I don’t blame my parents, or even genetics for giving me a low self-esteem.
We live in a pass-the-buck society, where it seems we all too often blame any negative character traits or misfortune on others. Not to mention the fact that when we mess up, we try to finagle our way out of the consequences by saying, “that’s just the way I am”, or by pointing our finger at someone else.
And I am just as guilty sometimes.
But there is something that I am not guilty of. Telling myself or my children that they can do “anything you put your mind to.” That really gets under my skin, because I know the truth. We cannot. And we should not feed this steady diet of self-idolizing to our children. That vulture breeds narcissism. Before you go all critical on me, and think that I am being too negative, hear me out. I love my children and grandchildren. I believe that they are gifts from God and that He has created them perfectly. But that doesn’t mean they are perfect.
Let me explain.
I was short in stature until I turned 17 and finally started to grow. I grew up playing all kinds of sports with my siblings–and wasn’t afraid to try new ones, but I knew I would never play on a basketball team with my stature and physique. So I didn’t even try. My parents didn’t encourage me or discourage me. It was just a fact. And one that I could live with because there wasn’t one thing I could do about my height (I’m 5’7″ now, but at 16 I was only 4’11”), or my ability to jump or shoot.
Here’s the thing. I love to sing, but I’m not good at it, either. I sing songs of worship at home, in the car, and at church. But I will never be a great singer–until heaven, that is. I believe I will “sing like an angel” there! It doesn’t stop me from singing, but any aspiration of a career in the music industry would put me in the same category as those “I am the next American Idol” contestants that end up rejected and dejected because they really believed that they were gifted with an incredible voice–and that the judges were just “missing out”.
And now I have grandchildren. Nine beautiful littles that are my pride and joy. They make messes, they fuss, and they sometimes even prefer Pappy over me–but I still love them. They are not perfect, but they were perfectly created for their purpose in this world. I desire everything that is good and right for them. And I pray that one day they will see how precious they are in God’s sight–and commit their lives to following Him.
Scripture says that we all are gifted in different ways. God created me uniquely to be an influence for His glory.
“For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one. Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts.” Romans 12: 3-6
Don’t you see? Each of us have talents, abilities, and characteristics that make us the unique person that we are. And we are not perfect. We never will be until heaven.
And that’s okay.
I can’t be you and you can’t be me. Learning to be comfortable with who you are is a huge step in overcoming a low self-esteem. Often the expectations we place on ourselves are just that–and they are not from God. He who created you knows you better than you do. Trust Him. Believe that He can use you and your uniqueness. Have the courage to believe that He can use you right where He has placed you. Does that mean that He would want you to be the best YOU that you can be?
That’s the key. Figuring out our talents, abilities, and skills–then honing them into the art of living. Abundantly. Joyfully. Purposefully. Intentionally.
Right now I am trying to be the best student of the Word that I can be. I am a wife, a mom, a nana. And if all I accomplish today is being the best I can be at those things, then today will be a success. No paycheck or accolade in the world is greater than these treasures, and the return on my investment is eternal.
And so today, I am grateful.
“Thank you, Father, for giving me one more day to live and love, and be who You created me to be. Help me in my humble attempts to be the best me that I can be, for Your glory.” Amen.