How do you see yourself? Pause for a moment and think about it. What thoughts have you had about yourself today?
So many of us find ourselves basing our self-worth on how others see us and on our accomplishments, feeling shame from our past, defining our value based on our looks, or setting unrealistic standards for ourselves.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. If only we could see ourselves as God sees us.
Let’s look at three thought patterns that can act as roadblocks to thinking- and living – the way God desires. These destructive thought part were identified by a psychologist name
d Albert Ellis in 1973. Let’s contrast these ideas with what 1 Peter tells us about how we can “prepare our minds for action.” Adjusting our thinking to Scripture is the foundation of being holy in all we do. -1 Peter 1:15-
1. I must be loved or approved by virtually every other person in my like.
If we are living to make sure that others love us, we give them permission to evaluate us based on what we do-we give people the power to determine our self-worth.
When we leave home, many of us have “Internalized parents” who are now voices in our heads that tells us what we should do, what is important, and how we should do things. Have you ever been in a situation where you have to make a decision and you can hear your parents saying, “that’s not responsible…” or “I told you that would happen.”
Many of us are so concerned about being loved that we give the opposite sex permission to evaluate our self-worth. As adolescents, we might sacrifice our own identity to get attention and acceptance, even to the extent to pretending not to be bright or kind because we think the opposite sex won’t be impressed. Or we might deny ourselves food to lose weight to try to fit in with the body images portrayed in magazines. Even as adults , we buy Into the beauty myth, thinking that our appearance and approval from a spouse.
If you have looked at my past posts. You know I hated myself when I grew up and moved out. I was told I was ugly and know one would want anything to do with me. I would look at myself in the mirror and cringe because I hated myself so much.
We will never make it anywhere in life until we learn to love ourselves as we are.
If we are living to make sure that others love us, we give people the power to determine our self-worth.
We may even feel pressure from other places like church, or a book club,
or an extracurricular activity, to measure ourselves according to certain stereotypes – women are supposed to be nurturing, quiet and gentle, and raise well-behaved children, and maybe even do crafts. And men should be competent spiritual leaders, provide for and protect their families, be a “manly man,” and be in touch with their feminine side, too. If we live to please a church community, we find ourselves negating the interests or gifts that God has given us.
Well as for me I am not quiet or gentle and I have no patience to do crafts. And that’s okay because:
Our Identity Is Found In Christ.
It is rooted in his freedom-giving mercy. Our identity is that of a child of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Our inheritance is one of forgiveness, an intimate relationship with Jesus, and hope of fellowship with God. -Ephesians 1-
These truths assure us of God’s unconditional love, and of intimacy, security, and hope we find in Him. None of this is based on what we do; rather, it is grounded in what God has already accomplished through Christ.
When we know how much God loves us, nothing else matters and our fellowship with Him brings light to our soul.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy ha has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection that can never perish, spoil or fade- kept in heaven for you. -1￼ Peter 1:3-4-
2. Our past history is an all-important determiner of our present behavior: because something once strongly affected our life, it should definitely continue to be so.
You may feel controlled by a secret. Have you ever has something happen to you that you have revealed to no-one, or perhaps to only a few people. Perhaps you feel great shame about certain aspects of the family you grew up in, or maybe you have sinful habits you feel embarrassed about, such as gossip, lust, pornography, or a critical spirit. Maybe you are ashamed of some things you’ve done in the past. Or maybe you feel ashamed of something that has been don’t to you.
If we don’t deal with issues in our past, they will continue to control us in some way in our present. We can deal with past sin, our family histories, as well as past violations to our bodies and minds.
It is important to identify our feelings in these situations are destructive shame or healthy conviction. Healthy conviction always separates our identity from our behavior. Shame links these two so wrong behavior taints our image of ourselves. Healthy conviction alerts us to the fact that we have done something that goes against our internalized values.
Biblical conviction is a God-given emotion that “red flags” a behavior and tells us it is an act of rebellion against God. It spurs us to confess our sin and experience the love and forgiveness that God has provided for us through Jesus Christ. 1 John 1-9 tells us “if we confess our sins. God is faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness
Biblical conviction is a God-given emotion that “red flags” a behavior and tells us it is an act of rebellion against God.
Any feeling of guilt that come after we’ve confessed our sin are not from God, but may be from the evil one. We still have to live with the consequences of our sin, but God doesn’t punish us for our sin. God disciplines us to get us back on track so we can continue to experience God’s love and plan for our lives. Our struggles can bring us closer to God and heighten our faith as we experience His faithfulness in forgiving us and drawing us closer to Himself. -Hebrews 12:4-13-
In this you greatly rejoice, though for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. -1 Peter 1:6-7-
Know who You Are
3. we should be thoroughly competent, and successful in all possible respects in order to consider ourselves worthwhile.
Ten percent of people will struggle with some form of clinical depression in their lifetime. Depression can be biological or situational, and often can be the leading causes of depression is setting your standards so high that you cannot possibly live up to them. You are constantly striving for a standard that is unattainable, but you wear yourself out trying anyway. One of the messages that can play over and over in our minds is that we have to “be perfect.”
We often fall into the trap of feeling responsible not just for ourselves, but for the lives of others, whether our co-workers, friends, children, or spouses. We taken the weight of everyone’s world. We don’t have too.
It’s often difficult for us to separate our identity from our behavior. We feel if we don’t measure up, it reflects on who we are as individuals.
God’s Grace Is A Gift.
In and through His Grace, God heals us and brings us freedom to live a new life. Sometimes Grace does not come easily to us, we have to work at changing our thinking. We need to humble ourselves to accept God’s Grace and extend grace to ourselves when we don’t measure up, knowing that God already sees us as the perfect reflections of Christ that we will be in eternity. -1 John 3:1-3-