Gratitude Day 583
2 Corinthians 8:12 – For if the intention and desire are there, the size of the gift doesn’t matter. Your gift is fully acceptable to God according to what you have, not what you don’t have.
Most days, I am my own worst enemy.
I’m more critical of myself than most others will be.
No one has higher expectations for me than I do for myself.
And that little constant tape of information that spins through your brain at 30,000 miles per hour? It’s more constructive than praiseworthy.
Maybe it’s just me but I can be uber critical of myself.
When someone points out an error or mistake that I made, I spend more time figuring it out how it happened than anyone else.
When I look in the mirror, I see all of my physical faults … and not the thinner version of me that exists after changing my eating plan.
And all those 30,000 thoughts that buzz through my mind each day? Yep, they point out where I failed more often than where I potentially made a difference.
Anyone else with me?
While it’s easy to share encouraging comments with others, they remain elusive and distant when it comes to evaluating my own work. Grace is more often dished out to other folks than to me. I have high expectations with a critical eye when it comes to evaluating myself.
Some say this is good. I subscribe to the notion that it’s best not to be too full of yourself. Humbleness IS a positive virtue that our world needs a lot more of these days. And so, I often downplay where I could pat myself on the back. Attention and accolades make me terribly uncomfortable. And I can quickly and easily gift someone else something but find it awkward to accept something from someone else.
Even as I type these sentences, there’s a part of me that wants to hold down the backspace key and erase them all.
Anyone else have any of these same feelings? Challenges? Feel my pain?
I can also think of those people who exuberate total self-confidence in themselves and self-profess that they ARE the best in their chosen field. I get it. It takes a huge amount of personal confidence and belief that you can and are the best. Secretly, there’s a part of me that wishes I had just a dose of their attitude, while a hot minute later, I find it all a bit annoying.
Sometimes, we’re too critical of ourselves. Other times? Not enough. While we may swing on this pendulum of confidence/lack of confidence in ourselves, there is no question this also affects how critical we are of ourselves.
Multiple times a day, I find myself wishing that I would handle a situation differently. Or hoping that my thoughts are creating more of an instance than others are. More often, I tend to swing in the direction of being way to critical of myself. While this can be a good gut-check, it can also be exhausting. Depleting. Draining.
For today, let’s set aside the comparison game and be less critical. Let’s let situations evolve and happen without too much manipulation from the inside. Let’s be much more grace-filled with ourselves. Why? Because God certainly is.
When we continue to knock ourselves and others down, we’re basically saying that the One who created us didn’t do a particularly good job. I’m completely convinced that God’s definition and understand of grace is much deeper and broader than ours ever will be. Thank goodness.
On this day of Lent, let’s be more forgiving of ourselves. Let’s allow for more grace and less counting of wrongs. Can we see the beauty of our giftedness more so than the places where we messed up?
Yes, forgiveness is a terribly important part of the Christian journey. Without a doubt we need accountability, if only to ourselves. Acknowledging this holds with it the promise of faith filled with just the right amount of humbleness and acceptance of wrong helps keep us a grounded.
So today, think about where you are most critical of yourself. As you do this, you may begin to think about how others need to do a personal examination and made some changes. For today, think only about yourself. For most of us, there’s plenty here to deal with.
Now, appreciate all of the gifts God has blessed you with. Let this guide your thoughts about you as a beloved child of God rather than the negatives. Keep yourself present with God as you do this exercise, ready to let your gifts way outnumber your faults. After you have spent some time with this, let’s pray together.
For God’s ability to focus less on my faults that I am, I am grateful.
Lord God – I know that I spend too much time focusing on where I have faults and have made mistakes much more than where You have gifted us. Together, just for one day, can You inspire me to be less critical of myself? More willing to focus on where I add value and assistance rather than where I have messed up? Thanks for Your inspiration today. Amen.
Stop by diannedeatonvielhuber on Instagram today for a few more thoughts about today’s Lenten topic.
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