Remember when you were a kid and your parent’s friends remarked how big you were getting and the excitement you felt about growing up? I feel the same way about growing up spiritually!
Today’s growth-spurt moment about ridding yourself of poor self-esteem. While it’s not a pleasant or willing topic of discussion, I will admit it’s been an issue with me (and many other women) at one time or another, but I know God has delivered me and can do the same for you!
In the aftermath of failed relationships, broken hearts, and the single life, the enemy can sometimes mess with your head and have you questioning what’s wrong with you. We look at other women– skinnier, prettier, better hair, more talented, successful, et cetera and so on. Eventually, these thoughts can take root and grow into weeds of negativity, sadness, bitterness, anger and depression. This “stinkin’ thinkin'” can drive others away from you, hold up your blessings, and get you to sin against God by constant murmuring and complaining. Any witnesses in the house?
A dear friend and I went shopping a bit ago and in the dressing room, I was subjected to the nefarious three-way mirror (yep–I wasn’t happy with the image at all). As I lamented about the unflattering frocks, she went and found me a couple of dresses that really complimented my skin tone and “non-size 2” body-type. She then proceeded to sincerely tell me how beautiful I looked and for the first time in a LONG time, I believed it. A few days later, a woman I were chatting at the hairdresser and she complemented me on my eyes. I usually just notice how tired they look! But at a closer glance, I could see God’s handiwork. As I’m typing, the Lord just reminded me a young brother mentioned how much he enjoyed my Sunday School class a few weeks back. Last week, someone mentioned a note of encouragement they kept that I wrote them two years ago! Wow–I’m not so bad after all! 🙂
Mind you, I don’t say this in a spirit of ego, conceit or to get glory in any way–rather, God be glorified because He showed me I have nothing to hang my head about. Yes, my self-esteem took a big ol’ whupping–I just kept rewinding the “what’s-wrong-with-me” track. But Paul’s advises us that whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue and praise to think on THOSE things (Philippians 4:8). David also reminded me to praise God– for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14 a).
While God has not called us to be all about ourselves, I do believe we should give Him thanks for how He made us! Yes, there might be a little extra meat on the bones, but go on and appropriately dress up that temple–work with what you have! Give thanks to God for the use and activity of our bodies, the ability to think/reason, and the talents/gifts He’s blessed us with— and use ALL of that to His glory with NO shame! We don’t need to hang out at home in fuzzy slippers and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s every weekend! We can go out with the girls and have a wonderful, wholesome time in the Lord! We can go to visit the sick, feed the homeless, babysit for a single mom, help someone shop, volunteer at a hospital, cook for a family–the possibilities are endless.
If we are busy for Christ, we have less idle time to entertain those negative thoughts. Another benefit is that we are possibly being prepared for the person God has in store for us, if it is His will. Think about it– was Ruth picking out her flaws, all long-faced and waiting idly for Boaz to come by? I should say not! Boaz noticed her working hard to take care of mother-in-law (Ruth 2:11) and eventually married her.
Bottom line? We all have things we don’t like about ourselves…myself included! Some we can change, other things we can’t. Let’s ask God to help us make peace with the permanent, bless us to work on the alterable and do what He called us to do in the process–I’m thinking we will be blessed in more ways than one!
Please share your thoughts….