There’s a little brat inside of me
who ridicules and derides me.
She calls me names
plays mind games,
until I feel like screaming.
I wish she was a friend of mine—
encouraging words all the time,
respect and grace,
a cheerful face
and support me in my dreaming.
Have you ever eavesdropped on the conversation you have with yourself? The Bible says to love others as you love yourself (Mt. 22:39), but if you talk to others in ways most of us talk to ourselves, they probably wouldn’t like it much.
You wouldn’t say to your neighbor, “You’re so stupid!”
You wouldn’t say to your children, “You never do anything right.”
You wouldn’t say to your pastor, “You’re looking old and fat today.”
But you probably tell things like these to yourself.
One day as I was taking a walk and feeling blue, I realized that I couldn’t blame anyone else for dragging me down; I was alone! I wasn’t being very good company to myself. That’s why I wrote the above poem. Since then, I’ve been making an effort to treat myself as my own best friend; I may have to put up with me for many more years!
I’m not sure which is more important; having a proper view of yourself or of God, but you can’t have one without the other. If you have a clear view of who God really is and how much He loves you, you develop a clear view of who you are and of your value.
If you’re like me and many others, a healthy self-esteem may not come natural to you. Meditate on Scriptures which clarify how much God loves and values you. Verses like these:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12: 6-7 (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 (NIV)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! I John 3:1 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
When you have a healthy love and respect for yourself, it’s easier to obey Jesus’ command of loving others. People who are down on themselves tend to be irritable and impatient toward others. There’s a saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” The wounded tend to withdraw or hurt individuals before those individuals have an opportunity to reject or hurt them. But a person who has a healthy view of themselves won’t be so sensitive to offenses,and better able to treat others with kindness.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. I John 4:7-8
This week, pay attention to those things you say to yourself, whether verbally or silently; meditate on who God is and what He thinks of you; and treat others and yourself with respect and kindness.