Self-Confidence

If you post nothing but positivity and perfection on social media, you make everyone else feel bad.  While everyone also believes that there is absolutely no way your life is that perfect.

You’re just faking it.

You shouldn’t brag about your accomplishments.

But you shouldn’t have low self-esteem.

Do this.

Don’t do that.

Act this way.

Don’t be absurd.

Why are you being like that?

Just be real.

Oh, but not that real.

Share your feelings.

But only if they’re positive.

But be real.

Admit your struggles.

But don’t talk bad about yourself.

Have self-confidence.

But be humble about it.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Because it certainly does to me.  There is such a fine line between self-confidence and self-deprecation that it’s truly a wonder if any of us have a small measure of mental health.

After a lifetime of never feeling like I was good enough, or smart enough, or just plain enough…I finally feel like I’m maybe, almost making a little bit of progress.  Not to say that this isn’t a daily struggle.  Because it is.

But…

I know that I do not need to settle for anything less that I deserve.  And when I say that, I mean…I’m smart, I’m capable, I’m strong, I’m stubborn, I’m funny, I’m kind, I’m a million different things.

And when I say that I shouldn’t settle for anything less than what I deserve, I will not settle for anything less than someone or something that sees who I truly am, and isn’t fearful of that.  I will not surround myself with people who choose to put me down instead of lift me up.

We often get so focused on what other people think of us, and how other people make us feel about ourselves that we lose sight of what is truly important.

God.

Not only who God is to us…Father, Creator, Friend, Strength…but also who we are to God…loved child.

We.  Are.  Loved.

Daily, we are surrounded by so much love, it can be overwhelming, it can seem false, but it is never unfailing.

Never.

Do you need to read that again?

Because God’s love for you never fails.

No matter what you’ve done.  No matter how unloving you have acted.  God’s love for you has never failed.

It seems incredible, doesn’t it?  That someone loves us without any type of condition laid upon us.

Yet, it’s the truth.

So…

How can that truth help us navigate the tricky path that I laid out above?

Let’s talk about the word humble.  The act of “being humble” does not mean self-deprecating.

To be self-deprecating means to put yourself down.  To say that you are less valuable that you actually are.

But to be humble means to have knowledge and confidence in who you are, and knowing that all you are, all you have, is because of God.

Does that solve a lot of problems?

Well, yes.

I will.  Maybe not instantly.  But it will definitely solve a lot of problems.  And it will help you build a more firm foundation to navigate the rest of the challenges that life throws your way.

So now that we have the easy answer out of the way…what does this really look like?  How do we begin to implement this in our lives?

It isn’t easy.

It isn’t fast.

But it is so worth it.

God didn’t create worthless pieces of junk.

So maybe one of the things that you need to do is take some time to really look at yourself, and who you are, and the things that you offer to the world around you.  Write out a list of all of the good things that you are if you need to.  Turn it into a poster and hang it on your wall if you need to.  Whatever you need to do to remind yourself of your value.

Read your Bible.  I cannot stress this enough.  You must spend time reading, studying and understanding God’s words to truly understand who He is.  I can sit here and type until my fingers bleed about who God is.  But until you actually get into a relationship with Him, you won’t really know Him.

Now…can the Bible be complex, and overwhelming?  Absolutely.  It can be terrifying.

But it’s ok to be afraid, and still move forward and do it.

I promise you, it will be worth it.

Maybe take it slow if you need to.  Get help when you need it.  Ask questions.  Just, please, make sure you’re asking for help from people who have some understanding of the Bible.

Once you have taken those 2 steps, something will naturally happen.  You start to take a look at what you’re doing, who you’re surrounding yourself with, and you really start to take a look inward about whether you need to make any changes in your life.

And guess what?

Those negative voices that have surrounded you in the past, the voices that have tried to bring you down…once you stand up for yourself, and have confidence in yourself, those negative voices tend to weed themselves out.

Not always (unfortunately) so you may need to make some drastic changes to your social scene.

But you won’t be sorry for it.

My friend, you are loved.  You are amazing.  Now go have an amazing day!!!

Gluttony

Gluttony: habitual greed or excess in eating.

If you have ever struggled with any type of addiction, I feel you.  If you have ever struggled with an eating disorder, I really feel you.  

But here’s my take.  You can think I’m wrong.  But at least hear me out.

An addiction or struggle with food is the hardest.  It is the most difficult. The most difficult to overcome, the most difficult to move past.  

Why?

You do not physically need alcohol, nicotine, or whatever other chemical you can be addicted to.  

You physically NEED food to survive.  And if you don’t eat, well that’s a completely different kind of addiction, revolving around food.

Do I think breaking an addiction to any of these things is easy?  Absolutely not. Not even close. But with most substances, you can, and do, survive without that substance.

With food, however, you are constantly bombarded with the need to be exposed to your addictive substance.  So yeah, that’s tough.

But I am willing to choose a new perspective on this.  I need to take a new perspective on this. Here goes nothing…

I have long known that gluttony is a subject that the Bible talks about.  It’s one of the 7 deadly sins. And even though I know that the Bible has guidance on this particular subject, I still struggle with it.  I mean, we all struggle with different sins. It’s just that this happens to be one of mine.  

In my opinion, my religion, my relationship with God, I believe the Bible is the truth.  Not only the truth, but the guide book for my life. There isn’t a topic we can deal with that the Bible doesn’t have some guidance on.  It’s just whether we choose to follow what the Bible says.

And sometimes, even though we know what the Bible says about something, we refuse to follow that guidance.  

It happens.  

We are human.

I’m not saying our humanness, and our lack of perfection is an excuse.  

I’m just saying it happens.  And I understand.

For me, I never been purposeful about tying my attempt to lose weight to God’s guidance and direction.  

Instead of tying the two things together, I went about my pursuit of following God, and my pursuit to lose weight on two separate tracks.  

In my belief, my religion, the Bible is our rule book for how God wants us to live our lives.  And, with any set of rules, there are consequences if you don’t follow those rules.

So instead of just counting calories, and exercising to lose weight.  Think about it in the big picture of God’s guidance and direction.

Even if you read the Bible, sometimes, when you look for specific topics, it can hit home hard when it concerns what God wants us to do.  It can hit really hard when it points out to stuff that you have done wrong. So when you look at what the Bible really says about gluttony…well…all I can say is OUCH!!!!

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17

My body.  Is God’s temple.  And if I destroy that temple.  God is going to destroy me.

How, you might ask, is eating going to destroy your body, when you need food to survive?  Because just eating isn’t what we’re talking about. Gluttony, the definition written above says, is not just greed but habitual greed or habitual excess in eating.

Habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

Involuntary greed and excess in eating.  

Yes, that will destroy God’s temple.

Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:19

God has told us time and time again to love Him, and not have any other gods before him.  When we make gluttony our God, we disrespect God.

But put on the Lord Jesus Chris, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Romans 13:14

When we go beyond the bounds of normal human consumption of food, there is really, truly only one reason we are doing that.  We might think that there are other reasons we indulge to the extreme. But really, we are only doing it for gratification. Ok, yes, I understand that the food tastes good.  But you do not physically need an excess amount of food to survive.

I also don’t believe you need to only eat lettuce.  God made Mexican food. And I do love me some Mexican food.  If you have read anything else, you know my love for tacos, and chips and salsa, goes deep.  And I honestly don’t believe enjoying a normal amount of Mexican food (or any other food you love) goes against God.

Excess.  Excess goes against God.  

So what does God say we should do about this?

Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

There is that dirty little “S” word that no one likes to talk about in the Bible.  Submit. And submission itself is a topic that I have been thinking about, and studying, and reading lately.  But honestly, that is a completely different post, that will likely come soon.

Submit: accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.  

A synonym for submit?  Obedience.

Obey God.  Follow his guidance and direction.  Tie the behavior your are struggling with to what God is telling us to do.  

In my own life, this is absolutely something that I have been feeling on my heart.  A deeper need to follow what God wants me to do. And I truly feel that God is revealing bits and pieces of His plan for my life.  Just a little at a time. And I also feel like God is pointing out areas in my life where I could use some improvement. But instead of feeling overwhelmed, and getting down on myself, I feel support and guidance and love through this process.  I pray that this continues. And knowing God, I know it will.