It caught my attention because I am usually interested about the different cultures people grow up in and how some aspire to be something that revolves around that culture. So far, I can say that the time when I could most relate to what she was saying about her life story was when I felt the most insecure and thought that I needed to comply to society's definition of who I should be.
Boy did I get it wrong.
We are meant to be whole. But, by who's standards? Cosmo Girl? Seventeen magazine? Johnny who lives down the street? Reality shows?
I threw those ideas out with the other trash I took out when I realized that I was worth much much more than that!
Perfection sets you up because you deceive yourself to attain something that you will never entirely get. 1 John 1:8 says: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." This implies that we need more of the TRUTHS instilled in us in order for us to REALIZE that we're NOT perfect or can attain perfection ourselves.
You know how a loved one can want an alcoholic or drug user to just simply stop drinking or taking drugs? As if it were that easy! This person would have a deep rooted issue, and they use the easiest fix in order to gain control over their lives in one way or another. The only way a self-abuser can begin the process of healing is if they confess that they have a problem.
Houston, we have a problem...
Confession was the first step when it came to the many things that I hadn't realized I had a "problem" in. At one point, I thought I was pretty great in an area only to find myself tested and seeing that I hadn't truly healed from a past rooted experience, or just from a trait that is in my nature. I thought that I could simply improve in my self worth when I wanted, but in fact, I had a LOT of baggage from my past that needed sorting.
You can't get rid of something you never talk about.
So...you know how 1 John 1:8 says: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." ? Well, when you keep things to yourself in an area you might be struggling with, you deceive youself because you are only talking to yourself about it, consulting with yourself (i.e. your flesh or the enemy) and requiring a perfect solution from.....yourself...and most likely yourself will eventually say: "you're fine! it's a small thing! It won't do any harm so just forget about it!" And hunny, we ain't perfect, so we can't consult ourselves!
I can't stress on this enough!!
James 5:16 says: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
Last year I finally confessed how I'd used food as an "escape" for a long time, and I guess you can pretty much say it was an addiction. I got convicted about my need to go to food for comfort. God should be my comfort. He should be the one I lean on when I'm upset, angry or happy. Food will never satisfy me like God does, but at that time I couldn't deal with it until I truly confessed. I told two friends of mine about my sin and I asked them to pray for me. No lie, but when this came out into the open, I felt a huge relief and not shortly after as they were praying for me & as I also prayed for myself, I was transformed inwardly. I was being healed! Not only did I slowly begin to regain freedom and self control over my body, but now it's nearly been a year and I haven't been anywhere near the obeseeeeeeee weight that I've been, ANDDD let me tell you how good God is: I have more self control, I also love exercise now, absolutely love it, and my body. I no longer run to food for comfort. Of course I've had slip ups. I'm just like you! Just like you, I'm so not perfect, I also go up & down in my weight, and I know that we are in this together. Instead of magnifying on EVERY little slip up or any number on the scale, and trying to think that I was perfect to begin with and in doing so deceiving myself, I run to my Abba for help, to confess, to repent, to ask for direction, wisdom and discernment. I run to His Word, I confess out loud that my body is a temple, that it's holy, that it's where the Holy Spirit lives, and that I'm better than abusing myself! Amen! Glory to God!
When I confessed that I had a problem with food and I began to get healing, I couldn't just stop there. I encourage you to keep digging. Asking yourself WHY you ate for comfort is what you should be asking. For some it's control issues, for some it's other reasons, but for me, I had to go down the line of my past to be shown things that I didn't want to face. You see, food in itself is not a sin, neither is music, t.v, movies etc, but when we REPLACE those things as a "better" or "more comforting" than God, we create an idol out of it and we cease to understand why we are going to an object rather than a God who is alive! We need to start becoming conscious of what we do when we feel unloved, or angry, or upset, (which can be hard at first because the beginning stage is when you are detaching), but believe me, it is worth it! Start asking yourself questions each time you start going somewhere else for full comfort, whether it's a boyfriend, a girlfriend, food, television, sports etc, and say: "okay, why am I really angry right now? Does this remind me of something that goes deeper? Am I trying to get a temporary fix by doing X when actually I'm just hurting myself? I'll choose to pray, take a moment to calm down, read what the Word says about it, and then talk to the person about how I felt instead."
I spoke about forgiving others in Part 1 of Restoring your self-worth, but I think that sometimes it's even harder to forgive ourselves because we live with ourselves and can have the ability to re-play what has happened before. If you confess something to God, He doesn't remember it, so why are you? Why is it that a perfect God with no blemish can forgive you once and no longer bring it up ever again?
Because He is love.
God is love.
He is so pure and there's no blemish in Him and no wrong doing in Him.
The only way you can forgive yourself is to be filled with that pure love. Your own self-love can only sustain you for a little bit until something from within your nature or outside of your control upsets you or brings you down. God's love radically and positively exposes those contaminated & disgusting lies & areas to counter them! Next time you're having a hard time forgiving yourself about a slip up, the past, something someone said to you, or just anything, instead of dwelling on it, I encourage you to replace it with truths. Personally, I keep a tiny note book that I carry in my purse. It has truths & promises written in it about God. It might sound extreme, but I want to always be prepared. When I'm waiting for a friend to arrive I flip it open, when the line is long at the store I flip it open, when I'm on the bus, I flip it open. I want to make sure that where ever I turn, where ever I go, whatever I do, I can have an outlet to plug in the Word of God. What happens is, when we choose to dwell on something negative, we create a foothold for the enemy and it begins to become even bigger as you feed it, so choose to feed your Spirit instead.
No, I'm not saying be fast. I'm saying...fast. Fasting opens the door in the spiritual realm like nothing else. Restoring your self worth means coming to God and wanting to change. There are many elements to self worth, and we have to be prepared to hear what the Lord is saying to us about ourselves, our lives and to obey. During fasting, we go with grace and expectation. We acknowledge that God is a big God and is worthy of honor & respect, and is a God of healing and restoration. We fast and spend time in prayer, with God, and replacing meals or whatever else that might have taken our time, in order to be with Him who is Holy. Fasting also breaks strongholds and breaks chains in the spiritual realm. For some, this might be necessary for what you are dealing with, but you first have to be honest with yourself about what you're going through, and honest with God.
Let's get practical!
Getting practical resources whilst stepping out in faith is a great way to approach the areas you are dealing with. Sometimes this means looking up articles online, going to some local sessions (or meeting groups) in your town or your church, talking to the church counsellor or pastor, meeting with your mentor, reading books about it, doing an in depth study on that topic (Biblically and even other ways, but always having the Bible as your authority). For my eating, I had to do a lot of things such as learning a few nutritional facts, how to shop properly (not my fault my hand slipped in the freezer to grab Ben & Jerry's!). I read great blogs about food & fitness, I watched inspiring videos, listened to other people's testimonies of how their lives changed, I talked about food and exercise with a friend who loves to do that kind stuff...and so on! The resources are all around us!
"We're not meant to be perfect, we're meant to be whole."
When we think that we have no faults and no sin, we deceive ourselves. We've all been through moments of insecurity, having no self respect of who we really are, and not knowing how precious & valuable we are. As the quote says, we're not meant to be perfect. If we were, Christ would have died for nothing. We are however, meant to be whole. Wholeness is achieved when we are first a Child of God, and second, when we start getting healthy according to His Word (i.e. the right way!). We can't do this ourselves. No one and nothing in this world will ever fulfill us to the point of full and long-lasting satisfaction. I truly challenge and encourage you to begin a journey of loving yourself in a healthy way and knowing who God has created you to be! Amen!
Once again, keep the faith, and love like you've never loved before.
With love always,
FAITH by Promises