But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
-1 Samuel 16:7
There are six words in the scripture above that stand out to me whenever I read this scripture; The Lord looks at the heart. How often do we look at our own hearts verses our outward appearance? How often do we focus on the lies that our abuser, the world or the enemy has told us? Self esteem is a touchy area for most women. For most of our lives we have all heard the notorious “know your worth” speeches about low self esteem stemming from magazines and television. But what if your low self esteem doesn’t stem from the media? What if it stems from the people around you? A parent, friend, family member or significant other?
It’s hard to believe good things about yourself when the people around you are toxic. This is why I want us to take our focus off of what is coming against us, and put it on what God’s Word says about us. Now this isn’t a process that will happen overnight, however, when we know truth, we know who we are. When we know who Jesus is and how much He loves us, we know our foundation. When we’re truly rooted in Christ, no lie from the enemy can sway us from our foundation. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the authority to command the enemy and his lies to leave.
Low self esteem usually stems from a lack in the areas of affirmation, encouragement and respect. When those needs are not fulfilled by the people around us, we either start to believe that we are not deserving of those qualities or we overcompensate for not receiving those things in the past. The good news is that we don’t have to live in either category. Now is the time when we focus on God and ourselves, not the people who have caused us pain.
Call It Out
Instead of mulling over the same self defeating thoughts throughout your day, it’s time to call them out. Grab a pen and some paper and write them all down or say them aloud. Call or write out every negative thought that you have of yourself or that someone has spoken over you. Then write out or speak aloud that those words spoken are lies from the enemy and that they are NOT what God sees you as. These lies are NOT who you are and they will no longer have power over you. The more that we dwell on the lies from the enemy is when our anxiety makes room for its cousin depression to creep in. The more that we declare who God says that we are, the more we will believe it. God’s truth will become ingrained in our minds.
Take a moment to pause and breathe. You are loved by Christ. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has placed you where you are in this world and you are meant to be here. Your life will serve a purpose according to His will. It will be well in your soul. Your peace, joy and your hope lies in God, not the temporary people of this world. You have access to God and can call out to Him to comfort you. You can call out to him to rescue you. You are precious in His eyes and He loves you.
We have to train our minds to know that we deserve respect, affirmation and encouragement. With this in mind, it is never a bad idea to start rewarding yourself for your accomplishments. This isn’t an excuse to go crazy and start maxing out credit cards, but to give yourself a reward in a healthy method of your choosing. Have you had a really stressful time at work this month? Treat yourself to a pedicure this weekend. Have your emotions been on a roller coaster ride lately? Set up some girl time with your closest Christian friends. Do you feel overwhelmed? Go to the park and relax with a good book. Keep in mind that self care is identifying your own needs and making steps to meet them. Treat yourself as kindly as you treat others. You deserve it.
*STOLEN is a multi-part series focusing on how we can heal from and reclaim our identity in Christ after abuse
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