What we don’t like deep down about ourselves,
Comes out in the play of life when we are least aware,
These are exposed by the pressures of life,
Our only defence is to care.
There is a great paradox in the character of a given human being. The person who sees themselves as infallible and perfect is likely to be dangerously narcissistic, and they are the farthest from perfection and infallibility. The person, on the other hand, who sees the truth – at least as much as it can be seen – that they are broken, fallen, and very frail and vulnerable in various situations, has accepted the truth about themselves.
The truth needs to be accepted: we are far from who we would like to be.
We would love to be somewhere or do something different. We would love to be universally accepted. We would also love to have the power to change everything we don’t like about ourselves.
But God does not give us that sort of control over our own lives. Sometimes we do have power to change. But we do not have universal control.
It is madness to think that we can influence those things we cannot influence. Yet it doesn’t stop us from trying, and try it is we do until we finally realise acceptance is the key.
When we understand our inner workings to the point that we accept those ugly bits about our personalities and characters, we also extend to ourselves the grace God requires us to give to ourselves.
If we cannot extend to ourselves the grace God requires us to give to ourselves, we cannot extend to others the grace God expects us to extend to them.
What must come first is an essential valuing of ourselves as God values us: his unique and eternal possessions, whom he loves with a love we can never fully comprehend.
God loves all his creations. And God cannot hold back from loving his created world and all of those creative factors within the world. The moment we understand what is truly happening in us – by his Spirit – is the moment we comprehend something of the love of God that has always been in us.
Accepting the truth about ourselves is the biggest favour we can do for ourselves in the loving of others and in being faithful before the Lord.
When we accept ourselves as we should, we can accept others, and, being no threat to them, they are more likely to reciprocate. They may love us as we love them. It must start from us.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.