In the discipleship group I’m in we’ve been learning about identity. If my identity was based in being Christ’s fully-known, fully-loved daughter, I wouldn’t have snapped at my husband last week when he thoughtfully brought me my phone. I usually identify myself by my failures. Instead of hearing Chris say, “I found your phone,” I heard, “Here’s your phone you poor, unorganized, and fragmented mess.”
Thank you. Here’s your head back.
I’m painfully aware I’m good at believing God’s Word and truths for others, but not for myself. Ironically, I often remind other women that they need to give themselves the same grace they give others. If your BFF made a mistake you wouldn’t chastise her, call her names, or deem her a complete failure, but that’s what we do to ourselves. I believe my advice is helpful and I want women to put it into practice, but there’s one problem.
It doesn’t work.
I’ve tried telling myself there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I love the verse about God rejoicing over us with singing. I want that, but the voices in my head that tell me I’m not enough are louder, more persistent, and much more convincing.
In my discipleship group we’re learning to do, ask, and pray about areas where we struggle. When we get to the root of our struggle (for me – attacking my husband like I’m a grizzly and he’s a rabbit when he tries to do nice things for me), we form a short sentence God would say to us about our false belief (I’m unorganized, incompetent or useless). Our group leader told one of the women to pray about God’s truth from Scripture, what He is saying about the lie she’s been telling herself – and then to say it tenderly like she was saying it to her daughter. In that moment, I realized why giving myself the grace I give others has never worked for me.
I don’t love me like God does.
God doesn’t want me to merely read about or tell myself He loves me. He wants me to feel, see, and taste his love for me. He wants us to consider His encouraging tone of His voice and realize that how we hear him can profoundly impact the depth of our belief of that love.
Laura Sandretti is an active speaker and blogger. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in Theological Studies at Trinity International University. Laura and her husband, Chris, have three teenagers, and live in Sussex, Wis. Visit her blog at www.laurasandretti.com/blogger.