Self: A Love-Hate Relationship
You know that character in your favorite TV show that you "love to hate?" A really shady guy, probably really good looking, charming, and yet descpicable. He's our favorite character, but man, we HATE THAT GUY.
Self is our favorite character. We spend most of our time thinking about Self. We spend ALL of our energy taking care of self. Feeding self. Grooming self. Teaching self. Resting self. Working out with self. Our favorite character. But then if you turn on the audio, the ratings for this little show go into the parental guidance category. Think about the things you say to and about your Self. I'll give you a minute. Be honest.
Have you ever said to your Self, "You are a complete failure. You suck at everything. You should just stop trying." How about "I'm the worst ____ ever." "You're absolutely kidding yourself. People do not want you around." "I don't even know why I try. I will always be this ugly. No amount of makeup/working out/surgery will make me beautiful. It's a lost cause."
Or my favorite. "It doesn't matter. People would be better off...."
Now say those same things to your best friend. Or your mother. Or your child, God forbid. If you are anything like me and the rest of the planet, you would never. You may not be the nicest person, but you would never say THAT. Not to someone you loved and probaby not even to someone you didn't like very much. Not to their face. I really hope not.
Self is the character in our life story that we love to hate.
If you were born in church, and raised in Christendom, that's exactly what you're supposed to do. Right?
"For those who are Self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury." Romans 2:8
"people will be lovers of Self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy....." 2 Tim 3:2
I tried to find that thing we all talk about, Die to Self. I literally cannot find it in the Bible. Hmmm
The more I look for the concept of denying self, the more I find this: Self-control. Dying to Sin. Ahh. Self and sin, although they do often work in cahoots, are not the same entity.
The thing is, if you do happen to be a Christian, which I definitely am, and you believe ALL the Bible is true, which I definitely do, you must also acknowledge that the Creator God made you and I with His hands. He created us with intention, with love in mind. And condemning Self to worthlessness is literally spitting in the face of the Creator.
Have you ever eaten something at a potluck or a family dinner that you REALLY didn't like, but you choked it down anyway? Why did you do that? Because you love and respect the person who made it, and you aren't really mean to your family and friends. You keep it to your self, and make a mental note to take a smaller portion next time so and so brings an experimental dish to Thanksgiving dinner.
I would like to suggest this: Trash talking Self, even if you are the only one (human) who ever hears it, is trash talking the Creator. Your Creator and mine. Self may not be your favorite dish at the potluck, but the one who made it is the lover of your soul! Your best friend and Savior! If God made you and I with intention and love, for a purpose--which is to Love--why are we being so mean? To Self? Why are we calling that masterpiece of creativity ugly? Worthless? Unworthy of love? Etc, etc.?
I don't condone worship of self. The God of Creation is still the only entity worthy of our worship. Like anything, love of self can be taken too far. See the verse from 2 Timothy above if you doubt that. Thinking of others more than self is still the posture we are supposed to take. But can I suggest this also? If you are constantly talking in negative words to yourself, aren't you thinking about yourself more than you ought? Self-degradation is just upside down pride. It's not humility to hate yourself.
There's so much to do, friends. There are so many people who need our love. There is so much hate and sin in the world, and if you have the hope of Christ to forgive all that, then the world needs you. If you are hanging back because you have decided that you are not worthy of being heard, that you are not lovable or creative or easy to look at, you are denying the Creator an opportunity to show off his work, and that is a crying shame. A real travesty. Life hurts and sometimes we need to pull back and rest, regroup, heal. But don't let the enemy's lies become your mantra. Stop trash talking that guy.
Be kind to your self.