I'm My Own Worst Enemy
Earlier today, during my devotional time, it dawned on me just how hard I am on myself.
I was in the middle of talking to God, when I suddenly felt the heaviness of self-condemnation weighing me down. I thought about the progress that I made in life and how small it seemed compared to other people. I thought about how I’m still struggling with things that I thought I would have overcome years ago. I thought about my flaws and the things that I’m still learning to do right. These thoughts of self-condemnation consumed my mind, so much that I began to weep. I literally broke down because it all felt like too much. Too much pressure. Too much healing that I needed. Too many flaws—I felt like I was drowning in my inadequacies. In the midst of my break-down, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart. He told me that this isn’t how He intended for me to live my life. He reminded me that God never intended us to live with self-condemnation as our constant companion; He wants us to live each day with joy, and peace.
As time passed, the tears continued to flow, and the pain of my inadequacies were still present, but in the moment, God continued to speak. He reminded me of two simple, yet profound practices to implement in my life to destroy the stronghold of self-condemnation. I want to share them with you.
1. Celebrate your progress: Learn to celebrate the progress that you make in life—no matter how small it may seem. This is something that I often find hard to do, but I intend to work hard to make it a habit in my life. Oftentimes in life, when we do not make the sort of progress that we were expecting, it can cripple us. If you’re anything like me, you become disappointed in yourself and your ability to the point where you begin to lose confidence. However, God is teaching me otherwise. He is encouraging me to celebrate my progress, no matter how small. I know that this will take time, but each day, I will celebrate any progress that I make—it may be small and insignificant in my eyes, but it is surely not small in God’s eyes.
2. Remember God’s Grace: God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). This is a truth that I constantly hold onto in my life, but I sometimes forget when self-condemnation comes knocking on the door of my heart. God however is teaching me that when I am tempted to focus on my shortcomings and the things that I often struggle with, I must always remember that He is a gracious Father. He is not waiting to condemn me in the midst of my pain and self-condemnation; instead, He is willing to help me and to bring healing to those areas. God’s grace gives us the strength that we need to persevere; His grace reminds of just how much we are loved by Him. He reminded me that if He is more than willing to be gracious to me in the midst of my shortcomings and self-condemnation, why can’t I show that same grace to myself?
Self-condemnation is very real, and it can be very damaging to our sense of self-worth. It robs of us joy and peace of mind and it distorts the beautiful image of ourselves that God meant for us to have. If you struggle with self-condemnation—I get it. I know what it’s like. I know how painful it feels, and I also know how challenging it can be to overcome. But, I encourage you to put into practice these two simple steps and watch God work. Nothing is too hard for Him. Day by day, I know that He will heal me, and I believe that He will do the same for you.