There are times when I really can beat myself up like no one else could. I am without a doubt my own worst critic and when I get on a roll it is so easy to rip myself apart from one end to the other, finding fault in everything I think, say or do. I’ve made enough mistakes in my life that I have plenty of ammunition for the assault on myself, so I need no assistance from others. Though often it is others that trigger it, and there is nothing that can get under my skin like someone finding fault with me. I spent a lot of years with self esteem that was almost non-existent so it pains me a lot when someone dislikes me, especially when I don’t really understand why.
But then I remember that my worth is not in the minds of others around me. My worth is not really even my own. Any value is in Christ. God sees me through the blood of His beloved Son, making me priceless, and whole, and perfect. In Christ I am everything I should be, though that perfection won’t be seen this side of eternity, it is there. And it is now how I try to steer my thinking about myself. As my favorite Jason Gray song says, “I am not defined by mistakes that I’ve made”. And I’m not. I’m defined by who I am now with renewed faith.
Psalm 139 says that I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. WONDERFULLY made, and that God knew everything about me down to how many days I will be on this earth, long before I ever was conceived. I would say that makes me pretty darn spectacular, mistakes and all. Jason’s song goes nicely with this Psalm, which is one of my very favorites!
Psalm 139 (New King James Version)
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.