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“I hate myself.”

Have you ever thought this? Have you ever disliked yourself…. or some aspect about yourself or your life? The way you look… your personality… some negative aspect of your life?

Guess what. You are not alone.

Everyone has something they do not like about themselves. I think {especially as women}, it is our nature to pick and criticize ourselves by comparing ourselves and our lives to everyone around us. However, Satan can use completely monopolize on these weaknesses and infinitely compound their affects. It leaves us feeling too ugly, too fat, too skinny, too pale, too shy, too poor, too damaged… too anything… and not enough of something else that we think is so lovable about others, and it is so damaging. Damaging to ourselves, to those around us, and to the cause of Christ that we have been put here to accomplish.

I understand that it is a big issue, and that it is different for everyone, but a lot of people struggling with being unhappy with themselves… and I am human too. I am not perfect, and I don’t have all the answers, but God does.

I could sit here and tell you how beautiful you are and how special you are… and build your self-esteem so that you can try not to feel that way. And the truth is, it might make you feel good for a while. But Satan is such an expert liar, and he is good at whispering his lies into your ears….

He says, “You are not good enough…. and, because of this or that, you are not worthy of love… try harder.”

So it is a vicious cycle. We try and try to find things outside of ourselves to prove and validate our worth… or we simply sit in a hopeless despair.

I just have one question…

Why are we wasting our lives hating ourselves and our situations?

Some day when we are old, and all our friends have gone away…. our children are grown up and out on their own… and we sit in an empty house, we will look back on our lives and think, “I wasted so much time. So much time thinking about me and being unhappy with my life. Hating myself and the person that God created me to be.”

I am not a counselor, and do not claim to give expert advice, but I want to encourage you in a few areas. We so have got to focus on something bigger than ourselves to overcome, and here are a few things that are needful to do just that.

1. Be thankful.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Just take a look at your life. Think of where you would be were it not for God, and all His blessings and provisions in your life. Take a moment to say out loud all the wonderful things He has given to you that you do not deserve… and then, thank Him.

You know anyone can make a list of all the things in their lives that they are thankful for. We have been doing it every November for practically all of our lives. But, I have this little theory at the moment.. that if we take the time to praise God, privately or publicly, for everything in our lives, big or small, if we take the time to TELL people how good our God is to us, if we take the blessings He pours out and turn them into praise, that God WILL give us more to praise Him for. How could He not? If we are faithful to glorify Him in everything He does for us, then of course He will be more than proud and thrilled to give us more to give Him glory for. Let’s try it out together. :]

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

2. Choose happiness.

I do not know your struggles. I do not know each and every situation or thought or feeling you may have, but I know that you can choose joy in any situation. You can choose to rise above Satan’s lies, and claim the promises of God for your life. God actually commands us to be joyful as His children. If we could not choose it for ourselves, then He would not have commanded it. We must take hold of this thought.

We have to tell ourselves every day, “Today, I will have joy. I will be thankful and happy in who I am, and what I have.” If we take that approach every morning, we can start on a road to a joy we will not have to work for. Of course, there are times when things are hard and the road is rough, and we don’t FEEL happy or joyful, but that is when we need to take hold of God.

We find our joy in worshiping God. You don’t feel happy? Start telling God how good, and wonderful, and awesome, and beautiful He is. How He provides for your every need. How He is your Rock and your Salvation. How He is your deliverer and your Comforter and your Healer. How He is your Joy and your Love. It is what we were made to do…. Be with God and worship God, and you will find joy.

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. Psalm 9:1

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:2-5

3. Define yourself by Christ.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

So easily we buy into the lie that the world has something “on us” and that we need to measure up to the standard it has set for us. We try to put a band-aid over the issues by telling ourselves and each other, “You are beautiful.. and unique.. and wonderful.. and special all on your own.” But without God, those good feelings will fade. Your worth does not come from the number on the scale, how your body looks today, how many people check you out, how hot your boyfriend or girlfriend is, or what you do together. It doesn’t come from how many friends you have or how many “likes” your Facebook status gets. It doesn’t come from your parents who never seem to be proud of you no matter what you do. It doesn’t come from your job, or your clothes, your spouse, or your kids.

Your worth comes from the One who created you, and has already defined you.

The world does not appreciate you for who you are. Most people do not recognize the worth that is found in you because you are a child of Jesus Christ. You are made in His image, and you are the very place in which the Holy Spirit resides. Just like someone who does not recognize or appreciate fine art would toss a masterpiece into the trash. Would that make the art any less valuable? No. The true worth of the art would be seen when an art collector spots the painting and says, “That right there is a priceless piece, and I am willing to pay any amount to acquire it!” That is exactly what Jesus says when He looks at you.

Jesus Christ is so beautiful, and when we find our identity in Him alone, we are defined with HIS beauty. Is there anything more beautiful than Jesus? Nope… I promise. Get to know Him, and you will know what I mean.

I am not special because of me… who I am, what I look like, my personality, or my performance in my job, school, or sports; BUT I am special because of Jesus….. because of all the wonderful things that HE is, and because He lives inside of me and has complete control of my heart.

We have to take on the definitions of Jesus Christ… DAILY. Did you know that God has defined you already? These are the definitions that declare who we ARE in Christ. Not who we are becoming or who we aspire to be. God says right now at this moment you ARE confident, and worthy, and loved.

Here are just a FEW….

You are Confident.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrew 4:16

You are God’s delight.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

You are the Child of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:15-16

You are made perfectly by God’s Hand.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:13-14

You are Loved.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3

When we embrace these names that our God gives to us rather than the definitions of the world, we learn to see ourselves the way God does. God loves us beyond measure and looks on us with pride when we serve Him.

4. Seek God and His plan for YOU.

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:16

When I stand before God at the end of my life on this earth, I will answer for all the things that I have not done that I was called to do. And, the thing is, God is not going to ask me why I was not Cindy Crawford and why I didn’t have perfect skin or hair or nails or why I didn’t have a flawless figure. God is not going to ask me why I was not Moses, or Esther, or David, or the Apostle Paul. When I stand before God, He will ask me why I was not the person that He created me to be. He will ask me why I did not accomplish the things He called ME to do. He might say, “I gave you so much. So many talents, and so many treasures to accomplish my special work while you were on earth….. but, instead, you wasted your time worrying about yourself and why you were not ‘perfect’ or did not have a ‘perfect’ life when compared to others.”

Please, please do not waste another day thinking about yourself, and comparing yourself to other people and the lives that they lead. We are not all called to walk the same road. You are called to be a child of God with a purpose that only you can fulfill. Don’t miss out on so many blessings, so much joy, and such a full life of service to your King because you are focused on and unhappy with yourself….. God has such bigger plans for you. Only God can truly change your heart. Give it to Him, and trust that He knows exactly what He is doing in your life, and everything in your life can be used to glorify Him.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty;

For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;

Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.

Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great
And to give strength to all.

Now therefore, our God, We thank You,
And praise Your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13