Principles of Life 6
Acceptance of Self
Forming Attitudes About Ourselves
Our attitude toward ourselves has a profound influence on our attitudes toward God, our family, our friends, our future, and many other significant areas of our lives. When we have a wrong attitude about ourselves it affects every other relationship we have in our life. Because of this we should develop these attitudes in a Godly way.
This is what happens when we develop wrong attitudes: We end up measuring ourselves with the outward standards of those around us in order to gain approval. Instead we should be comparing ourselves with the inward character of Jesus Christ in order to receive God's Approval.
(John 5:44) How can you believe, who receive glory one from another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?
(II Corinthians 10:17, 18) But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself, is approved, but he, whom God commendeth.
(II Corinthians 12:12) For we dare not match, or compare ourselves with some, that commend themselves; but we measure ourselves by ourselves, and compare ourselves with ourselves.
Evidences of Self-Rejection
As we grow up, most of us have physical, mental or parental characteristics which are different from those around us. Thats what makes us a unique creation of God? We are all a bit different! Many times during our school years, classmates point out our differences by making fun of our differences. Sometimes the result causes us to be concern about how we appear to others. Below are some of evidences of how we deal with these concerns and what scripture says about it.
- Over Attention on Clothes
Undo concern for clothes may be an attempt to cover up or compensate for unchangeable physical features which are rejected.
(Matthew 6:27,28) And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous?
- Inability to Trust God
If we reject God's basic design in making us, it may then also be difficult to put confidence in the Designer for other areas of our life.
(Ephesians 2:10) For we are his workmanship …....(Psalms 138:14) I will praise thee, for thou art fearfully magnified: wonderful are thy works, and my soul knoweth right well.
- Excessive Shyness
Fear of what others will think of us may then cause others to reflect our attitudes of fear back to us. You can see an illustration of this in the Life of King Saul. (See I Samuel 9 and 10)
- Difficulty in Loving Others
We are to love the brethren just like we love God. Thus, if we cannot love God in the right way, we will also find it difficult to love others in the right way.
(I John 4:20) If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?
Complaints about unchangeable physical features, abilities, parentage and social heritage are significant indications of self rejection.
(Isaias 45:9) Woe to him that gainsayeth his maker, a sherd of the earthen pots: shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it: What art thou making, and thy work is without hands?
- Wishful Comparison With Others
Desiring to be different in areas that cannot be change is a clear evidence of self-rejection. On the other hand, we should desire to be different in attitudes and character which do not conform to the image of Christ.
(Romans 9:20) Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it: Why hast thou made me thus?
- Floating Bitterness
Many have said, “I hate myself.” they may be referring to things which they have said and done, or they may be referring to their whole being. In the latter case, their final hatred will be directed toward the one who made them.
(Ephesians 5:29) For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church:
It is healthy to a certain degree to keep improving on what we have done. But when the time expended outweighs the value of the accomplishment, then it is an unhealthy evidence of self-rejection.
- Attitudes of Superiority
If we should boast of our achievements or if we would refuse to associate with certain classes of people, we would be exhibiting outward indications of both pride and inferiority. A person who appears superior is actually a person who inwardly feels inferior but is trying to narrow his field of comparison.
(I Corinthians 4:6-7) Therefore....why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
- Awkward attempts to hide unchangeable defects.
Self-conscious actions or statements to cover unchangeable “defects” may indicate self rejection. If we have a “defect” which we cannot change and which God through prayer has not changed, then we are able to claim
(II Corinthians 12:9) “...And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
An evidence of self-rejection may be in the form of lavish spending on expensive items in the hopes that they will bring new admiration and acceptance to the owner. It can be spent on themselves or spent on others.
(Luke 12:15) “For a man' s life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.”
- Wrong Priorities
When we neglect God given responsibilities in order to spend great amounts of time in pursuits which will bring acclaim from others, we may be revealing evidence of self-rejection. Rather, “let every one prove his own work, and so he shall have glory in himself only, and not in another.” (Galatians 6:4)