praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:14
This is probably one of the Scriptures I have the hardest time understanding or acknowledging. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you readers that I have a problem with viewing myself in a positive light. I’m the first one to spot a blemish, criticize a flaw, or insult myself. It’s become so ingrained into my being that sometimes I feel as though I do it as a reflex. Before I know it, the words just come flying out of my mouth. I can’t even count how many times a day the words, “I’m such a loser” come out of my mouth, and something’s wrong with that. Sure, sometimes I say it jokingly or in an offhand manner, but there are other times that I don’t, times when I believe deep down that I am a loser, that nothing about me is worth loving. I have an entire Book that would say otherwise, yet I ignore it.
Am I not a daughter of the Most High God? Did He not create me with loving hands, for a specific purpose? Did He not pay for my sin with the blood of His Son? Does He not know every fiber of my being, every grotesque and beautiful thought, and still love me more than I could ever comprehend? And do I still look in the mirror and question what He made? Yes. Every day. Every day, when I put myself down, either verbally or nonverbally, I am saying to God, “You know what, God, You may know a lot, but You really missed the mark when You created me. If You had just made me ______ or _____, then it would be fine, but You didn’t, so what can I do?” Just who do I think I am, that I would quarrel with the Maker of the universe? For someone who claims to think so lowly of myself, I’m awfully consistent in questioning God’s wisdom in His design for me and my life, as if I could do a better job!
I’m really shaken about this right now because I was mercifully called out on it in a way that made me step back and sincerely evaluate my life. And I see now that my negativity is not an attractive quality. Who wants to be around someone who constantly degrades herself? I know I don’t! But more than that, what kind of message does it send to those who see my life, know I’m a Christian, and then hear me talking about myself as if I’m the scum of the earth? How can I bring God glory if all I do is criticize myself and His handiwork? How can I attract people to God if all I talk about is how miserable I am? I can’t. It simply isn’t possible. And it’s not even that I should instead go around and talk about how great I am. The point is, I expend far too much energy on thinking about myself at all, and it needs to end. I simply must have Jesus. I must have Him. Everything else is nothing compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus my Lord. It’s not even about me and what I think about myself; it’s about God and who He is and who He knows me to be. The amazing, glorious thing about focusing on God is that when our gaze is fixed on Him, it becomes impossible to look at anything else. How can we, when we are blinded by the light of His glory? O Father, may I gaze upon Your face and be blind to all else! May I truly know what it means to take up my cross and follow You and leave everything else behind!
“The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether.” ~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pg. 125
Please, Lord. Help me forget.