Here is a list of a few statements that I have believed about myself at some point in my life, and if I'm not armored with the truths of God's Word, I can easily believe to be true to today. As a woman and a mom and a fitness professional, I know just how seductive these statements can be.
Seductive in a way that allows me to wallow in self-pity.
Seductive in a way to excuse away why I am not working to my potential.
Seductive in a way only the devil knows how to entice.
He knows intimately my biggest insecurities and he will use them every chance he can to attempt to drive a wedge between my husband and me. Or to create discord in my girlfriend relationships. To fuel jealousy and discontent with my coworkers. To make me question my parenting style and skills. Or to even pull me away from the love of my Savior.
If I am not anchored and armored with the truths of God's Word, I will succumb to these tempting lies every. single. time. After each lie I will provide you a passage or two that directly refute it and you can use to encourage and equip yourself to live boldly for Jesus.
I want you to apply these statements to where they ring true in your life. Whether that be at work, in your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, in your relationships or as a mom.
1. I am not capable. How many times have you believed this about yourself. I'm pretty sure just today I thought that I couldn't handle my kids all by myself for 5 days. I didn't want to talk to a friend who is going through a devastating accident because I feared I wouldn't have the words. And I am already anxious about a race I have coming up on Saturday.
2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power , love and self-discipline.
You may not be capable but the Spirit within you is.
2. I am too old/young. This is a likely excuse I hear especially when with my clients. Again, we are limiting the omnipotence of God when we start to use these excuses. Remember Sarah had a baby way past her child-bearing years (Genesis 21:1-5). Moses was chosen to lead the people out of Egypt when he was 80 years old (Exodus 7:1-7). David, the youngest of eight sons of Jesse- 3 of which are already fighting the Philistines, takes on Goliath (1 Samuel 17).
3. I am not pretty enough. This world leads us to believe that we need to look a certain way, be a certain height, be a certain weight, and have the newest and latest hairstyle and clothes. But the psalmist reminds us in 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
4. I have nothing to offer. I read a book recently by Jenni Catron entitled Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence. This book has changed the way I think about how I run my business, my family and how I follow through on living out the calling God has given to me, specifically. We all have influence. We ALL have something to offer. Too often we get tripped up by the things we think we are not. Everyone reading this who is a mother is a leader and as a leader, "God has equipped you and designed you to live out your unique calling and gifting as a leader. Your heart yearns for influence because it is a part of how He created you". - Jenni Catron. Sink into these two passages when you are feeling less than called: Jeremiah 29:11-13 & Ephesians 2:10
5. I can't do what she can. In this world we live in, where it seems competing and comparing are necessary skills to master, we have to realize that our temptation to compare distracts us from being who God has called US to be. I absolutely love this translation of Galations 6:4-5 from The Message translation:
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
6. I might as well give up. Do you set unrealistic expectations? When you don't measure up to the standard you think is expected of you set by yourself, peers or society do you feel ready to throw in the towel and quit altogether? That causes discouragement and defeat and sometimes hopelessness and despair. Instead think of these passages from Romans 12:11-12
Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.
7. I deserve better. Ooh how this can be a seductive plea when we are knee deep in diapers, haven't had a shower or been outside in a week. Have no clean clothes or sheets because the baby has spit up or spilled on all of them. Or have resorted to plastic utensils to eat the cold food because there's no chance you're eating it hot and all of the regular forks have been taken outside because the kids needed them for their army man battle in the sandbox. Get a grip and face the reality that we live in a sin-stained world and the only thing we deserve is hell. Plain and simple. But thanks be to God for Jesus. Romans 5:12-19
8. Why me? Stop the pity party. Immediately. Some suffering is the result of unseen, spiritual conflicts between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Even though we may not always understand why God acts the way he does or allows things to happen that do, we can rest assured that He understands. James 1:2 says
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds
And we can all look to Job for how he handled the immense suffering that he endured in his life when he said
As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,as long as I have life within me,the breath of God in my nostrils,my lips will not say anything wicked,and my tongue will not utter lies.
9. I am not worthy of love. Dear sister, the devil is playing on your guilt and lying to you - telling you what you've done is unforgiveable. Guilt is a nasty burden. In Isaiah we are told that though our sins are scarlet and as red as crimson, they will be like snow and white as wool (Isaiah 1:18-20). And Psalm 103:12 says
as far as the east if from the west, so far as he removed our transgressions from us
10. I will never improve. I am stuck. It's too hard. This one I hear a lot when it comes to people's eating habits or Bible study habits or exercise habits. But it is utterly untrue. The only person who doesn't improve is the person who doesn't want to improve. A section of scripture I like to go to and reference when I need a plan of action, when people need to small significant steps that will lead to improvement is Proverbs 4:23-27
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free from perversity; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Dear Heavenly Father, when the tempter's power is overbearing and I only hear lies, speak these truths into my heart and my mind. Help me to remember what you have promised and help me stand firm against these assaults. Thank you for loving me. Amen.