The Heart We Are Breaking When We Lie About Our Self

One day I overhead one of my children putting them self down. In an angry voice saying they were no good and stupid.

Well, that raised my hackles faster than anyone putting me down.

I paused outside the partially opened door. Trying to calm down. Take a few breaths. So, fire would not emerge when I spoke.

Slowly I opened the door and saw my child heaped on the floor in a pile of self-pity and anger.

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Me. I am so stupid.”

“No, you are not,” I countered. Sitting down and pulling them to my lap.

“Yes, I am.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because I am. I got those math problems wrong and I should have gotten them right.”

“Who says?”

They looked at me.

“Well,” I said. “I am your momma and I birthed you and I say you are smart, kind, a joy, and so precious. You are such a blessing to me and others.”

“Really?”

“Yup. So, you got a few math problems wrong. That doesn’t make you stupid. Those can be redone. We can learn what we don’t know. Not knowing something happens to all of us.”

“I guess.”

“But here is the part that hurts me the most.” I paused. “Not the math problems. But you lying to yourself. You saying you are stupid and no good. That lie about breaks my heart.”

“Why?”

“Because it is false. As your momma, I hear you say those words and it breaks my heart. Probably because you are telling yourself a lie. And maybe even believing it. And maybe because I am your momma and I know you so well. In a way I feel like you are part of me and when you call yourself stupid and no good, I feel like it is my fault and I am too.”

I don’t know about you, but to this day, when I hear one of children say something hurtful and untrue to themselves, it breaks my heart.

It doesn’t happen often, but if I hear them, my first instinct is to yell, “stop!”

“Stop lying to yourself. Stop putting yourself down.”

I don’t often say it, but sometimes I am thinking, “Stop, because it hurts me to hear you say that.”

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

The Lies we Believe.

 

Kids give us new awareness. New understanding.

One day I was calling myself stupid out loud. Thinking no one was around. Frustrated with how events were unfolding and realizing how little control I have when it comes to daily life turning out the way I wish.

My child heard me.

“Mom!” they said. “That is not true. Remember you are not to tell yourself lies.”

Well, they had been listening. And were now preaching back at me when I needed it.

“Be nice to yourself.” They reminded me with a hug.

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

The lies we tell ourselves.

 

We have this habit of telling our self lies. Of putting our self down. Of criticizing our self according to the standards of another, or our own.   Sometimes we even engage in destructive behavior.

What would our children, friends, and mates think if they heard the voices and thoughts in our head? If those voices were said aloud?

Probably their hearts would break, and they would say, “Be nice to yourself.”

“Quit lying to yourself.”

“Don’t believe those lies. ”

And we would say something similar back to them.

Because friends don’t let friends put themselves down.

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

The heart that breaks when we tell our self lies.

 

Since that conversation where I thought my heart would break when I heard my child calling them self no good and stupid, I have wondered what does God think when we say similar things about our self?

We are his children. His creation. His beloved.

How this must break his heart.

How he must want to tell us to stop.

Stop with the lies.

Stop with the hate directed at our self.

Stop with the disgust directed at our self.

Stop comparing our self to unrealistic standards and feeling like failures.

Stop. Because his heart is breaking for us.

All the while pulling us into his lap and stroking our hair.

 

Remember this.

We are his beloved children.

He never hands out disgust, shame, condemnation, or incrimination.

Instead he hands us grace. Love. Truth. A sunset. A laugh. And other good gifts.

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

Prayer: Lord, help us to see ourselves through your eyes. As your creation. To know deep in our hearts, we are your beloved child – no matter what we do or say, or how we feel. You will never leave us, shame us, or condemn us. We are yours and have been bought at a great price. Help us receive your grace and love as the true gifts they are. Amen

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How do you feel when a loved one puts them self down? What is your first instinct?

 

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), Anita Ojeda (#inspirememonday), and Mary Geison (#tellhisstory).

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

How the lies of negative self-talk hurt more than just us.

Why It’s Hard to Be a Gracious Receiver

At the convenience store tucked along a corridor of the Atlanta airport, I am next in line to pay for my bottles of water and packages of string cheese.

I un-tuck the water from my arms and hand her my credit card. She swipes the card.

“Denied,” she says.

She swipes it again.

“I’m sorry,” she says, handing me the card. “It’s been denied twice.”

My mind races. My purse with other cards is back at the gate.

“Does it say why?” I ask.

“No.”

Then I remember how we are headed out of the country. “Must be because of the travel notification I placed on the card saying we would be out of the country starting today,” I say. Trying to explain it to myself and her.

I mumble, embarrassed, that I will return with another card.

But when I arrive at the gate, the plane is beginning to board.

“Forget the water,” my husband says, “we will be boarding soon.”

I gather my backpack and wait for our section to be called.

I notice a lady is standing nearby, handing me a plastic bag. “This is yours,” she says.

I glance at her and the bag. I’ve seen neither before. And I must look confused.

“It’s your water,” she says, holding the bag closer. “We are on the same flight. I heard about your card and got it for you.”

I smile and thank her. Then she is gone, gathering her own items for boarding.

My son steps up. “Mom, what’s in the bag?”

I tell him about trying to buy the water, my card being denied, and the lady paying for my purchases and bringing them to me.

“That’s so nice,” he says.

And it is. She didn’t need to do it. But what a blessing that she did. Her kindness lifts my spirits and I feel taken care of. Seen.

But I also feel a bit weird. Like maybe I need to rush over and hand her cash to refund her.

Or find something to do for her.

For a second, I wonder what I did to deserve this.

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

What are your internal thoughts when receiving?

 

Probably something similar has happened to you.

Someone passing on a little kindness.

Blessing your day.

Seeing you need help.

Stopping to notice you for a moment.

And I am sure you do, and have done, random act of kindness for others.

But what are your thoughts and how do you feel when someone gives you something?

Gratitude? Or embarrassment?

Thankfulness? Or thinking you don’t deserve it?

Amazement? Or wondering what they want in return?

Happiness? Or thinking there is something wrong with the person to give you something?

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

 

Why it’s hard to be a gracious receiver.

 

If you are like me, you are a doer. And probably feel best when you are the one doing the act of kindness.

Maybe because then we feel like we are in control. (We decide where, who, when, etc. )

Maybe because it is a bit scary to be on the receiving end. (What if we don’t like what they are giving? Or would rather do it our self? Or have someone else do it?)

Maybe we don’t want to be indebted to others. Or think strings will be attached.

Maybe we see receivers as selfish, and we don’t want to be selfish.

Maybe we feel we don’t deserve the thing given. Or haven’t earned it.

Maybe we have heard the verse, it’s better to give than receive, and we want to be the givers. (They do sound more important, don’t they?)

Maybe we just have a hard time receiving due to our childhood, feeling of worth, background experiences, or our thoughts on giving and receiving.

Whatever the reason, my guess is that some people would rather be on the giving end. And they have a hard time being on the receiving end.

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

Learning to graciously receive gifts from others.

 

It can be hard to be on the receiving end. I would rather give than receive.

One Christmas season I was mainly in bed due to morning sickness. I was worried my husband would forget to get me a gift. And then when he gave me a ring, which I thought was rather extravagant, I was worried that he spent too much. And of course, said so. Taking some of his joy as the giver.

You see, I wanted a gift, but on my terms and guidelines. (Which isn’t very nice to the giver, because if they don’t do it right, according to us, then we can get blamed for not doing it right).

Over the years, I have come to realize I need to do a better job at receiving gifts. To receive them with without feeling indebted. To receive them joyfully.

I know I don’t want to do acts of service for others and then get grilled about my gift

Be questioned about my motives.

Be told it was unnecessary. A waste of money or time. Or told I did it wrong.

And neither do others.

It leaves a sour taste in the giver’s mouth, and our prideful mouth too.

We need to learn to be appreciative and gracious receivers.

Take the focus off our self and put it on them. They don’t give gifts or do things for us because we earned it or deserve it. But because they want to.

When our five-year-old gives us a back rub that feels like a tickle fest on our back, say thank you.

When a friend brings us a dinner of minestone soup, when we had a hankering for fried chicken, tell them what a blessing they are.

When someone motions for us go first at the four-way stop, graciously nod your head and go first.

When someone gives us what we consider an extravagant gift, stop your mouth from saying anything unkind. A thank you, a big hug, and a smile will do.

When someone offers to babysit, say yes and thank you.

When your kid throws their arms around you and says they love you, quit thinking about how you are not a good enough mom, and love them back.

Learn to receive the gift without scorn, guilt, embarrassment, or thinking they should not go to all that trouble.

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

 

We need both, so be a grateful receiver.

 

My dad used to say, “We need receivers for there to be givers.”

He was a giver. He did for others. Served at church. Fixed wash machines of single mothers. Gave gas money for families in need. Took his neighbor grocery shopping. Listened to people no one had time to listen to.

I know it was hard for him to be on the receiving end of someone doing for him. He was lecturing himself too.

But he was right. If we were all givers, who would be receiving? And without receivers, how would the givers be blessed?

We want to be gracious receivers.

Receivers of the gifts from those around us.

Receivers of God’s free gifts. Which can most definitely seem extravagant. (Especially on our not so good days.)

He gives grace, not scorn. Forgiveness, not condemnation. Blessings not curses. Good, not bad gifts.

Not because we deserve them. Or have earned them. But because he loves us. Wants to shower them on us. Because he sees us and knows us intimately. Because he sees us through Christ’s worthiness and work. Because we are part of his family.

Let’s be grateful receivers. It’s one of the best gifts we can give the giver.

Joyful for what we are given.

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: How do you feel on the receiving end? What has someone done for you that surprised you?

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#porchstories).

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

Why is it harder to receive gifts, than give gifts. Stop being critical of them or yourself. Receiving gifts graciously is a gift we can give the giver.

 

Quit Thinking You Are the Only Failure: Because You Are Not

I walked confidently and relaxed into the hairdresser. It was time for a little relaxation.

Being about ten minutes early, I was told by the other hairdresser that Jason would return in a few minutes. Enough time for a cup of tea, I thought. And proceeded to get one.

Within minutes I was sipping my tea, beginning to relax from the hurry and stress of the day.

Then I got a text message. Reminding me that my hair appointment was on Thursday. As it was currently Tuesday, realization dawned on me that I was exactly 48 hours early.

My feelings of relaxation oozed away. Like water from a colander.

I explained the situation to the other hairdresser, who joked it’s better to be early than late, and took my leave.

I was feeling a bit discouraged and idiotic. Like a fish who finds they’ve jumped out of the water and smack into the middle of the dock. Because you see, it wasn’t the first time I had showed up at the right time on the wrong day. Or the right day and wrong time. Once I was two weeks early to an eye appointment.

Ugg. So, there I was kicking myself and thinking about the wasted time, wishing I didn’t have this past history of doing this before, and wondering what my husband would say when I showed up an hour early for our after-haircut-walk that we had planned.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.Do you ever feel this way? Surprised, and then embarrassed and disappointed that you have managed to do the same thing again.

Only sometimes it is a lot more serious than being two days early for an appointment.

Maybe you yelled at your kids again and you feel you are making no headway in patience. Maybe you just got done scrolling through Instagram and you find yourself judgmental and critical. Maybe you catch yourself playing favorites with your children. Telling your sibling an untruth. Trying to control the situation to get your desired outcome. Or maybe your past is haunting you and causing your shame.

Whether you are feeling like a failure. An imposter. A bad mother. Mired yet again in sin. Or just like you are not making any headway with your problems that haunt you.

You are not alone.

This is a universal and human problem.

And that is a comforting thought.

Because our enemy wants us to think that everyone else (or at least most everyone else) is not as flawed as us. Not as prone to make the bad choices we do. Not so mired in bad habits as we are. Or that they are all leading lives free from mistakes and surprises.

When the truth is, they are not.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

How do I know you are not the only failure?

 

Because when I read the bible, I see a host of humans just like me who struggled and messed up and sinned and made the wrong choices. And while I am not cheering for them to do the wrong thing, it brings me comfort and encourages me that they are also human.

Abraham lies to the king about Sarah being his wife. And not just once, but twice.

Even after God corrects him, he does the same thing again.

I can relate with that.

And yet God doesn’t withdraw his favor from Abraham. He doesn’t strike him dead. No, he lovingly protects Sarah from the King’s advances and returns Abraham’s beautiful wife to him, yet again.

We may expect a little revenge or withdrawal from God about now in the story. But no. He still keeps his promise to give Abraham a son from which will spring a whole tribe to numerous to count. And what does he call Abraham? His friend.

I read this and know that God doesn’t retract his promises to us based upon our performance. He doesn’t ever abandon us based upon our choices. He doesn’t just leave us to muddle through and get ourselves out of our own messes. He is not vindictive, but instead forgiving. Gracious.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. That for our life to count our day must be going well and nearly perfect. That our mistakes unqualify us. Our sins keep us from being used in powerful ways by God. And yet none of this is true. God knows we are human. He knows our frailties, is not surprised by our sins, our day we think is unfolding in the wrong direction.

So, if you are wondering if God loves you. If his promises apply to you. If he is going to finish his work that he began in you, just start reading about the characters in the bible. And take comfort because they are flawed humans just like you and me.

They try and control their future. Like Tamar sleeping with Judah, and Sarah trying to get a child by giving Abraham her slave.

They lose their temper, like Peter cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s slave, or Moses yelling at the Israelites.

They forget to keep their commitments and fail to do what they are told to do, like Peter, James, and John falling asleep while Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gathsemone.

Some have a sordid past, like Rahab, who will marry an Israelite and be mentioned in the line of Jesus.

They fight and cheat their siblings, like Lea and Rachel and Jacob and Esau.

They are critical and judgement of their leader, like Miriam of her brother Moses.

They play favorites with their children, like Rebecca favoring Jacob over Esau, and then Jacob favoring Benjamin and Joseph over his other sons.

They persecute the saints, like Paul before his conversion.

They overlook their children’s indiscretions and fighting with one another, like David.

They run from their mission, like Jonah.

They are tormented and teased about being different, like Hannah who strikes a bargain with God to get a son.

If you think the bible is full of unflawed characters who do what they are supposed to do and don’t question God’s timing or make wrong choices, think again.

Biblical characters are unperfect. But God still uses them in his story of love and ministry.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

 

You are in good company. And God can use you too?

 

Don’t get discouraged by life and your flaws.

God is using you too. And he promises he will complete the good work of salvation he started in you. He’s going to make sure you make it into his family and obtain salvation.

Now there is a comforting thought.

Take heart. Know you serve a loving God. A forgiving God. A God that is helping us all along the way. A God who uses highly flawed people.

Your mistakes and sins and life choices don’t disqualify you. They don’t keep you from being used in powerful ways. No, they are all part of his glorious plan. And they point others to God’s goodness.

Quit doubting that you will somehow blow your salvation, turn others from God, or miss your chance to leave a mark on others. Focus instead on doing the next right thing in obedience. Because he is cheering you on, using you, and extending his grace all over your life.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How are your failures being used as an asset?

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#porchstories).

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.

We have this false notion that God uses only nearly perfect people. The truth is that your mistakes and sins don't disqualify you, they point others to God's goodness.