Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WHERE ARE YOU GETTING YOUR SELF-ESTEEM?

People, if your mind was a tape recorder, what words or sentences would be playing over and over? What would you be hearing? What are the words that play over and over again in your head and in your heart? Are they words of condemnation or affirmation? What makes you feel good about yourself? What makes you feel bad about yourself? Where are you getting your self-esteem? On what do you base your self-worth?


There are many women out there struggling with their self-esteem. Struggling to be good enough. To look good enough. To be accepted. Trying to have and do it all. Juggling, always juggling. Trying to keep the home running smoothly. Trying to keep it all together. Striving to do their best, if not better. Sometimes fighting their own expectations, or someone else's.


Do you have phrases that play over and over in your head? Phrases that cause you to wonder, is it really worth it? Am I really making a difference? Do the words "failure" or "not good enough" or "you should feel guilty because you don't measure up" go through your mind? If they aren't your own words, do the hurtful words of others go through your mind?


Do not listen to the negative lies that may be playing in your head. They are from the enemy. Turn the tape recorder off. On those days when you are having a difficult day, do not listen to the negative lies that make you feel like you aren't a good mother, that you aren't a good wife, that you will never be good enough.

II Cor. 10:3-5 says that "(3), For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (4), The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (5), We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

We don't have to think about every negative thought that pops into our brain. We don't have to dwell on it. These verses tell us that we are to take our thoughts captive for Christ. We take those thoughts prisoner. We don't use worldy weapons but Godly ones. We put on the full armor of God (Heb. 6: 10-17), and we stand firm in our faith, with our sword (the Spirit) and our shield (of faith in Christ) and our helmet of protection (our salvation).

We have to think truth. Phil. 4:8 tells us what we should be thinking about. It tells us that whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy we should be thinking about those things. Phil 4: 13 tells us how we are to do it. We do it in the strength of the Lord, not our own strength.

We should not be dwelling on how we may feel like a failure, or how we just aren't good enough, or how we totally messed it up yet again. We have to ask ourselves is this true what I'm thinking? Is it right? Is it pure? Is it lovely? Is it admirable? Is it excellent or praiseworthy?

Of course, we do need to repent and asking for forgiveness if God is convicting us about something. Once we have done that we need to accept His forgiveness and move on. We don't need to continue to beat ourselves up over it.

However, I am talking about when our self-esteem is suffering, about the times that we don't feel like we're good enough, or feel like we've failed at our task at hand (whatever it may be). If we've failed, is it true that we are a failure? Because honestly, just because you messed up, does that mean you really truly are a failure...forever? Is that thought true? Is it right? Is it pure and lovely? Sure, you're going to fail. I'm going to fail. We are not perfect. Only God is perfect. And guess what, He loves us anyway.

John 3:17 says "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." Do you hear that? Jesus wasn't sent to condemm us but to save us. Because we aren't perfect, and we never will be no matter how hard we try. But that's o.k., because He is.

I ask again, where are you getting your self-worth, your self-esteem? From Jesus? Or from yourself?

So next time that tape recorder starts playing some negative thoughts in your head just turn it off and turn to the "Jesus channel!" Because He loves you just as you are but He doesn't want to leave you as you are. He is working in you so be patient, my sisters in Christ!

14 comments:

  1. Awesome post...I often struggle with those negative voices about meeting expectations, being the best mother or worst, etc...it can really wear on you and yes, the mind is where the devil likes to get in and play his tricks. Love the idea of turning on the Jesus channel, and thank God He is always working to make me better and He never gives up on me...even when i seem to want to give up on myself. God is good!

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  2. Amen to this post!

    Philippians 4:8!!

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  3. This is a great post. I've heard the tape recorder analogy before and think it's so apt - thanks for the reminder!

    Narelle from Australia :)

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  4. Oh it would definitely be negative with me lately. Seems all I do is flood my brain with negative things! Guess I need to work on that.

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  5. Amen, amen, and amen!!! A lot of our tape recordings are words from others placed on us. Have you ever read the book "You are Special" by Max Lucado? It is a story for children, but a great life lesson for us too. Check it out if you haven't already.

    Love!
    b

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  6. I am running out the door, headed to Costco. Emergency toilet paper run!

    But I HAD to come over and tell you that your comment this morning about 'legacy' was absolutely beautiful.

    Goodness, friend, your words will stick with me ALL day.

    Thank you for that...

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  7. Joanne, you are so sweet. I suppose the simpler version would be to say that eventually they will be parents and then it's pay-back time...hehehehe!

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  8. All my radio pre-sets are set to the Jesus channel! It's my favorite. =)

    I love reading your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing what God is revealing to you.

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  9. It's sometimes so hard to turn those voices off, especially when you are tired- at least that's when the enemy really hits me. Since I'm tired most of the time I have to get really proactive and actively focus my mind on other things- like good music or teaching cds- something good!

    Great post- thanks for reminding me to be relentless in my daily battle!

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  10. There is a passage in the Bible about "taking your thoughts captive" I love that and pray it often. Great post and wonderfully written!

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  11. It's so hard sometimes to even realise that you are listening to the wrong voices! Good on you for the encouraging words, I am sure we all need to be reminded most days (or probably every day).

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  12. This is a wonderful article. I find that most of the time my negative "tape recorder" is playing during the night as I re-hash all the things I did wrong as a parent that day. I have to remind myself (over and over again) that when I continue to think these thoughts and don't let them go and give them over to God, I'm playing into the hands of the enemy. Thanks so much for the reminder.

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  13. Rina, yes, I remember nights like that where I'd rehash the entire day. But then you can't sleep so I tried not to do it.

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  14. THis is so true! I struggle so much in this and I'm trying to correct it. I've been telling the lies of Satan to go. Trying to fill my head with godly music through the day.

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