For as you think in your heart, so are you
C.S. Lewis, in his short fantasy “The Great Divorce” has a character that carries a little red lizard on his shoulder which is constantly whispering dark and doubtful thoughts into his ear. Pity we don’t have one of those to blame for the dark and doubtful stuff; but then, I reckon the Devil already gets blamed for a lot more than he really does.
Actually we follow our own suggestions. James ch4
So it is important that we think rightly about ourselves as Romans 12:3 suggests…
For by the grace given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him. (Amp)
By inference, we are not to think less of ourselves than we ought either, as this is just as destructive in the other direction.
One way of testing our thinking is how we respond to a compliment. If we find ourselves swelling with pride we might just be thinking on the high side. If we belittle the compliment then we are thinking too low. I have found it helpful to make myself accept the compliment as it is given regardless of my internal reaction, and say “Thank you”. Doing this seems to help one establish a right internal balance of self-esteem.
When God created, he looked at what he had done and “Saw that it was good”. There is no inkling of pride or depreciation in that, but there is a sense of satisfaction and achievement. No comparison with anyone else, only a level assessment of truthful reality. That’s a great example for us to follow.
You see, if one is full of pride, there is no room for the Holy Spirit to bring God’s presence. If one is full of self-depreciation, then God’s Holy Spirit cannot bring God’s presence for we will not allow it as we consider ourselves not worthy of it.
If you are caught up in this self-image imbalance, there are folk in the church that can help, so do talk to your pastor.
And remember, the ugly duckling just didn’t know he was really a swan.
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