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Think of a profound, life-changing moment. What took place that made such a difference? I’ll bet the moment had something to do with accepting yourself the way God made you. Seeing yourself from a fresh perspective (God’s perspective) changes your life.
These moments don’t happen all the time, but you can make a leap forward today. What are some signs that you are due for one of these incredible moments?
I could list off a bunch of symptoms, but the end result to watch for is a heaviness brought on by negativity. Are you consistently pessimistic or discouraged? Are you consistently feeling rejected or unwanted? Does it feel like a cloud of doom is following you around?
Negativity becomes a real problem when it becomes a normal way of life. You can’t feel great all the time, but you shouldn’t be thinking that you “just have a negative personality.” Negativity isn’t a permanent problem; it’s a weight you weren’t meant to carry.
You have blind spots for good reason. Only God is omnipresent (a fancy way to say He is all-seeing). But having blind spots doesn’t mean you have to settle for ruts in your thinking.
Can you be so familiar with how you feel about yourself that you are unaware of a bias against yourself? It feels so normal it goes undetected. I do it all the time and I’m guessing you do too.
The negative bias you are carrying is a heavy load. Jesus has something to say about heavy loads. He says drop them when they serve no purpose or they block you from the life He intends.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Jesus wants you to thrive. Immediately after these verses, chapter 12 has several stories of how the Pharisees put heavy burdens on their people. Jesus doesn’t want you to be weighed down with man-made rules and requirements.
The question to ask becomes, “What rules, requirements, and burdens am I carrying that are completely unnecessary?”
God wants us to be anxious for nothing. Acceptance is the antidote to worry. If you can accept God for who He is and yourself for who He made you to be, you are most of the way there (toward loving your neighbor as yourself). When you accept someone you love them. Self-acceptance both rejects who you aren’t and embraces who you are.
If you want to dig deeper into this, work through my book Confident Identity: Christian Strategies to Forget Who You Aren’t and Discover Who You Really Are. To take one step further, read this post I wrote last year:
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.