. be kind to one another, encourage one another)
apply in our relationship with ourselves too.”
So how can we be kind to ourselves? By filling our emptied buckets with God’s Truth. A solid, secure Truth that no one can steal from us. A Truth that will more than fill up what self-criticism or others’ bullying comments have robbed from us.
“Every word of God proves true.
He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.”
God’s Truth for our emptied, wounded hearts:
💞 I am wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
💞 I am His masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10)
💞 I am redeemed with the blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 43:1)
💞 There is no condemnation for me when I belong to Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
💞 I am precious and honored. (Isaiah 43:4)
💞 I am His royalty, a crown of splendor in His hand. (Isaiah 62:3)
💞 I am His own special treasure. (Malachi 3:17)
💞 Nothing will ever be able to separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8:37-39)
💞 Because of His faithful love and mercy, I will never perish. (Lamentations 3:22)
💞 He will restore my ruins. He will rebuild what is broken. (Isaiah 44:26)
💞 He fills my emptiness with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
💞 I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
We can’t always control the inward and outward bullies in our lives, but we can learn to be better equipped to handle them, both past and present. We can allow Jesus to fill our emptiness with His Truth, His healing, and His love. Then we will be able to base our identity, not in those negative voices, but in Jesus, who emptied Himself so our emptiness can be filled with Him. In Him, we are redeemed. In Him, we are secure. In Him, we are free.