One of my biggest pet peeve are humiliating people. No, not those that are humiliated. Those that DO the humiliating. Fun and Jokes aside, dissing or humiliation can do real damage. If we don’t watch our language, we can scar, bruise and permanently damage the posture of those around us. That’s not to say having fun is wrong, but if it’s at the expense of someone else, we’ve shifted from fun to bully.
When I was younger I was told by family that I was too “skinny.” Now I am by means skinny. When I was younger I was just your average girl. Today, I am more athletically built from activity running and lifting. I’ve always enjoyed fitness and health, but when I was younger choose to not make it a priority in order to not be “too skinny.” At one point I was even told I looked anorexic, sickly and my parents were told that “I have a problem” because I was running and always in the gym. It got so bad that I started to believe what was being said about me.
Let me tell you. Public humiliation can do some crazy damage on your image and self-esteem. I looked in the mirror and saw a distorted image because I was told my body was distorted. My parents of course, always had my back. They knew who they raised and they knew the passion I had and still have for physical and mental health. I’ve written about this prior, but the words spoken about me came from hurt people wanting to hurt others.
I remember the moment clearly. I was at a family function and endured what I can remember as the most life altering public humiliation I’ve experienced. I became the laughing stock for being “too thin.” After being publicly humiliated, I gave up gym and running entirely and the goal was to gain the affirmation that I no longer looked sickly. I needed to hear that I looked, right.
Elie Wiesel is one of the most famous survivor of the Holocaust. If you haven’t read his books, you should. Ariel Burger, a student of Elie Wiesel, recalls in her memoir of being in his classes a moment where he responds to a students question on the result of good and evil. She quotes Wiesel saying,
Never allow anyone to be humiliated in your presence. Whatever has happened in the past, we must deal with those who are here now.Elie Wiesel
His basis on humiliation comes from the Jewish theory that humiliating a person in public is equivalent to murder. I couldn’t agree more. Humiliation, especially that in public, can kill a persons self-esteem, self-worth, and hopes and dreams. Public humiliation are murdering words that can crush your identity for years.
Having the parents that I have, they didn’t encourage me in my self-pity and wallowing. They told me that the words spoken over me were false and came from a place of personal hurt. As per norm, they always encouraged me to look through the offenders eyes and through the lens of compassions and mercy. Most importantly, they advised to never allow crushing words to crush the words I knew God wrote about me. If you didn’t know this, He wrote these words for you too. In Psalm 139, the author David writes poetic heavily words about your and my worth. In verses 13 and 14 specifically, he writes,
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My favorite line of those verses is, “I know that full well.” Often when humiliating words cruse and bruise us, it’s hard to know [believe] full well the truth God has spoken over our lives. But can I tell you something? For every humiliating word spoken over your life, I challenge you to speak over your life ten times more that which God has said about you. Don’t know any? Type in google, “What does the Bible say about my worth.” You’d be surprised! While this blog wasn’t intended to be one on self-worth, I want you to know you are absolutely worth it. If you have been publicly humiliated by a family member, friend, co-worker, or by-stander, take the humiliation and crush it with what God says about you. And if you want to be a little wild, try extending compassion and mercy to the one that did the humiliating. Hurting people that has left their hurt unaddressed, will always hurt in return. You however, have the power to choose what you do with the words spoken over you. Believe it, or run over it!
Have you been publicly humiliated? Has that crushed your self-esteem, self-worth, hopes and dreams? Find one truth God has said about you and write that down on your mirror today. Read it everyday until you start believing it that it crushes the humiliating words spoken over you!