NEVER FEELING ENOUGH
Growing up, I struggled with low self-esteem, as I often compared myself with others. It was as if nothing I did was ever good enough, be it in sports, music, schoolwork, how I looked, and so on. The list could only grow.
I didn’t want to feel that way, but I constantly did. I kept wondering how in the world I could escape from this torment of my own mind.
I prayed and asked God for help. Slowly, as I gave space for the Holy Spirit to work, I became more aware that I often felt an inclination to be more like someone else and I grew unhappy with the way I viewed myself. It became clearer that the real issue was that of contentment. The question I needed to answer was: Am I contented with who God has made me to be and what He has given me?
The truth is that once you start comparing, it never ends. There isn’t an end to it. In your mind, there’s bound to be someone better than you, cleverer than you, prettier than you, funnier than you … when will the comparisons stop?
When we compare with others, we forget that God made us the exact way we are. There is beauty and a special way you say or do things that only you can bring to the world. No one else can be you, so don’t rob the world of the precious gift of yourself.
WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD HAVE TO SAY?
Perhaps we need to hear the truth once again from the Bible, where Leah was looked upon as seemingly not one to be chosen or loved (Even her father had the cheek to use her as a pretender Rachel to deceive Jacob! Read more in Genesis 29.)
Yet, God chose her. God called her. God cherished her.
Leah was the one who was chosen by God to bear a son who would eventually lead to the line of Jesus (Gen 29:25, 49:10, Matt 1:1-17). It wouldn’t be a son of Rachel, the pretty and popular one. God loved Leah just as she was and chose her. He had a really important role for her to play in His story. God saw her and He had an amazing plan for her life even if it did not seem so to her at many points.
Someone had chosen her, someone did love her —
with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love
Judah was Leah’s fourth son. With the birth of her older sons, Leah had sought her worth and love from her husband which never really came in the way she had hoped. After she gave birth to her first son, she thought that Jacob would love her because of the son she had borne for him (Gen 29:32). She was disappointed. She thought of her second son as compensation for how unloved she was (Gen 29:33). Bearing her third son, Leah still held out hope that Jacob would finally be attached to her (Gen 29:34). Once again, disappointment was her close friend.
But the day she bore Judah, Leah got it. “This time”, she understood (Gen 29:35a). Even if the world did not deem her worthy of love or did not see her significance, God saw her and that’s what mattered: and so, she will praise God (Gen 29:35b). I like how the children’s author Sally Lloyd-Jones put it in The Jesus Storybook Bible: “Someone had chosen her, someone did love her — with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” Leah stopped seeking approval or letting her worth be tied to anyone else but God.
How often do we let other voices steal the worth God has already set in us? How often have we looked around and compared ourselves with others rather than look at what God has already gifted us?
Are we willing to let the walls of comparison and self-derision come crashing down and let God’s love overtake us? When we build up these walls by choosing to believe that other people or other things define us other than God, it becomes harder to hear the loving voice of God speak truth where we need it most.
Perhaps like Leah, you feel unloved, unwanted and insignificant and you can’t see how God’s good plan can take shape in your life. Look at Leah’s story and take heart. Just as Leah believed and took God’s assurance to heart, would you open your heart to hear these words for yourself today: God has chosen you. God has called you. God cherishes you.
LIVE IN GOD’S TRUTHS
Here are a few ways we can start living in God’s truth instead of lies:
- We need to renew our minds. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” We need to change how we think by submitting ourselves to God. With the help of the Holy Spirit, our minds can be transformed. But we have to begin by filling our minds with the things of God that are found in His word. We need to start learning to read and dwell upon God’s word, believing and living out the truths it tells us (Check out our article with Deborah and Elicia studying the Bible together https://www.kallos.com.sg/library/issue-43/we-did-a-bible-study-together/).
- We need to surround ourselves with people who build us up instead of tear us down. Who are the people you allow to speak into your life? Proverb 12:26 instructs, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Friends are a big part of our lives, so if we surround ourselves with authentic followers of Christ who spur us on toward Him, we are in good company.
- Take stock of the gifts God has blessed you with. Sit down and take the time to ponder about the wonderful way God has made you. Even if these things seem insignificant to you, know that God made you “fearfully and wonderfully” and there is much to praise God in that (Ps 139:14).
Hear these words for yourself today:
God has chosen you. God has called you. God cherishes you.
Let God’s truth fill your heart.
You are enough.
I too have to remind myself of this and let the Holy Spirit help me choose contentment daily. We are all on this journey with Christ, growing toward the fullness of who we have been made to be as we seek Him.
Even if you don’t feel it currently, choose to stand upon God’s truths and let that shape the way you think and act. You are a precious gift to the world, so don’t hide away but be brave and be you.