It seems that in our society today, insecurity is an epidemic, and the result is that many people don't like themselves. This is a problem because self-rejection and self-hatred cause many relationship issues.
The Bible has a lot to say about relationships. It teaches us how to have a personal relationship with God as well as how to have healthy relationships with the people in our lives. It also talks about how we need to have good relationships with ourselves.
So, how do you feel about yourself? I believe most people think about their relationships with others but they don't realize they have one with themselves. We need to think about it because we have a more active relationship with ourselves than we do anyone else.
Think about it: You never get away from yourself; everywhere you go, there you are. Every second of your life, you are with you, and if you don't like yourself, you're in for a miserable life.
Reasons We Don't Like Ourselves
I spent many years of my life not liking myself. I was sexually abused by my dad throughout my childhood, and it caused me to have a root of shame in my soul. I was ashamed of who I was because I didn't understand that the way he treated me was not my fault, and I thought something was wrong with me.
Shame became a poison in my soul, and it affected the way I looked at everything and everyone else in my life.
Many people have a similar story. But even if you haven't experienced abuse like this, you may struggle with insecurity or a poor self-image because of the world we live in today. There is often the message "You just aren't quite what you ought to be." We see models in ads and compare ourselves to them, or we feel the pressure of a success-driven society. The bottom line is it's easy to feel like you don't measure up most of the time.
It's a mistake for us to compare ourselves with others or to try to fit in with standards that the world around us says we should live by. God created everyone to be a unique individual, with different strengths and weaknesses. We need to know what they are and focus on developing our strengths with God's help.
We do need to pray for God to help us overcome moral weaknesses and attitude problems, but when it comes to fulfilling our purpose in life, we should strive to develop the talents and abilities He has given us.
Discovering God's Purpose and Plan
I've never felt like an "ordinary" woman, and I remember how, many years ago, I compared myself with other women I knew and tried to be like them. For example, my neighbor was a great gardener and canned her own vegetables. I tried to have a garden, and it was a failure. She also sewed and made clothes for her family. I tried that too, and it was a disaster.
Honestly, I just wanted to go out to eat and shop for my food and clothes. It was a relief when I realized God didn't create me to be just like my neighbor, or anyone else I was comparing myself to, and I could be free to be the woman He created me to be.
God's Love Is the Key
I want to encourage you to break out of the "box" you may have put yourself in, trying to be like someone else or measure up to the world's ideas of success. Living this way will only frustrate you, steal your joy and make you unfulfilled. Ask God to give you the courage and boldness to say, "I'm not going to try and be something I am not meant to be anymore. I'm going to find out what God has for me, and I am going to do it with all of my heart!"
The best way to discover God's purpose and plan for your life is to give your life to Him completely, receive His love for you, and then love yourself and others the way He loves you. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP) says that anyone who accepts Christ as their Savior "is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come..."
As you pursue a personal relationship with Christ and become the "new creature" you are in Him, you will experience His love for you and be able to love yourself and others. You'll also be freer to do what He puts in your heart to do.
God loves you! He made you an original, and He has a unique plan just for you. See yourself the way He sees you, and you'll have the confidence and freedom to be yourself and live with real peace and joy.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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