Growing up in a typical Nigerian Christian family, there are certain things that were just plain taboo, like sleeping in during family morning devotions, or skipping church, or putting on skirts of a certain length.
One of such taboos is something I have come across a lot in my readings and heard in a lot of interviews and in my conversations with others, and the Lord has put it in my heart to speak about it.
OWNING THE NEGATIVE
My parents will flip if they ever heard us attribute to ourselves anything that is negative. To throw some light, here is a made-up conversation between a random person and my mum:
Person: I’m working so hard and the deadlines are tight. Last week my depression set in and I couldn’t make it to the office to . . .
(mum cuts in)
Mum: It’s not your depression in Jesus’ name!!!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Words have power. This can never be understated, but the devil has somehow deceived us to think that some things are okay to say, as they don’t really mean anything. Some might even argue the validity of these statements. One of such things is the way we have chosen to describe the conditions we suffer and the difficult times we go through. I have heard a lot of people say things like ‘My depression’, ‘My anxiety’, or ‘My chronic illness’, owning these conditions by the way they attribute them to themselves. As subtle as these ‘little words’ might seem, they still affect our lives and mask our true identity.
My: of or belonging to me (= the speaker or writer)
My: belonging to or connected with me; the possessive form of I, used before a noun
You may be going through tough times and sicknesses, but they are not yours to own or possess. I have been depressed, but it’s not my depression. I have been anxious, but it’s not my anxiety. I have not been chronically ill, but I know by the Word of God that that sickness is not yours, so don’t own it by your words. I say this with all the love in my heart, and I may not be the best teacher or practitioner of positive confessions, but in this one, I am sure, that it’s not yours.
Challenge yourself today to make this little change in your speech and the presentation of your identity, and I pray that the power in your tongue, by the authority in the name of Jesus, will bring freedom.