Zakiah and Negative Self-Talk

Disclaimers: 1. I am not a Christian Counselor and my comments about the New Testament character, Zakiah, is not meant as a biblical lesson. 2. My comments are based on my recollection of the story of Zakiah learned as a child, not recent biblical research or the views of any biblical scholar.

A woman was recounting to me a situation in which she received feedback from her supervisor on a project she felt she had completely poorly. The supervisor was very pleased with her work. She was flabbergasted….completely surprised. She kept describing the contrasts between what she was saying to herself about her work and what her boss was saying.

As she spoke, the story of Zakiah came to mind. As I recall, Zakiah was a short man and the village people where standing along the road that Jesus was expected to walk. Not being able to see, Zakiah decided to climb a tree. Zakiah knew this was a bad idea.  He would be ridiculed by those around him for climbing the tree but he wanted to see Jesus. Zakiah climbs the tree and watches as Jesus walks by. Suddenly, Jesus stops and looks up into the tree. He tells Zakiah to come down, go home and prepare dinner as he, Jesus, will eat at his house that evening. Zakiah jumps down from the tree and runs home to prepare dinner. Later that evening, so excited by his quest, Zakiah announces to Jesus that he will make good on any accounts he has that he has cheated on.

My focus is that Zakiah was talking poorly to himself about his idea of climbing the tree…but the end result was that Jesus chose Zakiah to dine with and…Zakiah, so inspired by his guest, resolved to make other changes in how he was living that, no doubt, further added to his (Zakiah’s) self esteem.

I see the same with the woman I was talking with. She was convinced of her poor work….was beating herself up with negative self-talk. Meanwhile, her boss loved her work. How often do we do this? How often (and how long) do we berate ourselves for our work when we later find we were doing great work? How much courage it takes to believe in ourselves and withhold judgment until all is said and done?

A lot!

Have courage. More later….