Words and ideas have power. They hold concepts that shape our understanding of self and who we need to be in this world. Sometimes one word can shape an entire life. It did in my case. Big, is the most hated word in my life. I don’t know that there has been any other word spoken over me as often.
I have big hair. I am a big dreamer. I have big ideas. I have a big smile. I like big jewelry. I like big colors. I go big or go home. I take big risks. I take up too much room with my big personality. I have a big heart. I have a big body. I leave big shoes to fill. I trust in big ways. I have a big voice. In so many ways I am big, Big, BIG!!!
Most of my life I’ve listened to those words spoken over me and heard them through the lens of “big = too much!” and “big is bad.” So I have spent many years in hiding or at least trying to be small. I would make my hair straight, not talk as much, not tell the whole story, hold back loving people, keep my love for Jesus under-displayed and so on.
I didn’t want to be big, because being Big meant I was different. And being different, was… well… bad. Who said being big was bad? Did God say being big was evil, prideful, arrogant, irresponsible, overly cheesy, unattractive, unlovely, and all around too much? I don’t remember reading that anywhere.
We have a funny way of translating things. We translate who we are through the grid of the world and its standard and norm. We don’t want to be too much or too little. Was that standard created by God? Or is it something we’ve come up with based on human experience? My guess is the later.
In Romans 12 Paul talks about the entire population of followers of Jesus as though we are one body. He says, we each are uniquely crafted to play a role in that body. Some parts are noticeable, some are not as noticeable. One might say, some parts are big and others are little. We’ve some how put value to those statements. And both can be positive or negative. It is not God who gives them value, no, it is you and I who give them value.
Recently I had an experience where I was prayed over by some friends who know me well. As they prayed they each listened to see if they had something to share with me. One man said, Cari God made you Big! and it is good. He wasn’t referring to my body, he was referring to me. God did make me big and for years I’ve hidden under a bushel so that I could “fit in.” Well I say, “hide me under a bushel, NO! I’m going to let me shine.”
The power of the opinion of others will no longer be the standard for how I live, or at least I will seek to live for God rather than man. As I live for God, He desires for me to be who he designed me to be. He didn’t create me one way only for me to go and create a new me (because apparently the me He made didn’t quite fit the “perfect” mold I carry in my mind.). God made me big, and big I shall be.
What word or idea have you given power over you in a negative way? Have you twisted what God intended for good and made it a negative? Do you worship the opinion of others? Has the opinion of others become your voice of reason?