Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. –Psalms 23:4
Back in my college days, I was forced to read a 423 page Novel called, “The Fellowship of the Rings” for an English class. Thankfully, I’d already watched the movie as a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and knew that I could use my prior movie knowledge and the skill of skim reading, which I had mastered to survive in college, to help me pass that English class. The movie (since that is a much better point of reference for me than the book) had many memorable characters and moments but there was one character that I never quite understood and didn’t know how I felt about overall. His name was Gollum.
Sometimes Gollum was evil and other times he was innocent.
Sometimes he was an enemy and other times he was a friend.
Sometimes he was helpful and many times he was misleading.
Gollum was once a hobbit and had taken a mysterious ring from a relative. This beautiful ring that glistened as the sun hit its golden surface, in all its splendor, was the darkest part of the hobbit’s existence. Once in Gollum’s possession, the ring became known as ‘my precious‘ and he protected it with his life. Unfortunately, he never recognized how much this ring was causing him to become someone he wasn’t created to be. Gollum never realized that the very thing that he was protecting with his life was the very thing that was destroying his life. When I reflect on his story, I can’t help but think of the ‘precious‘ thing we carry with us that’s destructive to our identity in Christ. It’s easy to value parts of our identity that are actually hindering us from becoming who God wants us to become.
In the introduction to this series I asked you a question,
“What are you valuing and protecting that is unhealthy and destructive to your identity in GOD?”
But today I want to help you take it a little deeper so that you can understand the relationships around you. Think of that person that hurt or disappointed you. The person that you realized was emotionally unavailable or unreliable. That friend that wasn’t there when you were at your lowest or that relative that said hurtful things to you rather than helpful.
Now I want you to ask yourself, what are they protecting?
What part of their past, present, or future are they protecting? It’s usually one or two words that define that thing. This may be tough to do alone so I encourage you to talk through it with a friend. I did this very thing the other day with a dear friend of mine. We both talked through people in our lives and the things we felt they were protecting. And you know what happened? We walked away able to view the persons and their behaviors through a new set of lenses. Later, I started thinking of more moments within the relationships that might have upset me or there may have been some distance, and looked at how their behavior may have been a result of what they were trying to protect. Here is why this is so important. Because the things that we protect reveal where we haven’t allowed God to be our protector. We will talk more about this in the final part of the series but for now, I would love for you to share what God has revealed to you so far.
Comment below so that we can begin to break free as a community.
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Rachel G. Scott
Rachel is a wife and a mother, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. She has been featured nationally and internationally on television, podcast, radio, devotionals, and blogs. As the Founder of the I Can’t Come Down movement, an organization dedicated to helping women walk in their purpose and assignment with focus, she is a former Huffington post contributor and current Youversion and Moody Radio Cleveland Partner. She is also part of The Well Communicators a faith-based speaking team.
Rachel is deeply devoted to serving God, loving and honoring her husband and raising her children in a Godly home where they experience authenticity and learn to embrace their imperfections.