The Messages That Confuse
I have a confession to make. I’m a fighter. Whenever I feel I’m getting backed into a corner, literally or figuratively, I have a tendency to want to fight my way out. Now, that doesn’t mean I begin swinging and kicking (most of the time), but it does mean I will look the threat in the eye and stand my ground.
This mentality, the mentality of a fighter, is something I’ve embraced because at a fundamental level I’m trying to protect what’s important and meaningful to me. It’s a defense mechanism.
As I have confessed in earlier posts, I was born with health issues that enabled the world around me to whisper lies into my ears that stated: “You are weak. You will never be successful. You are not loved.”
These lies of the enemy were constructed for a purpose – to make me question my identity and self-worth. These lies were relentless and unwavering and followed me into middle school and high school, where they were compounded by academic and religious challenges. At home, church, and the parochial school I attended through eighth grade, I continued to be bombarded by troubling messages that reinforced the lies I’d heard as a child. I heard that I wasn’t smart enough and would never achieve academic excellence—yet also that my curiosity, daydreaming, creative mind, and habit of questioning the status quo would someday lead me to ruin. I heard that I wasn’t driven enough and would never be successful—and also that I should avoid ambition, risks, and challenges at all costs because I was too weak to handle them. I heard that Jesus loved me and died to save me—yet also that what He really cared about was keeping a tally of the bad stuff I was doing and would someday make me pay for it in an equally bad way. These confusing and even contradictory messages all seemed to agree on one point: Something was wrong with me, and it made me unworthy of acceptance. And the more I believed this lie, the more desperate I became to prove it wrong.
Are you desperate to prove your self-worth? Why? Has someone or something challenged your identity? What is your defense mechanism? Whose opinion of you actually maters? Who is Jesus and how does He really feel about you?
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”