June 8, 2021
It can be easy to become discouraged, to wallow in self-pity, and even give in to self-hate if we’re always meditating on
- where we AREN’T,
- who we’re NOT, and
- what we HAVEN’T accomplished
compared to those who APPEAR to have their acts together.
When negative self-talk comes seeping into our brains about ourselves, it’s time to course-correct our thought-life.
I’ve found that we fall victim to feelings of self-hatred to the degree that we submit to the world’s values regarding beauty, success, and similar “markers of value.”
You have limitations.
You really CAN’T do ANYTHING you can dream up.
God has given you a specific, finite amount of talents. Figuratively speaking, this includes all of your
Did you notice that last one?
At the end of the day, we all have limitations that we wish weren’t there.
Here is the good news:
Embracing our LIMITATIONS brings us much-needed humility and draws us closer to Jesus.
Put the passion back in your weekend.
Two suggestions for those who may be TOO focused on who they’re not:
1. Forget The Ideal
When we’re overly critical of ourselves, it is often because we are idolizing the world’s definition of success.
I get it. I want to be “the man.”
You know – the guy who has it all together, is supremely competent, and whose character is pretty much ALWAYS just like Jesus’ (idolatry much?).
Then I’m DECIMATED when it turns out that I’m NOT “the man” and cannot command the universe to do my will.
In Galatians 6:4, Paul counsels us to “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given.”
When you stand before God, you won’t be asked about any other work than your own.
You haven’t been called to everything. You don’t have to do everything everybody else does.
Even worse, the more stuff we’re trying to be perfect at, the further our hearts tend to wander away from focusing on Jesus.
Jesus didn’t command self-actualization but a life of self-forgetfulness. And constantly criticizing ourselves is the OPPOSITE of self-forgetfulness. And meekly accepting our weakness can be a powerful pride repellent.
- You’re just a human.
- Forgive yourself.
- Be patient with yourself.
- It’s super exhausting trying to be terrific at everything, and you won’t be.
Embrace your limitations.
Saved people serve people.
2. Shift Your Focus
When we’re focused on what’s WRONG with us, we are not seeing what is RIGHT with HIM.
Worship is a formidable weapon against self-preoccupation.
Praise God for Creating you – God made you the way HE wanted you even if that is not always how YOU want you. His highest purpose is not that you celebrate what YOU can do competently or better than others.
Embrace the YOU He made and praise Him that He mercifully did it at all.
Praise God for His Wisdom – Instead of looking for things to exalt (or lament) about yourself, ascribe WISDOM to your maker, who sees the end from the beginning and knows how to get maximum glory from your life.
Of course, you’re imperfect, but HE is perfect at superintending your life. He placed you in your circumstances, no matter what they are.
He will use flawed you to bring about His perfect plans.
Praise God for His Presence – God didn’t spend much time building Gideon’s self-esteem, but He did go with him to battle. God didn’t give Elijah a particularly glamorous lifestyle (remember Cherith ravine), but He did go with him to Zarapheth (see 1 Kings 17 for both).
Through the person of the Holy Spirit, Jesus has promised to never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
What IDEAL might you need to let go of?
I’m seeing everything but You. Lift my eyes to see your glory. Turn my heart from wicked obsession with my self. Even my greatest weaknesses seem insignificant when I behold Your face.
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