Today, I was explicitly reminded of why we, as Christians, are called to place our sense of self in Him, and not in who others say we are. When I was working, a coworker of mine felt the need to tell me that if someone didn’t know me very well, they would think I was a b**&(, and then my other coworker agreed. Feeling a little hurt, I went to my boyfriend, who let me know that sometimes I try to be funny and do come off as just that.

So of course, that didn’t exactly make me feel any better.

But then, I began to try and determine where these feelings about me stemmed from. Was I hateful to these people without realizing it? Have I said hurtful things to them, thoughtlessly letting my words run from my mouth without proper filtration?

I realized that it doesn’t matter how I offended them, the fact that I did is enough to catch my eye. I need to be careful of how I carry and conduct myself around others, because I am not only representing myself, my company (when at work), and my family, I am representing my faith. If I thoughtlessly tear people down when I think they have made a mistake, or if I am overly critical of another’s work, and do not carry myself in the grace that I have been given, then I am not loving them freely.

The entire point of this blog has always been to remind myself to give the love I have received away freely. This means not only in words, but in actions as well. I want to be known as someone who loves freely in every aspect of my life – from how I conduct myself at work, at home, and in public. This means that I need to filter every word that comes out of my mouth, because, as it says in Proverbs 4:23-24:

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you.”

This is again stated in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

I do not want to be controlled by my emotions, to the point where I am also controlled by my tongue. I want to be in constant control of my emotions, my tongue, and where my eyes are fixed. I choose to be diligently following Christ, and sharing His love, both in actions, and with my words.

I am defined by my relationship with Jesus. Not by the words that others give me. I am not to react to these judgments, and I am to search my life to see how I can use that experience in a way that will help me learn to love those people better, and more freely. I choose to be defined by that constant struggle to be like Him.

When was a time that you remembered who you are supposed to be keeping your eyes on Jesus?