I have to admit something. There are times when I struggle with being me. There are actions that I do or thoughts that I think that I want to find absolutely terrible. The problem is that I have to admit that at times I like doing these actions or thinking these thoughts. The fact that I at times like them gets me very disappointed with myself.
Sometimes I get so disappointed with myself that I have to honestly say that I really do not like myself. I am not pleased when I think of myself. I see my many flaws and I struggle with thinking anything good about myself. I cannot think highly about myself because I see my flaws.
I am going to share with you a few of my flaws that cause me to not like myself. This list is not even near exhaustive, but it is a good start. I start in no particular order:
1. I get mad at strangers very easily. I had a friend once compliment me by saying that I would not hurt a fly. Well, I certainly fooled him. The truth is that I kill a lot of flies. I like doing it. But I also find myself wanting to hurt complete strangers for the simplest of things. This often times occurs on the road. Honestly, if it were up to me, I would have those annoying drivers be wiped off the face of the planet. Unfortunately this trait is not limited to just the road. I can find myself angered very quickly in many other settings.
2. I like to read my own material again after I have already written it. This shows that I am egotistic. I do not reread my material just for editing purposes, I reread it because I think it is awesome. I wish I were not so egoistic. Is not that amazing: I can both not like myself and be egotistic at the same time. Amazing. Only goes to show how depraved I am.
3. I often times cannot think of the right word that I know I know. This bothers me so much. This happens often. I know a word, I know the concept of the word, yet my brain cannot seem to track it down. I know this happens to mostly everyone, but it happens to me very often. Just the other day while giving a speech I could not think of the word “protests”. I had to settle for the word “movements”. It took me 10 minutes backstage between speeches to finally find the word for which I was looking. This frustrates me because it reminds me that I am not that intelligent. Sure I have some level of intelligence, but I listen to the truly intelligent speak and they do not have the same struggles I have. Certain people just have higher brain capacity. I am not one of those persons. (To be clear, just because someone has a higher brain capacity does not mean that person will actually draw the right conclusions; it just means that they can recall more information more quickly than others.)
I have many speaking struggles. I fumble up the pronunciation of words often. Even common words. I know that practically everybody struggles with this on some level, but I have noticed that I do it at a relatively high rate.
4. I find myself repeating the same phrase over and over again. I could hear a word or phrase and find myself repeating the word either out loud or in my head many times. Sometimes somebody’s last name will get stuck in my head and I will inexplicably just start repeating it. I have very little understanding as to why this happens, but no matter the reason, I do not like that I naturally do this.
5. I fall into the same sins repeatedly. I have been trying for most of my life to live more righteously. While I have certainly made many strides, I find myself continually failing. This disturbs me. It also reminds me that I am in desperate need of a Savior. I cannot save myself. If I were to extrapolate this list and identify each sin, this blog post would be several millions of words long. This really should be the longest one of this list, but I will save you some time and settle for “sins” and let you imagine just how many there are.
6. I cannot trust myself with free time. When I have free time, I often waste it. I wish I were someone who jumped on every chance to do something productive, but unfortunately I do not. I am very easily distracted – I am sure my parents could have had me diagnosed with ADHD – even when I am trying to do something that is worthwhile. Evidence of this: I have about a dozen blog post drafts that I have not finished. Many productive people could finish them in a couple weeks. I have some drafts that are a couple years old.
7. I create completely imaginary conversations that would not exist outside my mind. This happens in many settings. For instance, I could be day dreaming a conversation that I would like to have with someone and I will repeat the exact same phrase many times. And this is not always just to make it sound better, but just because my mind likes the thought. This kind of fits in with #2 and 4 on this list. Some of these conversations are incredibly unlikely to ever happen. You know, like conversations with the President of the United States, or the person who honked at me when I passed them because they were driving too slow, or some famous celebrity. I do not know why my mind enjoys creating these conversations, but I do not like it when I find myself doing it.
8. I get tired easily and struggle with waking up. It does not matter how much sleep I get, I could take a nap during the day, everyday, and a multiple hour long nap at that. It also does not matter how much sleep I get, I struggle with waking up – even when I wake up naturally before my alarm. In other words: I am lazy. I hate to admit that, but I am. I have tried to implement actions to keep me awake like walking around, but I still end up getting tired with any time I am not physically active.
9. I quit easily when a task seems difficult and I do not already have the skills to accomplish it. I do not always give up quickly. If I have ability to fight through something, then I will. But if I have to learn something new, then I will often give up. I really do not like this about me.
10. I do not like several things about my bodily physical features. I do not like that I am shorter than the average American male, balding, losing my teeth, and have weak ankles and lower back. I also do not like that my body normally settles in about 15 lbs more than I would like to be; I wish I did not have to try so hard to look fit.
11. I am not a naturally compassionate person. When I see people struggling in life, often times my first reaction is, “Stinks for them. Life is tough. Get tough, or get run over.” I feel almost no natural compelling to assist. I know some people who are naturally compassionate, but I am not.
12. I am often times hypocritical. The moral standards of Scripture are so high that it is impossible to meet them at every moment of one’s life. The problem is that I teach these moral standards as standards to be reached but of course I fail at them many times myself. So while I am not purposefully hypocritical, I often times miss the standard that I know I should reach and that I teach other people to reach. This kills me when I finally wake up to my hypocrisy.
I recognize that several of the things I do not like about myself I can work to change. Indeed, I have worked in my life to change all of those things. However, I still find myself failing often and that is hard to take. When I fail, I feel a need to be forgiven. That is where God steps in and says, “I have you, kid.”
What can I say to these things above? All I can say is that I thank God that liking myself is not up to me. I thank God that He loves me and has endowed me with essential worth. I thank God that He recognizes my flaws and is currently helping me to fix them and that He will one day give me a resurrected body that will not decay and a mind that will think like His. I thank God that He is patient with me and still loves me even though I often kick against His plan to change me into someone who is more like Him.
I recognize that this world is not what it was created to be. It is a world in a fallen state. I recognize that I am part of that fallen world so I will naturally have some defected characteristics. I thank God that He is going to make all things new and that He is rewarding me for fighting through my defects. In fact, the bigger the defect, the greater the reward when I overcome it.
Thankfully I am not a creature who is only physical. There is more to me than meets the eye. God has given me more gifts than just my physical body. I know that there is substance in me that I have yet to show the world. I know God wants me to find all that substance that He has placed inside me and to use it to affect this world. Of course the only way that substance will be displayed is through my very flawed self. But I am not concerned about that. God knew my flaws before I did and I know He has given me the ability to use what He has given me despite my flaws.
I thank God that I do not have to compare myself to others. I thank God that He has created me to be me. I thank God that He does not let me settle for a poor version of me but that He works in me to be the best version of me that I can be. I thank God that He looks at me knowing everything about me so His expectations are not too high or too low. I thank God that He does not judge me against other people’s standards, but only His standards for me; since I know what His standards are, I know were I need to improve and that I can always fall on His grace and forgiveness.
Thank you, God, for giving me worth that exists outside my self so no matter how ugly I think I may be, I am still beautiful. Thank you for being the main reason I am valuable. You created me, you make glorious things, so I know I am glorious. God, help me to see my value despite my flaws and help me to overcome my flaws. God, thank you for not giving up on me.
Credit: David Crowder Band wrote a song called, “Everything Glorious”. It says, “You make everything glorious/And I am Yours/What does that make me?”