Being confident and outgoing are not in my nature. So it’s always encouraging (and surprising) when someone says I appear that way. In real life, if you could be in my head, you would know how very many insecure thoughts run through there in a day.
But I’m starting to realize that it’s not just insecurity. It’s not just worry about how I come across or what people think of me. I can actually believe things like, I am hopeless, worthless, or unloveable. Most times without even realizing it.
Although it’s much more obvious when I take a look at some of those thoughts:
It seems like I can’t do anything right.
I probably will never change.
Too bad I have nothing to contribute.
They won’t even miss me.
It sounds like Eeyore. It’s self-pitying, and it’s embarrassing to admit. But I don’t think I’m alone. Do you ever have thoughts like these?
Those thoughts indicate living a condemned life. It can leave you just feeling absolutely hopeless. I realize I feel like the verdict is in, and it’s not in my favor.
Friends, we have to put a stop to the spiraling circle that leads us to self-condemnation. We have to hold these thoughts up to the light and see them for what they are – lies. Defeat is not the calling God has for us. And Jesus did not die in the most brutal way for us because we are worthless and hopeless.
I’m working on it. It will probably always be a work in progress for me. There are some things that help, though:
1. Voice or write down those thoughts.
It probably goes against your inclination. But as ridiculous as they can sound coming out, putting them out there helps make it obvious how wrong they are. Even just writing them to all of you makes those thoughts of mine lose a little of their power.
2. Combat the thoughts with truth.
So in some ways, there is truth to my fears. There are things about me that come naturally, things which I don’t really have the power on my own to change. I have to accept that. But the One who redeems me find value in me regardless. I am just as he created me to be. And because he clears me of my sin, I have nothing to be ashamed of.
“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” – Psalm 3:3 (NIV)
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace , which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” – Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23 (NIV)
3. Do not conform, but be transformed.
Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” The scripture prior to this talks about offering yourself as a living sacrifice, which is your act of worship towards God.
When we are living in self-condemnation, we are worshiping or ranking something more important than God. Maybe it’s others or ourselves; our reputations, what others think, fear, or our own self-pity.
Instead, our minds can be transformed to focus on God, and his will. Notice how it doesn’t say we transform ourselves. We can’t force our minds to change our typical patterns. But we can choose not to believe in worldly thinking about ourselves, and instead choose to renew our minds, seeing ourselves and others the way God sees us.
All that said, God is good to us. Matthew 7 says he desires to give us good things, and that if we ask, he will answer. Have hope that even though you can’t change yourself, God has the power to change us, and wants us to live up to his amazing plan for our lives.
Friend, if you’re caught in a trap of self-condemnation, I hope that you can feel comfort in seeing yourself the way God sees you. And that he has a perfect plan in place for you.
What helps you when you’re heaping on the condemnation?
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