Those whose love and approval are conditional…do not define me.

Those who genuinely misunderstand me, and those who do so willfully…do not define me.

Those who find me intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually deficient, whether they are right or not…these do not define me.

Those who condescend, who pontificate without listening, correct and lecture to whatever counterargument they peg me as before I can even speak…these do not define me.

Those who condemn, slander, twist or pervert my words or intentions…all these do not define me.

Those who listen to the slanderers, allowing them to define me despite years proving otherwise…these do not define me.

Those who wish to self-righteously reform me without love, who would conform me to their own image…do not define me.

Those who only seek to fix me, whether to feed their own pride, make themselves feel useful, or because they simply don’t know how else to help…these do not define me.

Those who play mind games…do not define me.

Those who constantly find fault, whether critical or gentle or not really thinking of me at all…these do not define me.

Those who think they are doing me a favor and see no real value in me…do not define me.

Those who only want me when it is convenient and easy, who cannot and will not handle weakness…do not define me.

Those who use me and then toss me aside when I am broken…these do not define me.

Those who lead me on, give false hope and security, either from carelessness or a sincere heart that overpromises, the reason does not matter…these do not define me.

Those who are fickle, easily changed by circumstance or the opinions of others…do not define me.

Those who have wounded me most, those who have stood by and watched, those who have refused to listen or even denied it, and even those who wept over those wounds…none of these define me.

Those who expect me to remedy their hearts…do not define me.

Those who shun or betray or abandon or forget me…these do not define me.

At the same time…

Those who know my deepest secrets, hurts, and sins—whatever their reaction—do not define me.

Those who sin against me, and those I sin against…still do not define me.

Those who call me out rightly…still do not define me.

Those who forgive and overlook…still do not define me.

Those who hurt to help, the ones with tough love…still do not define me.

Those whose hearts are filled with pity or compassion…still do not define me.

Those who seem to understand or resonate with me…still do not define me.

Those who find me useful or my abilities impressive…still do not define me.

Those who praise me or speak well of me…still do not define me.

Those who accept, not merely tolerate, but initiate…still do not define me.

Those who give when I have nothing to offer in return…still do not define me.

Even those who see and treat me as Christ does…even these do not define me, for he is the only one who defines me.

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