As a very capable and solid student, my ego and sense of self were fortified by my scholastic accomplishments. However, due to my achievements in school, I was ostracized, or at least that was my perception, by some of my classmates. As I moved forward in life, those moments of rejection erroneously became cemented as part of the foundation for my psyche.
Consequently, I began entertaining and, ultimately, believing a fictional lie about myself which morphed into probably the greatest and most dominant fear that I’ve encountered throughout my life, which is that I did not deserve to be loved. I have never doubted that I merited the job or the degree or the accolade. These things I could earn. It was fear of not deserving love that, in the weakest times and in the dark moments, tried to smother my light.
Fear wants us to pity ourselves, to coddle our trepidations, to shrink back giving the phobia more room to grow. Logically, I know that aforementioned untruth isn’t valid. I just have to look at all of the amazing people in my life who love me to see that this is clearly a lie. Unfortunately, the things we believe about ourselves, or more accurately, the falsehoods we believe about ourselves rarely stem from logic. Logic I can comprehend, I can figure out, I can assimilate or refute. But not deceit, untruths, or misperceptions. Those penetrate like spears, needing only the tiniest chink in our armor to meet their mark.
My fear was finally allayed when I came to know Christ. In addition to the plethora of people in my life who love and value me, God sent His only son to die for me, for us, and His love is unconditional and without exception. Have you ever loved without exception? Unconditionally? He loves me regardless of what I’ve done or of what I believe about myself or others. Same for you. Regardless. Unconditional.
I wish somebody had proverbially smacked me all those years ago when I began believing that I was less, less than who I am and less than who I was created to be, but I am so very thankful that I am no longer shackled by those chains. It doesn’t matter what others think; it never really did. I have an audience of One, the God who shaped me and understands me better than I know myself.
So, I challenge you to confront your own untruths. What deceptive thoughts or doubts creep into your mind during your weakest moments? Can you root them out? What truth can you replace them with? I’m going to call the lies as I see them, both in my life and in the lives of others (with grace, of course). I’m not going to waste any more time believing a fabrication based on experiences in my past that no longer define me. I am loved. You are loved. Let us remind one another of this constantly and without limit.