Another device that the enemy uses is devaluation or demeaning a person and their capabilities.
We can see an example when Moses found two Israelite men fighting and tried to settle the dispute because one of them asked him, “Who made you a prince and judge over us?” (Exodus 2:4) This was a demeaning question since Moses was a prince as he had been brought as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
We can also see this demeaning scenario when David’s older brother Eliab heard him asking the reward for killing Goliath because he asked David, “With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and insolence.” (1 Samuel 17:28) Eliab spoke like this to demean David in the eyes of the men he was speaking to by telling them that David was a rude and proud shepherd of a small flock.
Another point we can learn from this incident is that the devil often uses family members and other persons who “know you very well” to attack you in this manner so that their demeaning words can be taken more seriously by their listeners.
In David’s case, his brother Eliab was the 1st born while David was the 7th born and thus Eliab could have been viewed as a very reliable authority on David’s bad character.
We can also see another example of devaluation when Nehemiah and the Israelites were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem because when their enemy Sanballat heard what they were doing He mocked the Jews and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish - stones that are burned?” (Nehemiah 4:1-2)
Sanballat tried to demean the Jews by calling them weak and then he attempted to devalue their capabilities by asking if they could strengthen themselves and complete building the wall. He also tried to discredit their resources by stating that the stones they were using to build the wall were as good as useless since they were burnt and buried in heaps of rubbish.
We can also see that a person can also demean him or herself for 10 of the spies sent to the Promised Land saw themselves as insects for they said, “We were like grasshoppers in our own eyes”. (Numbers 13:33)
How to Deal with Devaluation
If you are being attacked with this device of devaluation do the following:
Nehemiah prayed and said, “Hear O our God because we are despised and turn their reproach on their own heads ... Do not cover their iniquity and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You because they have provoked you to anger before the builders.” (Nehemiah 4:4-5)
Therefore when someone tries to demean you, your qualifications, skills, efforts, tools and other resources pray and ask God to help you and to deal with those who are demeaning you.
When Eliab demeaned David, David turned away from him. (1 Samuel 17:30)
Therefore turn away when people start speaking demeaning words to you or about you. To do this, turn away from them physically by leaving the place where you are being demeaned.
If you are not able to leave the place immediately, turn away mentally and emotionally by meditating on Bible verses that build you up like the following:
I am God's masterpiece created in Christ to do good works which God prepared for me. (Ephesians 2:10)
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
As you do this, remind yourself that people do not devalue something that is useless. This means that if many people are expending a lot of their energy trying to pull you down, known that there must be something in you that is above them in one way or another. Therefore also pray and ask God to open your eyes so that you can see this gift that makes people want to pull you down so that you can use it for His glory.
Confess the Word of God
The sword of the spirit is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) and confessing Bible verses like the following can help you win your battle against this device of devaluation since The tongue has the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21)
I am precious in God’s eyes. (Adapted Isaiah 53:4)
I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His Might. (Adapted Ephesians 6:10)
I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Who loves me. (Romans 8:37)
Affirm yourself with the Word of God on a daily basis if you live or work with people who demean you each day or if you are facing gigantic challenges.
When David was demeaned by his older brother, he asked, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29) and then turned away from him and asked the same question of the reward for killing Goliath to another person.
Nehemiah and the Israelites also continued working on the walls of Jerusalem even though they had been called weak and their building materials as good as useless for he says, “We built the wall and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height because the people had a mind to work. (Nehemiah 4:6)
Therefore do not stop doing what God has called you to do by just because people are demeaning you and calling you useless. Continue fulfilling your purpose by focusing your mind on your work and not on the demeaning words.
Understand also that these demeaning attacks are likely to come when you are on the verge of achieving something great like rebuilding your life. David was demeaned just before he fought Goliath and moved from being known as a small shepherd to becoming a giant slayer. He was also in the process of rebuilding Israel’s honor because Goliath had taunted the Israelite army for 40 days.
Nehemiah and the Israelites were also demeaned as they were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and moving from living in ruins to living in a secure city with rebuilt walls.
Therefore ignore the demeaning words and actions and focus on your mind on your “cause” or the work God has called you to do.
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