Identity Theft – 2

It has been almost two months since the last blog post. This is a continuation from the last one.

Not feeling validated and accepted creates a distorted self-image, low self-worth, and feelings of insecurity which inevitably trigger a compulsive search for some kind of self-fulfillment. A person feeling these things may use any thing or any person around them to build their worth. If you are a leader in the Body of Christ and have a low self-worth you could cause wounding in the hearts of those in your care. The consequences of this have the potential to be devastating to people and a ministry. King Saul was an example of a leader with a low self-esteem and the affect it had on a nation. Simply stated; wounded people, wound people. Those who are whole and healthy are better equipped to help bring healing and wholeness to others.

The following list identifies some of the traits and tendencies of low self-worth. The list is not exhaustive, but only serves as an example.  This list is compiled from several resources as well as my own experience counseling others.

  • Feelings of isolation and rejection
  • Feelings of anger, suppressed loathing or rage
  • Outbursts of Anger
  • Using anger to defend from getting hurt
  • Difficulty getting along with others
  • Overly sensitive; easily offended
  • Less inclined to be transparent
  • Lack of inner peace
  • Low self-confidence
  • Feelings of jealousy, competition, and envy
  • Inclined to be depressed and anxious
  • Rejects compliments and expressions of love
  • Feels they don’t deserve to be loved
  • A tendency to be a poor listener and a poor loser
  • A tendency to withdraw socially, fears being alone, fears being with people
  • Always has a better story than yours
  • Needs external “things” to make them feel better
  • A tendency to think God is angry and/or uninterested in them
  • A tendency to be critical, legalistic, rigid and judgmental
  • Strives to become “somebody”, to be noticed
  • A tendency to develop “clingy” type relationships
  • A tendency to sabotage relationships for fear of getting too close
  • Over commits easily
  • A tendency to be controlling and manipulative or overly submissive and yielding
  • Struggles with authority
  • Has boundary confusion with “black and white” thinking

A person struggling with the above issues feels rejected and insecure and will never be able to walk consistently in the promises and purposes of God. Therefore, having a healthy, Biblical self-image is vital and a need that God created us with. How we view ourselves and the value we place upon ourselves will shape our view of God, the world around us and the people in it.

Jesus was once asked to name the greatest commandment. Listen to His answer.

And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”     Matthew 22:37-39

We can read scriptures dozens of times, but it only takes that one time when the Holy Spirit highlights something and the words leap off the page and our eyes are opened to something we haven’t seen before. I was reading this passage several years ago and the words, as yourself caught my attention like never before. Jesus said the second commandment was like the first, that we should love our neighbor as our self. In other words, the amazing measuring stick of loving our neighbor is our own self-love! A healthy and proper love of self is the necessary precondition to loving others. We may not realize it but how we view ourselves is super-imposed onto others and in our relationships. It is interesting that often the traits we do not like in others are the same ones we have. This just might answer some of our relationship issues.

Romans 12:3 tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. But notice that it does not forbid us thinking highly of ourselves, only thinking more highly than we ought. There is a healthy balance. The Lord does not instruct us to think poorly of our self, only to not think more highly than we ought. It is a common teaching in some circles that we should see ourselves as some lowly, rotten, worthless creature. This is not how the Lord views us, neither before nor after we become His children by being born again. We need to have a balanced, Biblical perception of our self. Some falsely believe that thinking highly of themselves or loving themselves is pride. Sure, it is possible to go overboard, and my ego be blown out of proportion and I love myself so much life becomes all about me. However, not thinking as highly as God does about ourselves is in fact a false, even perverted humility, a deadly hidden pride that fails to accept oneself as God declares.

 

Joe Nicola

Author of Ekklesia; The Government of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

 

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