We continue with the subject of attitude. Now, God expects us to feel good about ourselves. In fact, he said we are to love ourselves first; then and only then can we truly have a good loving relationship with others. It can be summed up in this one commandment,”Love others as you love yourself” (Galatians 5:14 TLB).
It is clear from this commandment that you are really unable to love others if you cannot love yourself. Now we are not talking about love in a selfish kind of way, but rather a love where we like ourselves and have a healthy attitude about ourselves. Tragically though when some people look in the mirror and they do not like what they see—they, like the native (in the Part 2 story). see an enemy, an obstacle, a problem. But understand the problem is not in the mirror—it is not in ourselves but it is in our own faulty thinking about ourselves.
Someone has said, If you don’t a have a good attitude towards yourself, your neighbour is in big trouble. And that’s true—people who don’t like themselves can be very dangerous and unpleasant people to be around.
Try and Be a Forgiving Person
Three of the most beautiful and most powerful words in all of the world are I am forgiven.
Who is the hardest person for you to forgive?
Sometimes the hardest person for us to forgive is ourselves. Far too many people become their own judge, jury and executioner—continuing to inflict blow upon blow of self-condemnation upon themselves. Understand that nothing destroys one’s self-esteem more than a depressing recall of shameful deeds and re-runs of past failures. It’s a burden far too large for any of us to carry. It weighs us down—and it can result in continual trouble brewing from the inside.
Is there something you have not forgiven yourself for?
Are there some past failures you just keep on re-running in your mind, recalling and reliving that defeat, leaving you immobilised? A large fruit tree blew over in a storm. When the farmer was asked what he was going to do about it, he declared, You see, it has fruit on the branches. I’m going to gather the fruit. Then I will burn the tree, plant a new tree and move on. Sometimes experiences, relationships and situations in our lives are uprooted by the storms that descend upon us—and often times those storms are self-produced.
But understand that every one of those experiences still has some fruit for us—some lessons for us to learn. But once we’ve learned the lesson, once we have picked the fruit from its branches, it’s time for us to burn that tree (that failure, that sin), plant a new tree and then move on. It does no good for you to stare at a fallen tree and simply watch the remaining fruit die, leaves wither and branches crumble. If you have done wrong, ask God for forgiveness, and then accept his forgiveness by forgiving yourself.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
Remember, Jesus Christ died on the cross for us. Remember also that forgiveness is always by grace—it’s never earned, warranted or deserved. Believing in Jesus means accepting his atonement for your sin and shame. The Scriptures say:
- He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities…As far as the east is from the west,so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:10,12)
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
- Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
People who feel good about themselves are people who have accepted Christ’s forgiveness completely and have forgiven themselves. You see, it is so much easier to forgive others when you have completely accepted God’s forgiveness and have forgiven yourself! And the ability to forgive is a key attitude you must develop in order to get along with others.
Be Confident in Who You Are
Do you know it’s much easier to believe in God than it is to believe in yourself? If you were to conduct a survey asking 100 people if they believe in God, 99% would say yes. But when you ask those same people if they believe in themselves, most of them would have difficulty in saying yes. Scores of people suffer from lack of self-confidence. Many mistakenly think of themselves as inferior, worthless, as no good. And if you do not have self-confidence, you will not like yourself very much. And when you don’t like yourself very much you will have a bad attitude.
And so, my question is: do you believe in yourself? Now a lack of confidence can happen to any of us at times, but what can we do so that when we are asked, Do you believe in yourself?, we will be able to give a resounding Yes! in reply? We need to stop comparing ourselves with others.