"Oh, you are just as beautiful as they are. I think you will get married before them!"
"I am so fat."
"You are not fat! How could you think that?"
"I am such a klutz! I can't do anything right!"
"Yes you can! You do things way better than I ever could!"
Have you ever said anything like this and gotten a similar response to it? I have. Many times.
Why do we say things like this? Is it because we actually think we are ugly, or fat, or stupid, or a klutz? Or do we have another motive?
Allow me to share with you what I have learned from saying things like this for years.
- A false sense of humility
I thought I was being humble. Well, to put it more accurately, I wanted to believe I was being humble. But in actuality, it is pride. Have you ever had a conversation with someone, where it is centered around them? Didn't talking to them get old after a while? That is what we are doing when we say these things. You are looking for compliments, so you can feel good about yourself, but in all truth, you are focusing on yourself.
- Goin' fishin'
Like I mentioned in #1, I think another reason is that we are fishing for praise, so we can feel better about ourselves. Everybody likes praise, but when it doesn't come all the time, we sometimes feel like we need to "help" people see our good qualities. "I can't do anything right" could be translated, "Notice everything I have done right!" Again, it boils down to pride.
We need to know people like us, think we are pretty, or, plainly put, worship us. But I find when friends answer me like I expect them to, I become even more insecure. It never works.
- Rejecting God
You are rejecting the way God made you. God made you for a special purpose, and He made you just the way you are. So by criticising yourself, you are blaming God. Now, don't get me wrong, this is not an excuse to not lose weight, or make yourself look nice. God wants us to take care of ourselves, and neglecting ourselves is irresponsibility.
Though these are only four reasons, they are, in my opinion, the four main reasons why I personally put myself down all the time.
Finally, I came to realize why it was so wrong. Yes, pride is a horrible sin that God abhors, and we should find our security in Christ, but that was not the reason, I believe, that made it so inerrant.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are brought with a price: therefore glorify God, in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Also, God said we are made in His image. You know what that means? Every time someone rejects themselves, they are rejecting God. They are also condemning God's temple. The place wherein God dwells. We are not our own to reject or glorify. We are God's. Everything about us is centered on God. You have no right to criticize or reject God's body.
Perhaps you don't say things like this. But maybe when you started reading this, a name or two came to mind. Here is some advice to say when someone says this to you.
1. Tell them the truth. Let them know they are not criticizing themselves, but rather God. Don't allow them to say things like that about themselves.
2. If they are not Christians, don't say anything. If you don't respond to it, they will realize that their "game" doesn't work, and they will stop saying it around you.
3. DON'T TELL THEM WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR! That is the most important thing. You may think you are helping them, but you are actually making them feel even more insecure. If you can't tell them the truth, don't say anything. But for pity sake, don't tell them they aren't fat, or they are beautiful, or they are really good at things. Correct them and guide them into a better way of thinking. Because, where this ultimately leads is that they say these lies long enough, they will start to believe them. And then it turns into self pity. They will think that people are justifying the way they feel, which feeds the pattern, and they get so caught up in it, that that is all they can think about. Then it controls more and more areas of their life, until nothing but the mighty grace of God can save them. Believe me, I was there. And since then, I have been able to see it in other people's lives, and pin point exactly where their thinking is in error.
I thank God for allowing me to go through this, and it breaks my heart to see others head into this terrible pit. Please search your own heart to see whether this is true in your life, and and change your stinkin' thinkin' before it becomes a way of life.