inahbunag asked: How should I get to the place where I love myself? I think that’s the problem with me sometimes.
Unka Glen answered: That’s easy, just receive some humility from God.
Now, that’s maybe not the answer you were expecting, given there’s a chance that humility is what you thought you were doing, when you were beating up on yourself. But let’s take some of these negative things you might have been saying to yourself, and see what a humble person might say in that same situation.
- Negative thought: I should be a better Christian than what I am.
- Humble Christian: It’s amazing that I’m able to act as good as I do, given how much I crave all kinds of sin.
- Negative thought: Why do I have all these lustful desires? All I can think about is committing one sin or another.
- Humble Christian: Thank you Lord, that even though my flesh is totally pulling me in the wrong direction, that you’ve given me the strength to stay on the right path for another day.
- Negative thought: I should feel confident that I can accomplish all these goals, but sometimes I have doubts, and then I hate myself for having those doubts.
- Humble Christian: I know for sure that I will fail without you Lord. I am not up to the task, and we both know it. You put me in over my head, so I would be aware of how much I need you. I can’t do this Lord, but you can do it through me, so help me get out of the way.
- Negative thought: How could I have backslid like this? I thought all this was behind me!
- Humble Christian: Well Lord, this comes as no surprise given my past, and I’m sure you saw it coming, so what did I miss? How did I leave myself open to this? I know you were trying to warn me to go another way, so thank you for that…and I’m sorry for not listening.
- Negative thought: I should be more committed to God. I lack that sense of zeal!
- Humble Christian: Hey Lord, I feel like I’m pretty sloppy and all over the place with this Christian thing, and most of it looks like a real mess to me, but I do love you. I love you so much Lord, and I know, one day I’ll learn to do better, but right here, right now, it’s just super-important that I tell you how much I love you.
As you can see, that sense of “should” shows up a lot in those negative statements. A sense that you should be much better than what you are, that can only be based on an inflated and unrealistic view of yourself, one that you aren’t living up to. But in the humble points of view, there’s a note of thankfulness and joy behind a focus on God, rather than self.
The more you focus on God, and not yourself, the more you’ll be able to see yourself anew in His eyes. At that point insecurity, self-hate, and low self-esteem will be a thing of the past.