Unfortunately, I’m an expert at this…. And I’ve discovered that one must make an effort to dismantle self-degradation. If you think it will just stop on its own, you are mistaken. Train your minds, friends! Or is it renew? Either way, there are better things to think about than all the things you might not be doing well. And honestly, the less time we spend putting ourselves down, the more we can spend building others up.
So for today’s Saturday Slant, here are just a few things you should never say to yourself. Good luck!
1. That was stupid. Um…would you say that if the guy next to you did what you just did? (If the answer is yes to that, then maybe take a moment to review those verses in James about taming the tongue.)
2. I’ll never be able to do that. Maybe that’s true. Like I’ll never be able to climb Mt. Everest. HOWEVER, what’s the point of wasting words on what you’ll never be able to do when there’s so much that you CAN do. Plus, you never know. How badly do you want to do it? Then maybe it is possible. I’ll never climb Mt. Everest because I don’t want to spend the money or time to do it. Not because I can’t do it. (Plus it’s dangerous.)
3. I have no friends. Really? Are you a friend? Because if you are a friend, then you have friends. Maybe not as many as you want and maybe not the way that you want them, but stop lying to yourself and give so-and-so a call and go see a movie. (Please note an important part of having friends is actually knowing their names.)
4. I hate my hair.You can get a haircut, color it, wash it, or wear a hat. God gave you that hair, so try not to fret. In a few days, you’ll be back to thinking it looks pretty good. Bad hair days happen. No sense in dwelling on them. Just avoid mirrors.
5. I hate my ___________(fill in the blank). Hate is a strong word, and there is nothing we should hate about ourselves. I was going to say other than sin, but even the horrible, awful stuff we keep repeating is covered by God’s love. We might not like the things we do, the way our legs look, or how our life in general is playing out, but when we hate all of that, we waste our passion on something that is in the hands of God. You don’t like it. Do what you can and give it to him. (Maybe not in that order.) “Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Romans 12:9 Don’t waste time hating yourself.
6. I can’t do that. This one’s a toughy cause being honest with ourselves about ourselves is super important, so maybe recognizing that you can’t do something is actually a good step. HOWEVER, if you’re voicing your derision because you’re being like Moses and focusing on your fears and speech impediment rather than the fact that you might be able to actually do something that’s scary, then just remember all successes have failures and all true adventures are scary. Don’t doubt what you can do in the hands of the Almighty.
7. Idiot. Moron. Ugly. Freak, Fool, etc. You shouldn’t say these words about anybody. Period.
8. Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I’ll just eat worms. You really should avoid any part of that phrase. The truth is you are loved. You are loved so much that God knows you. He sees you, and he let his son take your place in the punishment seat. So don’t say nobody loves you. God does. And he will help you through the darkest times life may bring.
And just in case you err on the side of narcissim…
I am perfect just the way I am. As much as we’d love for that to be true. It’s not. It’s not true for any of us, and it’s not that some of us are farther along than others either. The heart is deceitful above all things.
Staying positive nourishes a soul as it reaches from the soil to the sky, from the inside to the out. So don’t be mean to yourself. It’s good that we recognize problems and issues. Knowing our weaknesses and faults isn’t a bad thing. It helps us grow. And growing and changing and bearing fruit are really important. But maybe instead of calling yourself stupid, you can cheer yourself on. I’ll get this right next time. I look great in a hat. I can. I can. I can. It won’t be easy to do this at first. It will feel wrong and make you uncomfortable, but fight through it, because learning how to love yourself is a crucial step in having a life that feeds sheep and glorifies God.
May your life be full and abundant and more than you could ever have imagined.
Great advice, Mary Beth! I normally have no problem finding the best in someone else but often fail that test when it comes to myself. One piece of advice I’d add to this superb post is to be cautious when speaking to our children about their looks — not focusing on their looking a certain way. That’s way too much pressure. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. I continue to pay the price 40 years later.
Thanks for sharing. We never know how our words may influence someone else. I’m slowly learning to not assume that because I didn’t intend to hurt doesn’t mean that the person wasn’t hurt. I would never say that I intend to put myself down, but rather that I am just being realistic. However, I’m rarely realistic in regard to the positive! Maybe I should’ve changed the title to Things You Should Never Say to Anyone!