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Not the Worst

You are not the worst.

This is something I have to tell myself at least once a day. The conversation usually goes a little something like this:

"No stupid. Wait no, not stupid. You made a mistake, you are not stupid. Fix your mistake. Good. Now stop calling yourself stupid. OK great. Now be better. Another misstep. I'm so annoying, no, wait not annoying, just not perfect. Step over here. Great. Awesome, see?!?! You're not the worst."

Or something like that multiplied by every task I have to do during the day. I am aware that I may be slightly neurotic, but I hide it well... I think. If I try to add in all the things that I think are required of me as a Christian, my brain can easily slip into overdrive and not only will I feel overwhelmed, but I am certainly less than.

This is not what God wants. He hasn't designed Christianity and the Christian lifestyle so that you will constantly feel inadequate. He wants to highlight all our best qualities until our less desirable qualities diminish.

For example, if I make myself busy being as loving as I can towards others, it becomes hard to be overly critical of their "flaws". It's difficult to nitpick the characteristics of someone you love. Or if I have made it a habit to practice honesty, it will take extra effort to tell lies. If I make it a point to find positivity in everything, it's harder to see things in a negative light.

Am I making sense?

1 Timothy 1:15 says, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."

This is Paul talking to the church at Ephesus reminding them that they are in good company when it comes to being an imperfect believer. Paul who God Himself had to stop in the middle of the road to Damascus to convert. Paul who was a persecutor of the saints, who God called to be a saint.

I mean really, God called a man who was literally killing people confessing Jesus Christ to be Lord, to preach that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Which is very similar to what God has called us to do. God chose us. God chose you. Where you are, whoever you are to be somebody great in His kingdom. No matter what you think of yourself, God thinks you're awesome. He knows you need work, but you aren't past being worked on.

God hasn't thrown you away, He hasn't given up on you. He is just patiently waiting for you to see yourself the way He sees you.

Here's something that may help, when I'm feeling particularly down on myself I think of Philippians 4:8 which says,

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

I pick three of the things that God says to think on and I describe myself in those terms.

Today I was honest when I gave the cashier back the extra change she gave me. Today I felt lovely when I was kind. Today I exited any conversation that did not contain a good report. And if I haven't done anything yet, I make it a point to do one thing that I think will make God proud that day.

Then I resolve to be better tomorrow.

God isn't looking for you to be perfect, He's looking for you to try. He wants you to have faith in His process that as you get closer to Him, the clearer you'll be able to see yourself through His eyes.

Part of God's conversion of Paul was blinding him, until he followed God's specific instructions for healing.

Part of us getting closer to God and seeing ourselves through His eyes is reading His Word and following it to the best of our knowledge and ability. Until we can follow God's instruction we will be blind to what He sees in us and what He has for us.

To this end I've been working on my self-talk. If God thinks I'm awesome, I have to tell myself I'm awesome, even when I feel like I'm not. Who God says I am doesn't change because I feel inadequate or overwhelmed. There is power in knowing that even in my weakest moments God is strong.

And that goes for you too.

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