Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
(From the Don’t Let Disappointment Turn Into Disaster Series)
Now that we have appropriately dealt with our first priority—our relationship with God (Disappointment with God), let’s turn our attention to one of the most important areas of dealing with disappointment—disappointment with ourselves.
Self-inflicted wounds from critical attitudes, low self-esteem, and failure to love ourselves cripple believers and render us impotent for kingdom work—exactly what Satan wants.
My dear brothers and sisters, read carefully what I have to say to you on this subject of vital importance in the body of Christ. Three things:
♦ Stop listening to the lies! Satan is what? The father of lies, prince of darkness, and deceiver.
(Jesus speaking)…there is no truth in (the devil). When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 ESV)
“that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth…” (Revelation 12: 9 ESV)
If you are in Christ, get out of that trap and away from those people who speak these lies and hold you captive. I frequently hear from men I teach at the missions and prison that is the world they came from—people telling them they are no good or will never amount to anything. Some of you heard those same lies and, very sadly, you began to believe them. Jesus came to “set the captives free”, and that includes you if you have allowed yourself to be imprisoned behind bars made of lies.
♦ Start listening to the Lord. We have to change the source of the information we listen to and believe. Listen as you read what God thinks of you. It is life-changing. On the very first page of the Bible, God gave us our identity.
“God created man in His own image…male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1: 27 NASB)
God is for us not against us because He created us to enjoy and fellowship with Him. Everything He created in the visible realm was for us and our good. He put us in charge of everything under the heavens. He trusted us with His creation.
Here is another amazing thing to wrap your mind around. Holy God, our Creator, knows each one of us intimately—meaning He knew what He had in mind for us before we were even formed in our mother’s womb. Wow!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1: 5a ESV)
Yes, we blew it and broke the trust. But even then, God would not give up on us. He sent Jesus to fix everything we messed up through our sin by His blood sacrifice on the Cross. He loves us that much! Why would God make such a sacrifice if He wanted to give up on us and move on? He will not.
If God never gives up on you, please don’t give up on yourself!
♦ Love yourself. This concept bothers too many people, even Christians. It does sound a little odd to say that you love yourself. Some think it could be prideful or self-centered to think in these terms. But it is completely biblical. From the Levitical law to the Gospels, we read the same phrase:
“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” (Leviticus 19: 18, 34 NASB)
(Jesus speaking on the greatest commandments) “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12: 31 ESV)
How do we “love ourselves” in the way God intended when He created us? I close this lesson by answering that question in the same way I did for our three kids as they were growing up and learning to deal with all the ‘stuff’ the world would have them believe about themselves.
Remember it is not who you are that matters…it is Whose you are!
My dear brothers and sisters, when we love our Lord God first and best and have a healthy love for ourselves because of Whose we are in Christ, then we are able to love our neighbors as ourselves and even our enemies as Christ commanded.
Do not let disappointment with yourself cripple you and put you on the sidelines of life. You are a child of the King—a son or daughter of the Most High God and brother or sister to our Lord Jesus Christ. Wallow in those thoughts and dance before the Lord in gladness just as King David did. This side of Heaven, it does not get any better than that.