“Mmm, I’m not very good with my words…” says the girl writing the blog post.
Things I am good at: being my own worst critic.
Dancing, drawing, writing, singing, speaking. I’ve spent most of my life trying and giving up on things because I wasn’t the best, belittling the strides because someone else was always better than me. I was never good enough and I would constantly remind myself of it. I couldn’t believe any one that said any different… even God Himself.
It’d be if cool if I could say that I one day I grew up and out of insecurity. When in all actuality, I have learned that each stage of life presents its own new challenges accompanied by a whole new opportunity for more “not good enoughs.” Just when I thought I was over it… here comes something else to feel insecure about. Always trying to be the best can get tiring and, to be honest, quite depressing.
Where did this come from? Where did it start? We can all probably connect our insecurities back to what others have said about us, some hurtful words, maybe, for some, even abuse. But I believe it can be traced back to the very beginning of time – the very first woman that succumbed to a lie. The Scriptures tell us in Genesis 3, that the serpent persuaded Eve, “You will be like God…” But the moment she and her husband ate of the fruit, their awareness was increased and they felt shame. After trying to hide and cover their imperfections, God asks, “Who told you this?”
Out of pride, we strive for perfection but only ever end up feeling shameful! We buy into lies that we are not ‘enough’ and God is asking, “Who told you this?”
The enemy wants to keep our eyes on the pride. Pride can doctor itself up to look like a lot of things… false humility, timidity, insecurity. This keeps us comparing and trying to measure up.
The truth is, God sent His perfect Son to live the perfect life to make up for all that we lack! He has poured His grace out on us and we must extend that grace, not just to others, but to OURSELVES. We get to walk in security knowing we are His children, confidence in His unfailing Word, courage because we know that He gives us strength. The Word tells us, the only thing we have to strive towards is love.
“My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down self debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is great than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” - 1 John 3:18-20 MSG
As we begin to extinguish this self debilitating self-criticism with love, we get to grow in the good gifts we have been graced with. Lighting up the world with truth. Igniting the flame of love in others’ hearts.