“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. Psalm 118:6-7 ESV
Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else. — Maya Angelou
But are you on your side? Do you hate you? What’s in the way? A critical voice? A judging parent? Demanding boss? Advertising that encourages perfection? Know-it-alls? Shame? Failures?
Here’s how I self-sabotage myself. I promised to make a list of my strengths and forgot to do it. So, I berated myself – You flake! No wonder you can’t do this. You never follow through. Would you be with someone like I was to me? How can I grow and love with that nagging, condescending, hateful voice?
We are our worst enemy. The cartoonist, Walt Kelly of Pogo fame, had a character that said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Know you are endlessly, dramatically loved by the Creator of the universe. Nothing changes until we fully accept this. Our Father thought you were a terrific idea. Out of all the people, past, present and future, no one is like you. Searching the Bible for all the ways our Father loves us will take a long, long time—an endless love letter. Every time I start to put myself down for a sin or imperfection, I remember: Abba, daddy loves me. He wants to be with me all the time. He wants to know my thoughts and heart. He’s proud of me. He is always with me. He reveals good things about me. The Father is on our side. We are fully known. How can I continue to put myself down? I’m arguing with the Father!
Jesus proved and proves this every day.
Ask the Father, like a little child, how much he loves you, especially when down, shamed, scared or faithless. Ask the Father how to speak kindly to yourself. Ask the Father how to show compassion for yourself. Ask him to show you your talents. He will. And your love will grow so much you can’t contain it. “Flowing over without measure.”
There is no doubt you love us. We are learning to love. We are learning how vast and incomprehensible your love is. Help us to take in fully your love and return it to you from an open heart. A heart that has courage. A heart that has wisdom. A heart that is generous. A heart that is patient.
When we forget we were made in your image, speak gently to us. We will learn. We will celebrate. We love you with all our heart, mind and soul.
May we never forget: You’re on our side.