The Word: Leave a mark, not a scar

Published 1:42 pm Friday, February 9, 2024

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“Y’all ever wonder what life would be like if you didn’t overthink everything? I think about it all the time.” Hahahaha. Ooohhhhh the irony. I saw this quote in a post recently and I felt it to the core. I tend to see every side of every situation and then overthink things again and again, making sure I’m doing what’s best and right. 

My amazing bride proof reads all my devotions. Each week I ask the same thing: “Does it flow? Is it ok? Should I have done this or that instead? Does it make sense?” Shoot… even after each sermon I am honored to deliver or funeral message I bring or wedding I do, I immediately go to my wife and ask, “was that ok? Did it flow? Did I mess up anything? Should I have said this or that instead?” Ev-er-y-time. Then I found this quote the other week while planning a memorial service: “Be someone who leaves a mark in people’s life, not a scar; who lifts people up, not cast them down; who brings out the best in people and not the stress in them.” Woo! I love this! Come on! That dog’ll hunt right there, church! Shewee! It has taken me years to understand that I don’t have to have all the answers…I simply need to be willing to let others look for them when needed. 

I don’t have to be, and I can’t be everywhere all the time…but I can be a text/ call away to offer prayer and calm when needed. I can’t always deliver a devotional thought or message that will stir everyones heart…but I can pour my heart into every blame thing I do in hopes that my pain can help others during their pain, my struggles/ anxieties can assist during their struggles and anxieties…my past failures can lead others away from making similar ones. 

I.overthink.everything. I can’t help it. I try not to do this but keep on kicking my own rear end. Thankfully I have a larger rear so it ain’t but so hard to kick by myself. I overthink. I over analyze. I try to do all the tasks on my own because I don’t wish to burden anyone else PLUS when I have asked for help it ends up falling back on me anyway so why not just go with it as it is. I can’t. But I also have learned I need to leave marks…not scars. I need to lift folks up…not cast them down. I need to try to bring out the best in folks…not the stress in them. (Insert 2nd guessing….now.) 

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at