Hating Yourself

Look at the big picture, and not at the blemish.

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I often tell my sisters and my friends that.  It’s a way I keep an optimistic outlook on things that look extremely dark or grey.  In the best of paintings, you need the shadows, and it’s the same with our journey called life.  A short time after I had repeated this to my sister, I was unburdening my heart with my mom.

Lately, the Devil has been trying to have me look at all my failings.  I read the lists of sins in the Bible, and hate myself passionately, because I commit those sins!  The abominations in Proverbs leave me blue, while the sins in the New Testament have me depressed the rest of the day.  Because I can’t do it.  I keep sinning again, and again, and again.

And so, I was telling my mom about my failures, and my hatred of the failing me.  She looked at me, and said,

“Well, Amie.  Are you still hitting your siblings?  Do you still have those same hurtful comments that you used to make in the past?”

And then it hit me.  I hate looking at the past, because I see all my failures.  I see the stains of the past, I see the hurt, and I see all the things I wish weren’t there.  But if you don’t look at the past, you won’t see how far you have come.  You won’t see the answered prayers, the blessings, and yes, you won’t see the person you have blossomed to be.

God has given you the past to shape you to be who you are now.  Yes, the past might have hurt.  Yes, the past is filled with sins.  Yes, the past wasn’t ideal.  And no, you aren’t perfect, but if you’ve been going through the Refiner’s fire, you have had some dross that has come off.

The furnace is hot, and it hurts, but we become much finer pieces of gold afterwards.  The furnace isn’t a one time deal either.  We go in again and again to remove different impurities.  Just like shaping a mound of clay isn’t an immediate process, and painting isn’t done immediately.  Books take time, music takes time, everything takes time.

Becoming the perfect person you want to be will take time, but the time spent will be worth it.  Right now you see the smudge in the painting of your life, but in the future, you’ll look back and see that that smudge made a scene much prettier.

Don’t hate yourself because of your failings.  Don’t hate yourself because of your sins.  Jesus didn’t hate you for your sins, in fact, He came to earth to make a way so that your sins would be forgotten and forgiven.  Yes, I said forgotten.  God doesn’t remember your shortcoming once you have confessed and repented.  Isn’t that amazing?  And so, we must press on and pray continually.  Someday, we’ll look back at this season of life and realize that the hardship we’re going through now are only making us stronger, and our life better for what was to come.

How often do you get discouraged because of your failings?  Don’t let the Devil bring you down because of them.  They’re forgiven and forgotten.  In the big picture, they’re only a dark color to make the rest of the colors brighter.

~~Amie~~

Is There Hope?

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Sometimes, I get really discouraged.

YOU?  The bubbly, energetic girl who always has a thousand ideas, is told non-stop she’s good at a million things, and the same one who is always making others laugh?

Yeah, me.  ‘Cause I’m not the girl I just described.  I’m also the girl who can’t pronounce pint right.  I’m the girl who is often hurting people’s feelings with my sharp tongue, and hurting my siblings during the regular rough house.  I’m the girl who trips over her words, messes up the piano piece, falls down for no apparent reason, and I’m the girl who just can’t get anything right.

I often battle with my worth.  How can a worthless girl have any worth to God?  How can a girl who has no talent to boast of stand before the King of Kings?  What can I do to serve Him who gave His life for me?

Those thoughts and a million others chase themselves through my head at eleven at night after a terrible day full of a crazy amount of work, some discouraging emails, and the thought that I might not be cut out for life after all.  Sometimes I just don’t have the courage to even open my Bible, because I know during that time I’ll find the verse that says,

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”–Romans 3:10-12

After reading that, I would be about to cry.  Because I know I’m not righteous.  I’m a failure in everything I try to do for Christ.  I often ignore my conscience, and I sin a lot.  When I think of all that, often my heart fails within me.  Because for me there must be no hope.

But that’s not true.  There is hope.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”– Romans 3:21-25

Praise the Lord, God doesn’t count my righteousness, He counts my faith in Jesus Christ.  There’s no difference between me and a murderer.  But for the mercy of God, I’d be out there killing people.  We have all sinned, and failed in the sight of God.  Me, your neighbor, you, and the famous person you watch on TV.  There’s no difference between us for,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”–Jeremiah 17:9

But we have the chance to be justified freely by God’s grace through redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

My worth to God doesn’t count on how much good I do, how many toys I donate to Toys for Tots, or how many times I can sing a song in tune.  My worth is through Jesus Christ.  When you or I are discouraged, it’s time we

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”–James 4:7

We need to resist the devil.  The devil is alive and well, and desperate to catch us in the slough of despond.  The only way we can make a difference in this world is to stand up and acknowledge the devil’s real, and resist him in Jesus’ name.  No other name will quench those thoughts in our minds.  We need to live our lives in a way that we can say with C.S.Lewis,

“My hope is that when I die, all of hell rejoices that I am out of the fight.”

May we live like this today and everyday.  Remember, Friend, your worth isn’t in what you do, or who you are.  If you’re a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and rest on Him alone for salvation, your worth is in your Savior, Creator, and King.

~~Amie~~