Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wretch.

Sometimes, I seriously hate myself.

I say this because, for one, it's the truth. It doesn't take much for me to get down on myself. One mistake, whether it's a minor verbal slip or a major lapse in judgment, and I'm growling at myself inwardly. When I give my best effort, and it isn't enough - or worse, my best effort only makes the situation worse - I want to punish myself for being such a screw-up.

The main reason I say this is because I've seen several of my friends post similar comments on their blogs, and I want them to know they're not alone. Not by far.

I have a lot to learn about how to love myself, particularly being able to forgive myself for mistakes. God is teaching me, and I'm slowly learning. It's not easy. As it turns out, there's a reason we sing Amazing Grace. The title of the song isn't "Well-Earned Grace." No such thing. It's amazing that God dispenses his grace to us, even though we mess up so very often.

Here's my problem: I focus so much on the "amazing" part, I miss the essence. Grace.

"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." -Paul, Romans 5:7-8

I do God a grave disservice by beating up on myself. The only place for guilt and shame in my life is as an indicator that it's time to repent. That's it. Learn, turn, and move on.

God's love is greater than my failings. In him, I have hope to learn from my errors and grow beyond my own miniscule power.

I'll be praying. That our attitudes toward ourselves won't hold us back. That our anger toward ourselves will be momentary and constructive. And that God himself will show us a love greater than our mistakes.

How sweet the sound.

2 comments:

Lenny said...

I reccommend keeping busy and doing a lot of good things for yourself and more importantly other people does wonders to stem the tide of self loathing if you are too busy to have the luxury of it. In my short time on this earthly plane of existence I have observed a tendency for people to dwell on mistakes and flaws while largely ignoring the good positive attributes of a person, action or situation. This is not to say that humanity does not recognize good qualities but rather that merits seem to be ignored in the face of flaws.
This happens constantly when people discuss things they dislike (and who likes making mistakes?). It is much wiser to analyze both good and bad qualities simultaneously, especially when it comes to introspection and self image. It is important to recognize that while we often screw up, we also do great things as well. This practice must be tempered with humility lest it become an excercise in justification and self aggrandizment. In fact humility in all things is universally a good idea, including and especially humility itself.




P.S. I never liked the song Amazing Grace. Can't stand the melody.

the Razorclown said...

There is a definite trend toward negativity among a lot of people I know, myself included. Not sure if that's cultural or what, but it's definitely there.

It's waaaaay too easy for humility to get twisted, isn't it? Sheesh. That said, you'll also note how developing and practicing actual humility ties in with staying positive and keeping a healthy attitude. Kinda neat.

Now, about the first thing you said. I agree, as long as I'm not "keeping busy and doing a lot good things" just to feel better about myself. If that's the case, all I'm really doing is dodging the issue, saying to myself, "see, I'm a good person. I did ______." Not entirely humble, and not really functional. The ache goes away for the moment, then comes back later.

On the other hand, with Jesus living in me, I have a solid truth to stand on: God loves me enough to die for me. Enough to keep loving me through my mistakes.

God's love leaves no room for self-loathing.