Do you ever have those days where everything seems so clear? Everything. The sky, your heart, your dreams, your passions–it’s all so pure and you feel fully alive?
Today was one of those. I was driving and turned on my voice memos to record all that my mind was sifting through. Sometimes you have to speak it. & then write it too. So on the blurry days, you can go back and read it to your heart.
I don’t know where or how we started equating self-degradation with humility. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re being “spiritual” by denying our worth. We’ve quit believing we have been given what it takes and called people who do so proud.
When we degrade our lives, our purpose, and our potential, and we think we have nothing to offer, we begin to define ourselves by that lie and it slowly invades every corner of who we are.
I’m going to cut straight to the chase. It is not spiritual to believe we are unworthy, unqualified, and ugly. It isn’t humble to think you don’t matter. It is not humility to hate who you are and to think you are not strong enough, able, and fully equipped to do all that God has called you to do with your life.
You are believing a lie if you believe that humility is thinking you are unworthy, ugly, and unfit. Humility is not those things. Humility comes when we start to believe that who and where we are is important in His plan. It comes when we realize it’s all about His plan. When our eyes open and we know that the world does not revolve around us but it does involve us. He is using us somehow, and in someway. I don’t know how or why He chooses to use us, but He does. When we decide that we’re not worthy of being used by Him, that’s not humility, but the greatest evidence of pride.
Because we think that we can say, “God–no–I don’t have what it takes.” And yet He has said, “look, I’ve put within you everything you need to do what I have called you to do. I’ve given you my Spirit but you ignore it. I’ve given you my Word but it sits on your shelf. I have given you everything you need, but you’re too busy feeling sorry for yourself and pitying your humanity to tap into the power I have put within your reach.”
He keeps saying it to us over and over but we won’t have it because we’re so focused on hating ourselves.
Self-hatred restricts you to self-obsession. Self-acceptance frees you to serve.
Self-hatred keeps you running away from joy. Self-acceptance allows you to plant your feet where God has you today.
Self-hatred keeps your eyes on yourself. Self-acceptance lifts your gaze to a Savior, to find who you are in Him.
Loving and accepting yourself is not selfish. It is not proud and it is not arrogant. Self-love in its purest, Biblical form is the absence of self obsession and the presence of a profound confidence in the person you are and are meant to be.
It is a coming home to who you are. It is you no longer running from the face in the mirror or from the girl who you’ve measured as inadquate. It is an acceptance–a joyful acceptance–of who He made you to be and where He has placed you in life right now.
It is a perspective change. It is seeing yourself as one created intentionally by a God who makes no mistakes and placed you on this earth for this specific time in history. It is seeing yourself defined by that love.
It is you getting acquainted with yourself. Spending time with the one person you will never shake your whole life: you. Self-love is caring about your soul enough to be filled up so you have something to pour out. It isn’t about treating yourself to manicures or pedicures or a beach weekend with friends, it is about something so much deeper than that.
Self-degredation is so prominent in Christian circles today. We spiritualize it by saying we’re humble, when in reality, our pride is keeping us from seeing ourselves as Jesus sees us. Looking in the mirror and hating what you see, making comments about how ugly you are, how your personality is awkward or how you have no friends because no one likes you–those are the things that stand polar opposite to the message of the Gospel. Repeating them over yourself is one of the most unbiblical things you can do, and doing so will pull all of the potential and joy from your life.
It is possible for you to miss the incredible power and things that God can do through you if your head is hung in self-degradation.
When you gain confidence in who you were made to be and what you are meant to do here on this earth, you start to think about yourself less and less. You start to invest in your purpose. And in the meantime? You’ve come to love and accept the person you are.
I am convinced that one of the greatest weapons Satan is using in the church today is self-hatred. He does not want to see the church realize who they are. He does not want confident Christians. He really wants Christian women who look in the mirror and tell God he made some big mistakes. He really wants Christian men who spend all their time comparing themselves to other Christian men, and have no time to compare themselves to Christ.
He does not want Christians who love who God has called and created and equipped them to be. He does not want Christians who take hold of the power and resources God has given to them. He does not want Christians who accept the fact that they have everything they need in Christ and in the tools He has given them to walk out in bold, unashamed faith.
Here is what you need to know about hating yourself:
It is not humility. It is not spiritual. It is destroying who He has called and equipped you to be. It is pride and self-obsession.
I am uninviting myself from my own pity party.
I hope you do too.
photo: Erin Xialan Batts Photography