Probably every person in the world (definitely including me) has had some time where they disliked themselves. Or something about themselves. Some of you might have even had serious depression or self hatred.
There’s two ways to respond to this. When I feel deep dislike of myself, I can turn to the culture to make me feel valued again. Honestly. Everywhere you look, there’s some kind of “love yourself” campaign. Every single mainstream girls’ publication—Seventeen, Girl’s Life, so on—has a resounding message of “loving yourself.”
Here’s the problem. When they say love yourself, they mean to be selfish. To give into whatever your flesh desires and to accept and—ugh—praise the sinful elements of yourself.
Because everyone has sin, and sin is where we’re right. If our sin is what we don’t like, then good! But when we direct hatred to ourselves, we miss the point.
The point is not that we’re sinful, but that God saves us.
In God, we can be who we were truly meant to be. He can forgive our sins and strengthen us to fight the sinful aspects of ourselves. The sin isn’t good, but He created us to be good.
Here’s a little something I found interesting. As you know if you know me in real life, I have an obsession bordering on unhealthy with MBTI….
(as you can see, ENTP–or the “fighter” personality type, is considered to be pure evil.)
So I asked my dad, “Is it wrong to be a Fighter personality type?”
“Not necessarily,” he replied. “It depends on what side you’re fighting on.”
Some things, like compassion and love and kindness, are clearly good and easy to imagine as good. But other things, like fighting, seem harder to define. If someone is a fighter, they’re born that way. But that’s bad, right? Then what purpose does God have for me?
But let’s take a closer look. If someone is born with a kind and loving personality, what if they’re afraid? Isn’t that bad too? Or overly dependent on people, or too lenient? It’s possible to have a “good” nature/impulses and still be sinful. The point is that God created us to be good, though sin has a way of twisting that.
Even though sin has a way of twisting that, God still has a purpose for who you are, even if you don’t like who you are. He can still use you.
So next time you hear the word fighter—or any of those words that aren’t easily defined as good or evil, remember: Whose side am I fighting on?
Because if you’re on God’s side, He has a plan for you and a purpose. You need never fear that your personality is evil. You don’t need to worry about selfishness and loving yourself. You just need to follow His plan for you.