Feelings of Unworthiness/Undeserving

UnworthyUndeserving Final

I was having a conversation on the phone the other day with a precious sister in the Lord. As we were making small talk, I reminded her that she and I share the same birthday month, and we wanted to know each other’s plans. I of course, have been thinking for months on what I want to do for my birthday so, without uncertainty, I effortlessly let her know that my plans consisted of me, spending a little time away in a serene environment so that I can relax by myself. I then returned the question to find out what her plans were. She too, need not any time contemplating her answer though her response was quite different. She quickly replied, “You know what, I try to forget my birthday! I don’t celebrate my birthday, I haven’t celebrated it in years, and it doesn’t exist to me anymore… I’ve just kind of done away with it…!” I can remember hearing the shame, guilt and self-condemnation in her voice as she justified her choice to not celebrate. I believe she heard it too as she followed up with the question, “Is that a bad thing?

Not wanting to celebrate birthdays is not abnormal. There are many cultures and religions who choose not to partake in the revel of birthdays or other occasions one might consider to be special. So, her not wanting to celebrate her birthday was not a concern for me rather it was her reasoning behind why she chose not to celebrate. She went on to explain that she chose to denounce her birthday because of the bad memories that were associated with it. As a result, her way of resolving (by that I mean suppressing) the continuous internal conflict that transpired every year when her birthday came around, was to simply refuse to acknowledge the day she was born- which is a strategy we all use when we don’t know how to resolve, cope or confront past issues in our lives. After she explained to me her reasoning, we both chuckled because I completely understood where she came from and it was tickling to admit our truths out loud to one another. Being that I received a clearer reason for her not celebrating her birthday, I felt compelled to ask her if I could celebrate her. She allowed me to make arrangements even though she did not feel deserving or worthy of God’s goodness. Since I could relate to her, I shared my testimony of how God showed me that although I did not deserve his goodness, He thought I was worthy of Him expressing his goodness towards.

We All Have Times Where We Feel Unworthy, Or Undeserving

Truth is, we all will face a time where our lives will prove that we are undeserving of God’s goodness. Because we all have fallen short and failed to meet His expectations of righteousness, we don’t deserve to experience His love, grace or mercy. This is the main reason why Christ suffered and died in our stead- because we could not pay the price ourselves. The thing that’s worse than us constantly condemning ourselves, is that the enemy will help us remember the fact that we don’t deserve anything good from God, while allotting even more time trying to convince us that we are also unworthy of any good thing from God and that we have lost our value to Him and therefore, an insignificant being.  Although it’s healthy for us to know that we are not deserving of God’s goodness (so that we won’t boast in our own self-righteousness), God has proven throughout Scripture that we ARE worthy of his goodness!

We ARE Worthy Of God’s Goodness!

When I think of being undeserving yet worthy, I immediately think of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). This story is about a loving father who had two sons- one of which made wasteful and foolish decisions with his inheritance which left him destitute and seemingly worthless. He went back to his father’s house to plead for his father’s forgiveness and to come back as a slave. Instead the father overwhelmed him with hugs and kisses, called for his servants to dress him in a fine robe, a ring, sandals, and to prepare a feast. The prodigal son knew he didn’t deserve to be brought back in his father’s house as a son, so he hoped for a position as a slave. However, his father declared that he was worth more to him than a slave. This story reminds us that God found worth in us even when we don’t see it in ourselves! Scripture says,

 

“For our sake, he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2nd Cor. 5:21)

 

The word “sake” means that it was for our benefit or advantage that Christ became a sin offering for mankind. The God Almighty has a special interest in us that is so significant, he chose to sacrifice his only begotten son in order to preserve us. Are you feeling worth anything yet? In another passage it says,

 

 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet…” (Psalms 8:4-6)

 

We are but earthen vessels, made lower than angels yet our Heavenly Father saw fit to crown us with glory and honor. Not only that but He made us rulers over the works of His hands and put everything under our feet! I know you’ve got to feel like you’re a little bit worth something now?!

Sometimes it takes a while to get use to the fact that we are undeserving yet worthy of God’s goodness. No matter what we’ve gone through and no matter how far we’ve fallen, He loves us and we are valuable to Him!

 

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http://bible.com/116/jol.2.13.nlt

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Ridding the Tartar of Mistrust

I don’t hear ver many people talk about the spirit of gossip but it is just as deadly as any other sin we engage in. A must read!

Jodie Dye

Spiritual Gingivitis is when someone gossips, they are usually inflamed with a desire to spread the germs, or spread the news so to speak. Gingivitis is an infection that destroys the tissue that support the teeth. Likewise, gossip is an infection that destroys the support system that you have. It ruins and separates close friendships.

The cure is a deep cleansing of God’s Word in your mouth. God, in His beauty, is so very trustworthy, and He wants to exchange the spirit of gossip in us and make us trustworthy like Him.

Tartar of mistrust.

You know that you have this condition if others feel comfortable about approaching you about others.

My poor spiritual oral hygiene was exposed once when a friend approached me about breaking a confidence. I call it the tartar of mistrust. My heart was exposed; I realized that this was an area in which I needed a deep…

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Blackheads of Bitterness

This is one of my favorite spiritual beauty treatments to hear about!
#Dont Boast or deny the truth

Jodie Dye

We all have them. The stubborn, annoying, unwanted little demons otherwise named as blackheads. The development of blackheads and how to get rid of them are not well known. However, we do know they clog up the pores, and they multiply rather quickly.

As a creative writer I like to contrast the outer with the inner. Isn’t it crazy how we can also see a connection to the heart with blackheads? I think of bitterness as a blackhead that can literally clog up our spirit man. Not only that, but the Bible says in Hebrews 12:15 that a bitter root in someone’s heart can grow up to defile many. Bitterness has the potential to corrupt everyone around you.

And just like blackheads, we can all struggle with bitterness. Just when you think you got rid of bitterness, someone cuts you off in the other lane and love is NOT what…

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Growing Up in the Wilderness but not Settling

I have a soft spot in my heart for individuals who grew up in muddled and chaotic environments. Not just because it was my starting place, but I genuinely empathize mainly because those who have grown up in such environments often come into the world with a deficit of tools and skills needed to help them thrive in our societies. Unless someone steps in and give them what they need to help rise above adverse circumstances and future pitfalls, they eventually learn later in life through their own struggles and consequences of their actions, from what some may refer to as, the “hard knocks” of life.  Studies reveal that children who grow up in abusive, neglectful or otherwise, unstable and chaotic homes are more likely to experience various developmental delays, emotional instability such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicide attempts- along with engaging in risky behaviors (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016; Finkelhor, Turner, Shattuck, Hamby, 2015; Danese, Moffitt, Harrington, Milne, Polanczyk, Pariante, et al, 2009). I want to stress that although this is not the “end all be all” for every person who is born into the world with deficits, I am saying that these are typical barriers for children who do live in such environments. Nonetheless, such obstacles can be overcome if we choose to turn to God!

Let’s Look at Ishmael’s Life.

Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Sarah’s slave, Hagar, was born into a messy love triangle where his mother lived in contempt of her master after becoming pregnant with him. Ishmael was conceived out of an agreement between Abraham and Sarah that consisted of Abraham taking Sarah’s slave-girl, Hagar, as a wife to have a baby, which resulted in the conception of Ishmael (Gen. 16:4 CLASB). You would think that this would have made Sarah happy seeing as though this was her idea. Instead, Sarah grew distressed because Hagar’s attitude towards her changed when she found out she was pregnant. This same passage insinuates that Hagar grew haughty from her ability to conceive a child for Abraham and often forgot that her pregnancy was an arrangement, therefore, she was still under the authority of Sarah. Because Sarah grew weary of Hagar’s disrespectful and flagrant behavior, in return she used her authority to abuse Hagar. As a result, Hagar ran away. Although God found Hagar and told her to return and submit to Sarah’s authority, she returned home with the same attitude towards Sarah which allowed chaos to remain in Abraham’s household. Can you imagine being born into such mayhem? Although Ishmael was an only child for a while, I picture him having to grow up watching his mother cry bitter tears of resentment towards his father for being his mistress and his wife’s slave- while coveting Sarah’s authority of being a wife. I also picture him having to grow up, watching his father, Abraham, being torn between two women and being shown affection by Abraham, to the extent Sarah would allow. Ishmael grew up in a chaotic and emotionally unstable home. Unfortunately, as the text continues, we see that Ishmael becomes a product of his mother’s animosity towards Sarah.

By the time Ishmael was thirteen years old, he was sharing his home with his half-brother Isaac, who was finally conceived by Sarah. However, Isaac chose to follow in his mother’s footsteps of bitterness and resentment by taunting his little brother during a celebration. Sarah saw Ishmael and Hagar taunting Isaac. Sarah was used to Hagar’s spiteful gestures but when she saw Ishmael joining, she demanded them both to leave her home (Gen. 21:8-11 CLASB). Abraham reluctantly, yet agreed for Ishmael to leave his home where he wondered (and eventually settled), in the wilderness “aimlessly” with his mother (vs. 14). Instead of Ishmael, learning to trust in the God of his father, to direct his path and make sense of his life outside of his mother’s baggage, his behavior lead him to a place that was uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable- the wilderness.

Although it was not God’s will, He foreknew that Ishmael was going to be born into this world having to deal with the rejection of his father and the emotional instability of his mother and as a result, he would have issues with anger and violence while living in public hostility against his family members (Gen. 16:11-12 CLASB). However, Ishmael eventually settled in the wilderness, not because he was born into a family of turmoil, but because he chose to conform to his mother’s lifestyle of contempt.

wilderness

Wondered, Grew Up, but Don’t settle!

I want to point some things out in this story that is vital for us all to take heed to: Being that Ishmael was only thirteen when he was forced out of his father’s house with his mother, we can conclude that he didn’t know any better. I believe he taunted his brother because he was only practicing learned behavior by his mother- It was personal for his mother but Ishmael didn’t know anything different. However, when he saw his father, the man from whence he came, pack his bag and sent him away with no certainty- life at that moment had just gotten personal for Ishmael! I can imagine Ishmael frantically pleading with his father, ‘How can you choose between me and my brother? My mother and I were just joking!… I’m your first-born child… Do you not love me like you love Isaac?… Please give me answers father!… Why am I leaving?… I am still young and my mother can’t teach me how to be a man… please don’t leave me impoverished… I love you father… do you not love us enough to give us another chance?’– with no response.

Often, we grow up not having the answers to why we were treated unfairly by those we love, why we were abused or abandoned, negatively labeled and the like- as a result, we often resent how we came into this world and find ourselves wondering aimlessly through life, trying to find someone or something to “fix” us. Yet God promises to give us beauty for our sorrows and he will cause us to overlook the shame and dishonor that is attached to our childhood and bless us when we look to him (Isa. 54:4; 61:3). When we don’t learn how to trust God to heal our past and direct our future, we may find ourselves not only wondering in the wilderness but growing up and settling there.

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