Finding a Self to Live With

The Professional School of Psychology did an interesting study on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Due to documented reports of depression, they handed out an assignment to students that focused on the psychological study of his life. Each student prepared an essay describing the manner in which a contemporary psychologist might have treated Lincoln as a patient.

One conclusion was: “It does appear that Lincoln had low self esteem and a negative view of himself.  As mentioned earlier, he did not see himself as a good lawyer.  He constantly worried about his ability to provide for himself and a family.  He did not seem to have a lot of faith in his abilities although rationally he knew he was an intelligent and capable man.  He also took his defeats very hard and blamed and doubted himself.  Every time he lost an election it validated his belief that he was defective.” [read more]

Amazingly, Abraham Lincoln later became the 16th President of the United States. This is a great accomplishment when you consider how many people never fulfill their destiny due to a lack of self-esteem.

In discussing the facets of righteousness, we’ve learned that MAN AS HE OUGHT TO BE must have a FAITH TO LIVE BY and a PURPOSE TO LIVE FOR. But listen carefully… these are of no matter if you don’t have a SELF YOU CAN LIVE WITH.

My children used to be big fans of the radio station Air1 so I became one by default. Air1 plays contemporary rock Christian music and one popular band is Switchfoot. The words to their song Mess of Me adequately describes how many people feel about themselves:

I am my own affliction
I am my own disease
There ain’t no drug that they could sell
There ain’t no drug to make me well
Because the sickness is myself
I made a mess of me
I wanna get back the rest of me
I made a mess of me
But I wanna spend the rest of my life alive
We lock our souls in cages
We hide inside our shells
And it’s hard to free the ones you love
When you can’t forgive yourself

I imagine you are nodding your head in agreement. Unforgiveness of self is an epidemic of catastrophic proportion. It is a deceptive tool of the enemy to keep us bound–regardless of our faith in God. Because how we view ourselves will always have a greater impact on our lives than how we view God. In other words, no matter how many times someone tells me God loves me, if I look in my mirror and can’t accept it, then how I view myself overrides God’s truth. 

In Psalm 17:15, the Bible says, “As for me, I will see Your face in RIGHTEOUSNESS; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”  The problem is, we’re not yet satisfied because we awake everyday and see our flaws. We are our worst critic.

In 1993, after struggling for two years in my walk with God, I had an amazing encounter with truth. God set me in front of my own mirror and said, “Now tell her you love her and you forgive her.” It was in that moment I finally understood it wasn’t God who couldn’t forgive me–I simply had not forgiven myself.

We say God has a plan for our lives, but how can we fulfill those plans when our mirror holds us back? Righteousness is right-standing with God, including the ability to stand before Him as if we had never sinned. It is a hard pill to swallow, but rejecting this truth is the same as rejecting Jesus. “For He made Him who knew no sin [was perfect and without guilt] to be sin for us [who are guilty of many trespasses] that we might become [upon accepting Jesus as our Savior] the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Accepting salvation includes accepting the fact that Jesus made a great exchange on our behalf. I struggled with this for many years, but finally decided if it was true, than I should live for the One who made it possible–fulfilling all He had planned for me.

I hope you will do the same.

Also, find out how to have a PURPOSE to live for and a FAITH to live by << click links.


2 thoughts on “Finding a Self to Live With

  1. Forgiveness of self. Loving our self, wow. That was a real eye opener for me. After living life as a drunkard and druggie for 23 years. I had to do some searching in my own heart. Why did I not care about me? I had a very warped sense of self starting at 6 yrs old. The people I had trespassed against growing up and the ones whom trespassed against me was confusing to me. Christ forgave me for all I had done? Really? I had to forgive others for what they had done? Really? Being an incest survivor of 7 family member’s this was the most difficult task I ever endured… I cried for days seeing my sin. Forgiveness I thought was impossible to achieve. Being a full blown alcoholic at 10 years old being fed alcohol starting at 6 and on clouded my mind to the point I had felt like I was in a terrible nightmare. Forgiveness was not in my vocabulary. Loving myself was beyond far fetched. I was too angry. I was too bitter. I was worthless. It was through the love of Christ showing himself to me that I found myself being new and my purpose in this world. I cried for days knowing what the enemy was doing to my family. I found forgiveness for them through Christ and not of my own. I looked for love in all the wrong people. I lived a life of homosexuality for 40 years. I was looking for love in places and things. I found The Love Of My Life when Jesus saved me. I found joy. I found Him in me. I found a LOVE that changed me. He has made me a new creation. He has made me a missionary, evangelist and an author. He has shown me my value for His Kingdom. He has shown me what He did on the cross. He is in me and I am in Him. Amen.

    • I wish I could put a hundred LIKES to your comment Terri 🙂 I know your story (and I just learned some more) and you are a living example of how God can turn a life around! As anyone can read, it wasn’t easy but I know it was worth it. I love your heart and how passionate you are to help others. It’s a joy to work alongside you in the kingdom my friend! Thank you for sharing.

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