Why is it we, as women, have a habit of feeling like we are not “enough”? We fill our head with statements like: I’m not doing enough for (fill in the blank), or I’m not good enough at (again, fill in the blank.) I’m not pretty enough or strong enough or smart enough or thin enough. Another powerful emotion we like to lay on ourselves is guilt. We feel guilty about the skills we lack in mothering or nurturing, cooking, or house cleaning. We even feel guilty if we enjoy free time or when things go well, like we haven’t earned it! When did guilt become our middle name? What’s more, is when our negative thoughts grab us, we tend to project them onto those we care about. Have you ever nagged at a friend or family member or even your dog because they did not meet your standards either?
Stop trying so hard! God already knows we will never “be enough” or “do enough” on our own. We will never pray enough or praise God enough to repay Him for what Jesus has done for us. But God loved us so much that he created a plan to bring us to Himself, as adopted children, with an inheritance to be with Him, forever, in heaven. God sees us as his children, and he wants good things for us. So perhaps what we need is a change of attitude or a change of perspective.
Negative thoughts are not from God. When negative self-talk begins; immediately rethink it, reject it! James 4:7 says Resist the devil and he will flee from you. A sure way to get the devil to flee from us when we start to think negatively about ourselves, is to reject those thoughts. Instead, praise God for His presence, the fact He created us and calls us His masterpiece. The evil one wants no part of anything that results in praise and glory to God.
In addition, consider all the other blessings of being God’s children. The Timberline Church family has been studying Ephesians this season. There are some great reasons for gratitude and praise in this letter. Ephesians 1:6-7 says: So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
The opposite of negative thoughts is gratitude. We have a lot to be grateful for. Although, we will never be perfect, we are “enough” and if we follow the nudging’s of the Holy Spirit, we will accomplish all God needs and wants us to do. While it’s true, God convicts us of our sin, the guilt and shame that go with sin have been dealt with through Jesus’ work on the cross. Return to the Father and be grateful we don’t have to live in guilt and shame. Our good Father wants good things for us and to be free to live a life we love. We are one step closer to receiving that freedom when we approach our circumstances with gratitude instead of negative talk.
Let’s develop a new habit! Whenever we feel like complaining about something, including ourselves, let’s do our best to spin our negative thought and find the related positive thought for which we are grateful. Instead of “I don’t like what age is doing to my body.” Try “I’m healthy and fit and so much wiser and I have a life-time of great experiences to show for it.” If our outdoor plans get ruined because of weather, be grateful for a comfortable warm home in which to wait out the storm. When we are tired of never-ending laundry and dirty dishes, let’s thankful for the people who created the mess and need us.
It can be difficult to develop and practice new skills at first, but attitudes of gratitude and praise will come easier over time, and we, and everyone around us, will be grateful for the change.