Have you ever felt like you were living under the tyranny of your negative thoughts, insecurities and pressure points? Constantly putting your worth in what you do? Feeling like you cannot escape the expectations of who you are supposed to be when GOD already gave you a name?
Now it all seems fine and well when you’re doing well. When you’re thriving and crushing every goal you have. And then you enter an undefined season. Undefined roles, undefined expectations, undefined, undefined, undefined and all of the insecurities you thought had been burned to ashes rise up.
You start to question your value and your worth in organizations, relationships, and duties. This quickly moves to questioning your worth period. Do I even matter? Would anybody care if I left? And before you know it, something as simple as not getting an assignment at work spirals into I’m not worthy of even serving, why am I here? Why has God called me? Has He even called me?
Anybody else go from zero to 100 when faced with pressure? Or am I the only one? Maybe it’s just me haha.
All of a sudden you start to become be a slave to your standards, and become locked up to the disappointments, expectations and pressures that you’re faced with even though you’ve been given the key to free and His name is Jesus. And what was once a privilege turns into a very real and suffocating pressure.
Well I’m here to tell you that the pressure you place on yourself to add value and to be of value is not the way that God sees or has designed you. Your parents might set expectations for you, you might want to live up to your family name and your boss might treat you like an asset (to be honest, that’s their job in any context) but YOU can take the pressure off of YOU!
How? By loving yourself and believing in the character of who God is.
As Christians, we are supposed to model God’s behavior. Is it anywhere in God’s character to isolate, hurt, beat down and self-pity? NO! We need to live from the truth that God has justified us. That He sees us as perfect and we already have His approval to be us. Yes we have the sanctification process, and should be striving to be made more like Him each day but so often we forget that we are justified and that He has already approved us and we remain in a cycle of self-pity and isolation.
God wants you to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Him as it is written in His word. He wants you to march freely on WHO He is, remembering that He loves and values you. There is so much beauty in loving yourself. You stop seeing your mistakes, misjudgments and miscalculations as an opportunity to feel lonely, depleted and just straight up exhausted. You stop your mind from beating you up, you refuse to listen to the lies of the enemy and you ALLOW YOURSELF TO RECEIVE GOD’s GRACE. And in that grace is the opportunity to learn and grow.
Why live under the anguish of your mind, captivated by every negative lie that the enemy has told you when you can live under the freedom of grace. When you live under the anguish of your own mind you remain blind to the most beautiful moments. You could have 1000 people around you, telling you that you are wonderful and still only hear the voice of the disappointing conversation you had a month ago.
Let me put it this way; would you rather live in a cycle of doubt? Where every thought spirals into a dark place and instead of living, you find yourself simply surviving until the next cycle of doubt OR live and operate under the freedom found in the name of Jesus? I’ll pick the latter.
Stop listening to YOU and start exchanging You for HIM. Allow yourself to experience joy. Stop being numb to life, allowing it to just pass you by because you are so tired of trying. I have lived in that space. But I had to remind myself that I am not my own master, the people who’ve hurt me are not my master, the mistakes I have made in hurting others are also not my master, the pressures I face are not my master... GOD IS MY MASTER and He is full of mercy and grace. Two concepts that are incredibly difficult to conceptualize because they are so beyond what our brain, hearts and souls could ever pour out to somebody else.
Jesus was in the business of people and He has asked us to be too. He’s instructed us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and I’ve learned that it is really hard to love your neighbor when you do not love yourself. Learn to love people more than you could ever possibly fear them and love them too much to be blinded by your own insecurities.
It’s so important to learn to love yourself beyond just what you can do or add. It looks like giving yourself the grace that Jesus has given you. Remember that you are God’s child. How would you feel if somebody was being mean to your child, you would be upset right? So why be mean to yourself? It hurts God.
You are ALLOWED to be proud of yourself, you are allowed to rest in God’s evaluation of who you are, you are allowed to be free in His name. God created you to be YOU! People around you can guide and push you towards becoming more of who you were called to be but when it starts to rest in your spirit as anything other than God, take a step back, reassess and remind yourself that you are worthy.
Yes, we all have room for improvement, but when you start to see yourself through the hurts and the lows that’s you’ve experienced, you start to create a victim mindset for yourself. You start to see somebody not worth loving but God loves you and He says your worth is at the foot of the cross!
My prayer for whomever is reading this, is that you allow the pressures you face to make you better! That you allow them to POINT YOU TO THINGS in your heart that God needs to work out! And Ultimately, that we allow the pressures we face to point us into a deeper relationship with our perfect and mighty God.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” - Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV