3 Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself
Discouraging and condemning thoughts became my lifestyle and I began to view my circumstances through this lens. One small slip up was all it would take for condemning thoughts to come flooding in. It could be something as little as not having time to empty the dishwasher because, at the worst possible minute, I decided to organize my clothes. I would set out to do one thing and end up doing the exact opposite. I was mad, getting sidetracked spiritually, and distracted by life's stresses.
Now, these things may seem trivial, but that just shows the powerful attacks that come from this line of thinking. The enemy can use it to make small things look big. It became second nature to tell myself I am a bad person when I messed up, didn't do what I thought I should have done, or did not accomplish what I thought I could have. I felt like I wasn't a good Christian if I missed a few days (which can turn into weeks if I am being honest) where I didn't read my Bible. Things began to pile up, shortcoming after shortcoming.
The reality is when this becomes your mindset, like it had become mine, it twists your perspective. What once was an enjoyment becomes an obligation. My motivation was to do certain tasks because it would make me a “good person,” so I wouldn't feel as bad about myself. I was holding myself to unrealistic expectations. Condemning myself for things I did not get done because it would make me feel useless. I somehow managed to show grace to everyone else but myself. It’s funny, sometimes the thing you need most you eagerly give to others.
I want to encourage you because you are not alone. Some days, I still struggle with thoughts that tear down my self-worth, I still make mistakes, and I am still working on it. Here are three things that helped me in this process (that I hope encourage you as well!):
1. Know yourself and what God says about you
Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT), “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
2. Know God’s character by reading the Bible
2 Peter 3:18 NLT, “Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.”
3. Know truth by memorizing scripture
John 8:31-32 NLT, “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
When these three things collide you begin to be kinder to yourself and accept God's grace that He has so freely given. So hang in there, it takes practice not perfection!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Moriah Spencer and I’m an English Major at Nyack College. Ever since I was young I have had a passion to create. Whether that be writing a story, painting, or decorating my room. God has given me a desire to share how He has changed my life and I am excited to take you along on my journey!