The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Part II
At our low points, when we find ourselves challenged, especially in our walks of faith we start to believe a number of falsehoods. When we succumb to doubt and fear, we begin to take our first steps towards sin.
I’m Not Worth Anything
The value we place upon other’s words, thoughts, as well as opinions is tremendous! Therein lies the problem. Our own thoughts of ourselves tends to derive, mirror, and sometimes even project those of the ones we tend to love most.In some cases this is not so bad. Especially when the input of others is both accurate and helpful.
What happens though, when we listen to people who look at us from an obscured angle?
Long story made short, we start seeing ourselves through a broken looking glass. Sooner or later we start seeing ourselves through their eyes. Eventually we begin to believe lies about ourselves to be true.
On the other hand, even honest input can be used to put us in bondage. A truthful observation can be just as dangerous as an outright obscured perception of who we are.
Let us take a look at the line of progression:
- We are told an awful lie.
- We listen to the lie.
- We dwell on the lie until we accept it as the truth.
- Finally, we start to act on the lie.
Why Do We Do This?
Simply put, we seek affirmation. The desire for acceptance compels us seek the approval of others. Nancy Leigh Demoss illustrates this struggle like a scale. On one side we have the weight of all the negative comments bearing us down and our efforts to build up the positive slowly pulling down the other.
The real tragedy in all this weighing and measuring is: No number of positives will ever be enough to balance it, or outweigh the negatives.
As Nancy writes:
No amount of affirmation is enough.
No matter how many compliments or words of encouragement we receive, there will always be that one criticism or insult that will drag us down again.
Jesus’ Worth and What It Tells Us of Ours
If anyone can truly understand our personal struggles with self worth, it is Christ Jesus. He came to this world to save a world riddled with sin. When He did He was rejected by those He loved. Jesus was shunned by the very same people He came to save. Even so, man’s rejection of Him did not determine His worth.
1 Peter 2:4 New International Version (NIV)
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him
Jesus was chosen by God, that was and is what makes Him precious. When Jesus came to die on the cross our value became quite clear. God loves us so much that He sent Christ to wash our sins away on Calvary. There is no greater love we can no than that. Our worth is beyond measure. We are that precious to our Heavenly Father.
I Need To Love Myself
This particular deception is one, I personally, am struggling with at the present. Gods word tells us that we are created in God’s image. He loves us. That we are precious to Him. Yet, somehow we do not bestow that worth upon ourselves.
Isn’t that something?
Do you tell others, “I have never liked myself,” or have you ever regarded a brother or sister in Christ and asked “Why can’t he or she just love his or herself?” I’ll be honest, I am guilty as charged on both counts.
We’re Missing The Point
Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. In this week’s reading Nancy Leigh Demoss gave me a whole new way to look at this particular scriptural passage.
Mark 12:30-31 New International Version (NIV)
Sometimes I think we get so caught up in how we want others to treat us, that we forget this valuable lesson. In fact, this week’s reading has been a healthy helping of humble pie for me as a particular instance comes to mind.
The weekend is usually a time for me to catch up on housework and spend some quality time with my children. It sometimes too, allows me an opportunity to snag a few quiet moments with my husband. This weekend, however, proved to be unusually busy as I had both errands as well as loved ones who wanted me to allot them some time. Yet when these same friends and loved ones had to rain check and reschedule, I was disappointed. Even hurt. This disappointment grew into pure frustration when a friend I had been postponed our plans for gave me a hard time for wanting some time with my husband and children, when I learned that he did the exact same thing he was poking fun at me for.
I realize this morning as I am reading over my Bible Study and God’s Word, why it was that I was truly upset. I was upset, because I love myself enough to know that the time I have with my family is important to me. I also love myself enough to know how I want to be treated.
What Am I Getting At?
Nancy Leigh Demoss sums up the heart of the matter quite beautifully.
The reason some of us get hurt so easily is not because we hate ourselves but because we love ourselves! We want to be accepted, cherished, and treated well. If we did not care so much about ourselves, we would not be concerned about being rejected, neglected, or mistreated. The fact is, we do not hate ourselves, nor do we need to learn to love ourselves. We need to learn how to deny ourselves, so that way we can do what does not come naturally-to truly love God and others.
In other words, we need to learn how to look past the bridge of our own noses!