Sunday, April 10, 2011

Can I encourage you today to stop judging yourself?

Do you struggle with self-acceptance?

So many of us tend to compare ourselves to others and then we pass judgment on ourselves and determine that we come up short. Why is it that we don't seem to appreciate who God created us to be? Why can't we simply be happy with who we are? Do you experience this feeling of low self-worth? I know I sometimes do.

God created us differently for a reason. Each being is unique in his or her own way; we're uniquely crafted individuals purposely formed by God for God.

When we are critical and judge one another, we are judging God’s work and when we judge ourselves, we are actually saying to God that we don’t like what He made. Sometimes we have to dig deep to find self-acceptance because when we don't accept ourselves as God made us, we not only reject His workmanship, but we open up a huge opportunity for our discontent to grow and expand into other areas of our lives. “We are God’s workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10).

Are you constantly dissatisfied and dreaming about changing yourself - your hair, your body, your face? When we begin to dream too much we create a fantasy world in our mind, a place where we can escape. Sometimes we try to make this fantasy our new reality. This can be harmful to our body, mind, and soul. In fact, we can go too far and end up damaging the good that God formed in us. The flesh cannot conquer the flesh, so we end up making things worse rather than accomplishing the perfection we seek.

When you compare yourself to what you think is better, you are basically saying and believing that you are not good enough. God doesn’t want us thinking and feeling that we are not good enough. Thoughts like this don't come from Him; they come from the enemy who is trying to separate us from God. Know that God doesn't see one of us as better than the other. In His eyes, there is no comparison. We are all human beings that He loves and crafted beautifully for His glory.

If you find yourself struggling in this area of self-acceptance, don't beat yourself up even more. Now that you are aware, you can begin to make changes in how you view and think of yourself.

Perhaps begin by asking yourself where the negative thoughts might have come from, and when the shameful and disapproving thoughts began?

Sometimes you might determine that it came from what you were told or what you saw modeled in your childhood. Shame and disapproval from our younger years can become the enemy of our adult life.

If your parents constantly compared you to others as mine did or you watched them compare themselves to others, you’ve learned this behavior without even knowing you learned it. So the problem just perpetuates – generation to generation. Your children see you model this behavior and they begin to model it too.

Think of how wonderful it would be to be at peace with yourself. Accept the beauty that God created in you. There is no peace in comparing yourself to others, and no matter how much you try to change who you are, you will never be able to make yourself anything different than the person God created you to be. And that is not a bad thing; it’s actually a gift! So be who you are. We may be able to change our hair, facial features and other body parts, but inside we are still the same - an original creation of God’s perfect design. Embrace this and love yourself!

If or when you start to compare yourself or those disapproving thoughts begin to surface again, immediately stop and focus on the positive things God gave you, and begin to thank and praise God for His workmanship. I don’t mean that we should become arrogant and prideful, but it’s ok to embrace His magnificence and brilliance in creating and designing us uniquely!

Also, if you see your friend, sister, mother, brother or anyone else putting themselves down, take a moment to speak truth into their lives and give them positive affirmations to meditate on. Encourage them to see themselves as God sees them. You might even go a step further and share your testimony of how you are working to overcome the same struggle. By sticking  and building one another up, we can affect positive change in the world.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Psalm 139:13

 Grace & Peace

1 comment:

  1. I never really thought about the learned behavior we pick up from our parents but I do notice our children pick up behaviors from us. Its another thing to be aware of. Most of mine is mental but it sure can manifest in various ways. Thank you for the advice to just stop and think on the good things God has given to me and to focus on how He made me. Giving glory to Him will sure make the enemy go away for that moment.