Learning to Love me
Learning to love me
Is one of these true about you?
- I was raised in a holiness church
- I was raised by overly strict parents
- Everything was black and white—there were no grey issues in my life growing up
- I was abused
- I was laughed at—and made fun of as a child
- I was always judged by what I looked like and how I performed
There is one thing that all those things have in common—they have the potential to produce self-hatred.
I just heard the story of a pastor who passed out little mirrors to everyone in the morning service. Once every received their mirrors, they were supposed to look at themselves in the mirror while singing: “Jesus loves me; this I know. For the Bible tells me so…” This was clearly a difficult exercise for the congregants because most of them—as well as us—have grown up thinking, feeling, or believing the following. Jesus does indeed love me—but that is based on my performance. (You know—am I praying enough, crucifying the flesh enough, etc.) Even if I am performing well—I, by God’s standard am just basically scraping by. If—and it is a big ‘if ’I am making it—don’t tell anyone! And—don’t feel good about yourself because you are—after all ‘just an old sinner saved by grace.’
When we read that Paul thinks of himself as the chiefest of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) we think—‘Whoa—he obviously doesn’t know me, or my spouse, or the guy three pews back!’
All of this creates a couple of issues:
- Many people suffer from self-hatred. They keep sinning—missing God’s mark—and they feel dirty. So people end up hated themselves and who they are, how they look, what they know, etc. Self-hatred says: ‘Oh I can’t pray like so and so.’ ‘I can never measure up so I will pass on taking communion this week.’ ‘I can’t share my faith in Jesus—they will find out I’m a phony.’
- Dirty people act dirty. You know this. If your hands are already halfway through changing your grand-baby’s diapers—no sense getting a clean set of hands into the mess. You’re already into it—dirty—so finish the job. If you think you are dirty in God’s eyes, you may as well act dirty.
- People who hate themselves find it easier to judge others—especially if the other person is sinning in the same way! People who don’t like themselves don’t like others either! They are quick to judge and point out what is wrong. This is what Leanne Payne calls a grievous reaction to the sins and shortcomings of others.
Holy Father, I thank you that I am reconciled to you through the death of your Son, and that through faith in him as my saviour from sin, my heart is not only washed clean from my own sin, but it can be delivered from its grievous reactions to the sins and shortcomings of others around and against it. Because of your Son, Father, I can look straight up to you and dare to let all these feelings surface, and I pray for a miracle that I will do just that, knowing that Christ is ready to take them and give me in exchange your life and your perspective on myself and others. Accept my thanksgiving, O God our Father. I thank you for Christ who has redeemed me from sin and death and who is even now pouring his eternal life into me.
Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Father, in whom I am to abide, to fully live, move, and have my being (my true and new self), I direct my thanksgiving to you, for what you are doing in my life. I bow before you as Lord of my life, and I thank you, precious holy one, crucified for me, that your blood justifies me, that in oneness with you, your goodness is mine.
Holy Spirit, you who so constantly and faithfully mediate to me the love of both Father and Son, I thank you now for the grace for me to receive all that is mine as a child of God. Empower me now to renounce the sin of self-hatred and as I move toward the goal of wholly accepting my true identity as a child of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Shower grace and mercy on me right now… may I come to renounce the sin of self-hatred—-Spirit reveal that to me.. and deliver me!
(see http://www.alisonmorgan.co.uk/Payne%2091.pdf accessed 14 April 2015)