#21 IN MY CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER JOURNEY THROUGH ROBERT MCGEE’S BEST-SELLING BOOK, THE SEARCH FOR SIGNIFICANCE..
Is there anything about your life (past acts, something done to you, anything about your appearance) that you believe makes it impossible for you to ever experience consistent happiness, peace, or joy?
Bound To Our Past
When we base our self-worth on past-failures, dissatisfaction with personal appearance, or bad habits, we often develop this false belief: “I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless.” This lie binds people to the hopeless pessimism associated with poor self-esteem.
“I just can’t help myself,” some people say. “That’s just the way I’ve always been, and that’s the way it will always be. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We assume taht others should have low expectations of us too. “You know I can’t do any better taht this. What do you expect?” If we excuse our failures with an attitude of hopelessness, too often our personality can become glued to the failures. Our self-image become no more than a reflection of our past.
We need to separate our past from the present. No natural law dictates us having to remain the same individual we have always been. We can change. We can rise above our past and build a new life for ourselves.
A New Perspective Is Needed
A new perspective is needed, not just efforts based on our old, pessimistic attitude. We need to develop a new self-concept based on the unconditional love and acceptance of God. If we continue to place value on our failures, we will continue to become absorbed in self-pity. Instead, we need to be honest. We need someone we can talk to openly so that we can express our feelings without the fear of being rejected. We also need to be encouraged to study and pply the truths of God’s word. As we persist in this process, our sense of self-worth will begin to change. Also, we will eventually experience changes in every area of our lives: our goals, our relationships, and our outlook on life.
We tend to build our relationships on the rubble of yesterday’s hurts and disappointments.
There is some security in accepting ourselves as much less than we can become. That minimizes the risk of failure. Certainly, if we expect little from ourselves, we will seldom be disappointed.
However, nothing forces us to remain in the mold of our past. By the grace and power of God, we can change! We can persevere and overcome! No one forces us to keep shifting our feet in the muck of old failures. We can dare to accept the challenge of building a new life.
To reach for something new we must release something old. That span of our humanness cannot gully grasp both at the same time. Our past relationships may involve the intense pain of neglect, abuse, control, and manipulation, but if do not begin the process of healing, we will be unable to experience the joy, challenge, and yes, potential for failure in the future.
A Life-Long Journey
The truth that we are deeply love, fully pleasing, and totally accepted by the God of the universe will take a lifetime to even begin to comprehend. But gradually, by studying God’s word and by experiencing loving relationships with other believers who genuinely care for and appreciate us, we will continue to gain a better understanding of teh way God values us.
Knowing that we have no reason to feel ashamed will motivate us to pursue experiences and challenges we otherwise would never have considering before. This brings life!
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