Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46 ESV)
Words are powerful, but few words profoundly impact us as words that express someone’s opinion about us. It is likely that someone reading this devotional is still struggling with words of disapproval or rejection that someone spoke to their hearing months or years ago. In this devotional, you will learn how to protect your life and destiny from the destructive effects of your expressed opinions or those around you.
Nathanael, one of Jesus’s disciples, had low esteem for Nazareth as a city in Israel. He so belittled Nazareth that he immediately denounced the idea of the Messiah coming from Nazareth when Philip told him they had found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Nathaniel did not shy away from expressing his opinion of Nazareth in his famous rhetorical question: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
This question gave verbal expression to Nathanael’s opinion of Nazareth. It is one thing for someone to dislike or undervalue you, but it is quite another for them to say that to your hearing. Such words are like swords that pierce through the heart and can potentially tear apart an individual’s sense of self-worth and identity. We may think that people’s expressed opinions of us should not impact us; sadly, they do, and the closer the relationship, the deeper the wounds such words can potentially inflict. Do you know that some parents have said to their children, probably out of frustration, that they will never make it in life or amount to anything good? Such parents saw nothing good that could come from their children, and they said it to them. Some of these children might be in their 40s, 50s, or even 60s and beyond and still harboring the scars of such words.
The Lord has a track record of bringing good things out of despised Nazareths. He delights in using weak things to confound the strong and foolish things to confound the wise. Maybe someone or society has told you that you are a Nazareth because of your family background, past life, gender, age, race, or nationality. And since they consider you a Nazareth, they expect nothing good or of value from you. Perhaps, it is not someone but you; you might have accepted that nothing good can come from you. However, whether it is someone or you, it is crucial to acknowledge the truth that until you break the influence of those opinions on you, God Himself cannot help you. You will have to elevate God’s view of you above yours or someone else.
In conclusion, God can bring something good out of Nazareth. The issue is not God but you and me. Whose opinion currently influences how you feel, what you believe about yourself, or what you think you can or cannot do? Please ensure no one remotely controls you by their words of rejection or disapproval. Anchor your life on God’s expressed view of you in His Word.
Why did Nathanael have such low esteem for Nazareth?
Apply the Word
I learned a long time ago that an easy way to die before my time would be attempting to please people or get everyone’s approval. Never give people such a decisive role in your life. Instead, let God’s thoughts and words guide what you think and believe about yourself and your abilities.
Ask the Spirit to help you give a deaf ear to people’s words of rejection or disapproval.
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