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!