There is a lie which I believed for years. The lie was about something I believed, about myself. But, until recently, I did not realize how much the lie affected not only myself, but others around me. In fact, others around me were impacted more than I had ever realized. That was… until I confronted the lie.
I did not realize how much the view we hold of ourselves affects those around us. I thought as long as people did not force their feelings of self-doubt and low self-worth on others, that no one else would have to suffer, but I was wrong. No man is an island – and even when we think we have our issues covered up, they show up in ways we may not have even noticed – but, others notice. Whether we believe that everything is okay and that we are genuinely happy with ourselves or not, that truth does come out and our loved ones are affected the most.
Some people are genuinely happy with themselves and exude confidence; whereas, others pretend to have endless confidence, but their true selves eventually show through. Then, there are some who don’t even pretend to have it all together but still have their self-doubt on display. They wander through life like Eeyore, continually telling themselves they are worthless while complaining about how they can never get ahead.
People who are genuinely happy with who they are bring a sense of confidence to those around them. A child can feel secure with a parent who does not walk daily under a cloud of self doubt. After all, if the parent has no self confidence in himself or herself, how can the child believe in himself or herself?
I have seen parents, who clearly, were not happy people. They put on a good face in public, but, in private, they believed they were worthless. They put themselves down daily through negative self talk, even when they did not notice they were doing it. Years later, not so surprisingly, their kids began struggling with the same lack of confidence and self-loathing. It is important to realize that how we feel about ourselves does not stay with ourselves; rather, it is modeled behavior for family and friends – and some people are looking to us as their model.
Of all earthly relationships, marriage was designed to be the most intimate. When a couple is in tune with each other, it is impossible to hide feelings of self-hate forever. When we are not accepting of ourselves and when we dwell on our negative traits constantly, it shows in our actions. People who are comfortable with themselves do not take small failures personally most of the time.
Let’s say you walk past a picture frame a little too closely, knock it down, and break it. A confident person would say, “Oops,” pick up the pieces, put the words ‘new frame’ on a shopping list, and move on with his or her day. A self-loather would immediately begin repeating negative phrases in his or her mind, such as: “I’m such an idiot. Can I not even walk? If I were thinner, I would not have knocked that frame over. Now, I have to spend money on a new frame, all because I was stupid and didn’t watch where I was going. Why would anyone want to spend time with a clumsy lug like me?” To the confident reader, that response probably sounds ridiculous; however, to the self-loather, you likely understand that response all too well.
For believers in Christ, we realize that our worth is based on what He says who we are. His desire is not for us to lead a life of self-doubt (Matthew 21:21). If we have faith in the Creator of the universe, the one who moves mountains and raises the dead, we can also have faith in His design for our lives.
Self-doubt, self-hatred, and negative messages do not equip us to do His work. In fact, God’s Word tells us only to think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable (Philippians 4:8). When we repeat messages to ourselves that emotionally break us down and leave us feeling weak, we are lying to ourselves. The truth is: we are God’s creation, fearfully and wonderfully made, and bought with a high price. The ultimate source of truth is God’s Word.
If you struggle with self-hate, begin memorizing Scripture and repeating Scripture whenever negative thoughts arise in your mind. Additionally, there may be spiritual warfare involved. Ask the Lord if there is anything you have done to open a door to unclean spiritual influence; if so, repent of it and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to remove any unclean spiritual influences surrounding that issue.
Leaving your self-hate behind you will not only benefit your life, but it will do wonders for your future spouse and future children as well. It is difficult living with someone who does not believe he or she has any worth. It is draining to continually try to convince someone that they are special and loved. One of the greatest gifts you could give your spouse is a newfound confidence in yourself.
(Note: In having confidence in yourself, I am not referring to pride. The above is in light of ultimately having your confidence in Jesus and then of yourself as a result of what He has done, not what we have done.)
What lies do you need to get rid of?