Stop Beating Yourself Up

Sep
27

Stop Beating Yourself Up

Recently, I was leading my women’s Bible study and one of the things we do at the beginning is to have someone give a devotion. Some women choose to share their personal testimonies of coming to Christ during that time. Kim, the woman sharing on this particular morning chose to do that.

She told us that when she was 19 years old, she left her home in South Korea to move to the United States to attend college. She didn’t know anyone there. Her English was very limited, but she came.

Once here, Kim got so homesick and discouraged that she wanted to go back home to South Korea. But then another student noticed her, and she began talking with her. They developed a friendship where Kim was introduced to Jesus. She gave her life to Him and has been serving Him ever since.

But as Kim was getting ready to close her devotion, she started talking about how she didn’t feel like she was a good enough Christian. She felt like the rest of us there that morning were doing things so much better than she was – that’s comparison and I’m going to talk about that in a few minutes.

But as Kim continued sharing her thoughts with us, I finally said, “Stop!” And told her that she was allowing the devil to trick her into believing that she was not enough.

It was time to stop.

All of us have moments of self-doubt and feeling like we’re not where we should be in life. That’s normal. As Romans 3:23 says, we all fall short. But as I told Kim, what’s not normal or good for us is to allow those moments to turn into weeks, months, and years.

The struggle is real. But there’s a key to overcoming the struggle.

And that key is self-compassion.

Self-compassion is different from self-criticism. When you focus on your setbacks and mistakes, and you focus on feeling like you’re not as far along in your life or business as you think you should be, that can lead to self-criticism.

Self-criticism has roots in the devil’s toolbox. When that voice in your head tells you that you’re a bad person, you’re not good enough, and everybody else is doing so much better than you – that’s coming from the pit of hell. That voice sounds like condemnation and its purpose is to have you feeling like you’re worthless and can’t do anything right.

That’s very different from the voice of God.

The Holy Spirit convicts us when we sin, but He never tells us that we’re worthless. He will never cause you to engage in self-criticism. His job is to turn us toward confession, repentance, and restoration.

So, instead of self-criticism, turn to self-compassion.

Self-compassion is extending compassion to yourself in instances when you feel inadequate, like a failure, or are generally suffering. Colossians 3:12 calls us to be people who “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” That compassion and kindness should be directed both inward, which is self-compassion, and outward which is compassion for others.

That means that instead of beating yourself up for how you think things should be, thank God that you have another chance to turn things around.

There are lessons you can learn from your setbacks and mistakes that can help you get back on track. Focus on those lessons. Speak life over yourself. And practice showing yourself some compassion.

Ask yourself, if a friend of mine was going through what I’m dealing with right now, what would I tell her? Then speak those things to yourself.

Remember that you are a beloved child of God. Your worth is found in Him and not what you do or don’t do.

Don’t allow the world’s standards to encourage you to continue beating up on yourself because you haven’t attained the world’s definition of success. The world’s standards are not your standards – Jesus is your standard.

Psalm 139:14 says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made” – mistakes and all, setbacks and all.

You are enough.

The Comparison Trap

One of the other reasons I see women beating themselves up is the comparison trap. Comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy.

And one culprit that helps with this is social media.

This past Monday, I was scrolling through YouTube when I saw a video from a woman who talks about fashion and organization. I’ve watched a few of her videos and found some of them to be helpful. But what caught my eye about Monday’s video was the title – “I’m Sorry.”

So, I watched a little bit of her video, where she explained that she was sorry that she wasn’t living the way she was telling other women to live in her videos. She gave two examples that brought her point home.

The first one was that if you ever see her on the street, she’s almost always in sweatpants and a tee shirt or sweatshirt. She doesn’t follow her own advice.

The second thing was that her house was always a mess. She even panned her camera around the room she was in, to show that the area in which she was filming looked like it came out of a magazine, but the rest of the space was a mess.

I didn’t watch the whole video, but just that little bit was enough to confirm the fact that a lot of what we see on social media is not real. That’s why playing the comparison game is dangerous – especially holding yourself to unrealistic comparisons.

Galatians 6:4 says, “Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.”

It’s so important to focus on your unique journey and strengths. Be thankful for how God has blessed you and the things and people He’s blessed you with.

Cultivating a heart of gratitude will help you break free from a comparison mindset. And gratitude will help you find the contentment you need in your own life so that you can stop beating yourself up.

Romans 8:28 says we know that God works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

So, you messed up. Things aren’t going well. But you have to trust in God’s timing. Because even now, He can work things out for your good.

Trusting God’s Timing

In today’s world, we often struggle with impatience and the desire for instant results. This is often called the microwave generation. We want things to happen right now.

But Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us that, “God has made everything beautiful in its time.”

We see that in the lives of Abraham, Joseph, and David, just to name a few. Their lives are perfect examples of the importance of waiting on God.

God told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the skies – but to get that blessing, he had to leave everything he knew behind and go to a new place that he’d never been before.

Joseph was minding his business when he ended up in a pit and prison before getting to the palace.

Samuel anointed David as king while he was still shepherding sheep – it would be decades before he became king.

These are just a few reminders that we’re going to go through some things before we reach our destiny.

Life might look a little dark right now, but instead of focusing on the darkness, turn your focus to the light – Jesus Christ. Have patience and trust Him and His timing.

Let go of the need for instant gratification and trust God’s plan – He does have a plan for you even now. Pray and seek His guidance so that you can see exactly what His plans for you are.

And remember Isaiah 40:31: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

The Power of Forgiveness

It’s time for you to do something different. It’s time for you to forgive yourself for the past mistakes, setbacks, and not being where you think you should be at this time in your life.

Unforgiveness toward yourself can hinder your personal growth and healing. Focusing on the bad stuff leads to beating yourself up.

So, acknowledge your mistakes, lay them at the foot of the cross, and ask God for forgiveness. That’s when healing and growth come.

There’s nothing that you or I have done that’s too big for God to forgive us for. So, go to Him and ask for what He wants to give you.

Psalm 103:12 is a beautiful promise for us: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

And when you receive God’s forgiveness, accept self-forgiveness. To do anything less than that is a trick of the enemy.

Conclusion

I know the struggle is real.

  • But don’t fall into the comparison trap because of it.
  • Trust God’s timing.
  • And forgive yourself.

It’s okay not to have it all figured out.

Just remember this – God loves you! Even when we’re a mess, He still loves us. Even when we don’t do what He’s called us to do, He still loves us.

So, be kinder to yourself. Stop beating yourself up for things you can’t change from your past.

Go to Jesus instead. And ask Him for the strength to start over again. He’ll do it – He’s done it for me, and I know He’ll do it for you.

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