Straight Talk, by Joyce Meyer

Accept Yourself

God wants you to deal with your weaknesses and stop rejecting yourself because of them.

Are you tired of playing games, wearing masks, trying to be someone other than who you are? Wouldn't you like the freedom to be accepted as you are, without pressure to be someone you don't know how to be? Would you like to succeed at being yourself? Are you worn out with feeling somehow flawed and insecure? If so, I have good news for you.

God wants you to accept yourself, to like who you are and to learn to deal with your weaknesses because we all have plenty of them. He doesn't want you to reject yourself because of them.

The Bible teaches us that Jesus understands our weakness, the Holy Spirit bears us in our weakness and God chooses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise (see 1 Cor. 1:27). God accepts us as we are, but the devil tries very hard to keep us from understanding that.

There are 10 things you can do to increase your self-acceptance and opinion of yourself:

• Never speak negatively about yourself. The communication of your faith is made effectual by acknowledging every good thing in you through Christ Jesus, not by focusing on the wrong (Philem. 6). The devil would have us concentrate on everything bad. But we determine who we will listen to and thus largely determine the effectiveness of our lives.

• Celebrate the positive. The power of thinking and saying positive things that line up with God's Word cannot be understated. Develop a habit by daily saying: "I am the righteousness of God. I prosper in everything I lay my hand to. God is using my gifts and talents. I operate in the fruit of the Spirit. I walk in love. Joy flows through me. I eat right, I look good, I feel good, and I weigh exactly what I should weigh."

By aligning your mouth and heart with God's Word you will make a huge difference in your life and the lives of others.

• Avoid comparing yourself to others. Peter encountered this obstacle when he compared himself to another disciple. He said, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus replied, "If I want him to stay (survive, live) till I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me!" (John 21:21-22, The Amplified Bible.) We are not called to compare, only to comply.

• Focus on your potential, not limitations. Concentrating on your strengths will help you fulfill the calling God has put on your life. Do what you believe is right and follow God's leadership.

• Exercise your gift. Find something you like to do and do well, and do it over and over again. Want to know what will happen? You will feel better about yourself because you won't be constantly failing.

• Have the courage to be different. Unhappiness comes when you try to be like everyone else rather than embracing the unique person that you are.

• Learn to cope with criticism. Have enough confidence in who you are in Christ that you can listen to others and be open to change without feeling you have to agree with their viewpoint or attain their approval.

• Determine your own worth. Don't spend all your life trying to win somebody else's approval. Remember that you have already been accepted and approved by God.

• Keep your flaws in perspective. You have to come to a place where you're satisfied with how you look and who you are, keeping in balance the areas you want to improve but maintaining an appreciation for your progress at the same time.

• Discover the true source of confidence. If you place your confidence in God you can't help but have a healthy attitude. Do your best, and leave the results to Him.

You don't have to allow insecurity to choke the seeds of greatness God has planted in you. Let today be the beginning of a lifetime of genuine safety in Christ's love!

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Confident Woman (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at www.charismamag.com/meyer.

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