Grab your journal or a notepad. Then, follow along with me as we take a few minutes to think about the barriers that keep us from believing in ourselves and seeing ourselves as God sees us.
Let's begin by defining the word "Barrier." A Barrier is an obstacle that prevents movement or access.
Stop right now and answer this question, "What barriers exist when it comes to moving forward in affirming your self-worth?"
Now, read these words out loud.
I am not enough
I will never measure up
I am weak
I am no one
I am nothing
I fall short
I don't belong
I am a failure
How do you feel after making these statements? Journal your answer.
Now, read these words out loud.
I am enough
I do measure up
I am strong
I am someone significant
I will succeed
I do belong
I am loved
How do you feel after making these statements? Journal your answer
These are just a few messages we repeatedly rehearse, either silently or out loud over ourselves. Understanding which statements resonate with you is essential. Why? Because each time you speak one of these messages over yourself, you form or affirm a belief system about who you are and how others see you.
The encouragement comes from knowing everyone struggles in this area!
Half of these beliefs are based on lies people create as they attempt to make sense of the world around them. For example, a difficult father who cannot be pleased may cause a child to begin to believe, "something must be wrong with me" because I can't make him happy. Brain development in early childhood supports the fact that children have no way of accurately processing the world around them without the help of a loved one. Suppose their primary caregivers are not helping them make real sense of their world and the actions of others. In that case, they will write false narratives about themselves and others.
Journal question: As a child, who helped you make sense of your world and the hurtful words spoken to you, actions that caused you pain and or confusion, when anger was exhibited toward you?
The crazy thing is the more we begin to believe "something is wrong with me," the more substantial the barrier. Barriers that will block the belief, "I am wonderfully and fearfully made," a true statement spoken over you by God (found in the book of Psalms, chapter 139). Everyone loves to hear this beautiful Scripture spoken over them. However, if a faulty belief system feeds an individual's soul, eventually, this Truth will bump up against the barrier. The wall will keep the Truth from penetrating the soul and being genuinely believed by the individual.
Therefore, it is essential to figure out why you get stuck on negative statements. Figuring out the why starts by asking yourself, "What unprocessed pain feeds your faulty belief system about yourself?" You know you have unprocessed pain because while you want to believe you are wonderfully and beautifully made, something keeps you from living it out. Therefore, without figuring out the "Why," the positive statements will be short-lived, continually causing tension while bumping up against the barrier(s).
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, AND IT IS A UNIVERSAL STRUGGLE – SO NOW WHAT –
2 Corinthians 13:5 — Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
1. Self-Examination – What do we truly believe ABOUT OURSELVES?
– Find the Why! Do we allow the culture, family history, and our environment (how many friends on Facebook, how many likes on a post) to form our self-worth? What unprocessed pain has built a faulty belief system?
2. Decide who we will believe
Our family, our environment, the lies we have believed, or what God says about you – who you are and how valuable you are to him. Deciding comes first, followed by choosing to believe.
3. Commit to passing the test –
Step out and tear down the barriers! How? First, participate in a community of people, like Brave Enough, where people will help you walk through the unprocessed pain. Second, and most importantly, know Christ is in you, which means the Spirit will help you discover "Why" and give you the strength to begin to tear down the barriers. Third, step out in faith, activate your belief in God!
HERE'S HOW I TEST MYSELF:
When I feel weak – I grab this feeling (this thought) and align it with Truth - In Christ, I can be made strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).
When I feel I do not belong – I grab this feeling (this thought) and align it with Truth - In Christ, I am part of his family – I belong (Ephesians 5:1).
When I feel unloved - I grab this feeling (this thought) and align it with Truth – In Christ I am his beloved (1 John 4:16).
When I do not measure up to someone's expectation of me – I grab this feeling (this thought) and align it with Truth - In Christ, I am ENOUGH (Genesis 1:27).
When I struggle to find my purpose – I grab this feeling (this thought) and align it with Truth - In Christ, I find my purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
I am significant because Christ died for me. After all, I am his, and I am unique in his eyes (1 Peter 2:9)!
AND - I participate in a community of people who remind me of these Truths while helping me identify the lies keeping me from truly believing God's words spoken over me!