The Sin of Self-Hatred, Part II


Don’t confuse self-loathing with humility. It is not.
The Bible tells us that no one hates his own body (Ephesians 5:29). However, we know people abuse their bodies and treat them with the disregard the Bible refers to as hate. Yet even in this, people who hate themselves usually compensate “by nourishing and cherishing it”, typically in an unbalanced way.
Self-hatred very well may be a way to resolve anger with our creator and Supreme King. We understand that it is dangerous to be angry at God for either how we are or what we endure, so we simply hate His creation (ourselves). Hating what God has created in us or blaming Him passively for what we have become is not humility.
I am not certain that any of us are free from some self-hating. A study was done many years ago with high school students, asking them if they were completely satisfied with how they were, or would they change something if they could. The percentage of those who would change something about how they look was startling. I don’t recall the percentages but I believe them to be in the nineties. They were presented by the Institute of Youth Conflicts for many years.
True humility is giving God His high and holy place in your life. It doesn’t involve hate, resentment or shame of self. It does involve gratitude for God’s mercy and grace, and a full embracing of His declarations over you and His judgments of your identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). It recognizes that without Christ I am nothing, but because I have trusted Him, I will never be without Him. I can do all things through Christ who is responsible for who I am and the strength to do what he calls me to do (Philippians 4:13).
So, what do we do about self-loathing that we might not even recognize?
1. Constantly examine your heart for healthy humility. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalms 139:23-24.
2. Involve an accountability partner( or more than one), a good pastor or counselor, and a good Church, those who will honestly and loving point out your quirks. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Caution: Avoid Churches, pastors and teachers who use guilt and shame theology to control their people, believing it to produce righteous choices. For those who have trusted in Christ, there is simply no condemnation that will stand against us (Romans 8:1).
3. Study, journal and rehearse God’s descriptions of His people* and not the popular theological jargon of “just sinners saved by grace”. God calls you holy and blameless, accepted and accepted, a prophet (or prophetess), priest (or priestess), royalty, more than a conqueror (search the scriptures). He is clear that this is not based upon our righteousness, but the blood of Jesus, imputed to us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and the declaration of the Judge based upon the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice for us (1 Peter 2:24, and many more). He is the Judge, and we are not. Believe Him and honor His ruling.
*For additional information on who we are in Christ Jesus from the proper biblical perspective, read my friend’s books, the late Dr. Bill Gillham. The titles are “Lifetime Guarantee” and “What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity”.

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