"Your an idiot.", "You're so dumb.", "You screwed up again, God would never want an idiot like you."
Have you ever said one of these statements or something like it to yourself?
I want to get to the root of why so many Christians struggle with this kind of self-condemnation and find some biblical principles that can assist us as we try to combat this prevalent issue.
For me, I have always known myself to have perfectionist tendencies. This kind of "perfectionism" can be understood as: a distinct desire to achieve perfection in tasks of all magnitude, regardless of importance.
The reason I bring this up is that often those who struggle with self-condemnation could be identified to some degree as a perfectionist. Although this is not a rule, it is a helpful identifier that can help us get to the root of this issue.
For many of us, we desperately want to achieve perfection. I am not only talking about moral perfection—although that is an aspect of what I'm talking about, I am also talking about many of the areas where sin is not the result of failure (for example, school performance, work achievements, relational interactions, etc. )
However, there could be an instance where failure in one of these areas could indicate a deeper moral failing, but this is usually not the case.
Because of our distinct desire to achieve in areas of our life, failure often results in a myriad of emotions and thoughts as we try to understand this failure. However, too often these thoughts are founded on lies that condemn us because of our perceived failure.
What are these lies?
"You're a screw-up, God wouldn't want you."
"Are you kidding me, why can't you get it right, you're such a loser."
"Jesus died on the cross for you and you can't even do this right; Wow."
*Insert your own lie that comes to your mind*
Believe me, when I say, these are lies, but don't just take my word for it-
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
Our striving for perfection in life will always fall short, both morally and in instances of just practical living. We can't say the exact "right thing", act the exact "right way", and accomplish exactly what we set out to accomplish.
However, that does not give you the license to condemn yourself. You have already stood condemned before the perfect law of God—yet you didn't stay there. Jesus took your condemnation on himself, in dying on the cross.
When you live in self-condemnation, you are saying that Jesus' act of taking your condemnation on himself was not sufficient and that you are the true judge of what should be condemned—you are NOT.
Who are YOU?
If you are truly going to combat this tendency of self-condemnation, you must first understand and believe who HE says YOU are.
HE says YOU are made in HIS image (Gen 1:27)
HE says YOU are no longer condemned (Rom 8:1)
HE says YOU are a new creation (2 Corinth 5:17)
He says YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
Let these truths dispel the lies that self-condemnation thrives on. When you call yourself an idiot, loser, dumb, stupid, trash, you are calling a person that bears God's image these things, which is not only a wrong thought towards an image bearer (yourself), but it is a great offense against God Himself.
Our love for God and knowledge of His truth ought to usher us into the battle against self-condemnation—because it will be a battle. For those who for years have lived in self-condemnation and develop patterns of thought that foster lies—it will be the battle of your life.
I want to encourage you to let God's truth be your weapon as you battle. His love, a cover of protection, as you break free from self-condemnation.
Song of the Week - Priceless - For King and Country
Great song, you probably have heard it before, but I think it goes well with today's topic.
Thanks for Reading, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Let me know what you think in the comments below!