Posts Tagged With: self-worth

Fear of Weakness

GraciePictured above is my 10 pound Morkie, “Gracie”. She has a very big, courageous & loving heart.

 

Asthenophobia is the fear of weakness, and it is a widespread psychological ailment which causes great harm to those who are affected by its false notions.

Before we proceed, I hope to assure each reader that this is an interim post. We will continue the series on the “Origin of the Bible.” But it is very lengthy, and so I’m offering other stuff (technical term?☺) in between the origin posts.

Wimpy Dogs

It took a few times to work it out, but eventually the realization struck that I was gaining discernment into some people’s psychological and emotional states by how they reacted to various types of dogs. There have been nearly a dozen instances. Like when a man showed disdain for a very small dog that was quivering. He so despised the poor little thing for its weakness, that it became evident something more was in play than simply a preference for more stalwart pets.  People possessing a character opposed to his, usually act in a caring manner—more inclined to protect the helpless little creature, even comfort it.

I supposed correctly that this man has a character flaw, and yet the root from which it thrives is where his psyche’ breaks down. He views weak areas in himself. Anytime he sees someone, even an animal that resembles what he believes to be inside himself—he wants to turn away, and if he cannot do so, he lashes out. He has a deep sense of inadequacy. Unable to love himself, he cannot love something that reminds him of his own weakness, ugliness or flaw. But this is on a subconscious level. The man has no idea that his dislike of things that appear weak stems from his low self-esteem.

There are millions of us out here that tend to automatically dislike such a man, and dismiss him from any future contact. But knowledge always changes our actions. Love changes our responses. God changes the way we interact with the world around us through the wisdom He teaches. Compassion is not only for the weak, but for all, even for those we think do not deserve it. Ah, I believe we’re now talking about mercy, which is grown from love.

Please don’t take this as some sort of formula to psychoanalyze a person. There are several reasons why someone may respond in a similar manner to a tiny dog that trembles at shadows. We have healthy young men who are still trying to convince themselves they are real men. Walking down the sidewalk with a cute, but wimpy little dog is just not masculine. At this stage of their growth they avoid anything that might be construed as feminine. Toy dogs are for sissies, is the mindset. For such a young fellow, under the right circumstances his thinking will be outgrown, unless there comes a fracture in his identity, and then he may become like the first man.

When we begin to understand the difficulties people face on the inside of themselves, we can better perceive what is needed for their hearts to heal. My own response to the same dog was the opposite of that man I spoke of. The furry little ball of cuteness that he hated so much, drew me right to it. I picked him up and spoke softly to him, stroking its downy soft fur. By the way, I believe myself to be excedingly masculine. Mine was similar to a paternal reaction to the dog, because it was afraid, and yes, I began to not like that man at all. But then, the Lord began to show me this stuff, and everything turned around. Instead of disliking the man I began to pity him more than I did the dog. The unfortunate guy was miserable. Some past trauma had robbed him of a deep need of the heart: the ability to like and love himself.

Every good counselor, psychologist or social worker can tell you, “You cannot love others until you can love yourself.” Yes, there’s a lesser type of love we can have if we do not like who we are (by the way, that’s our cue to change). But it’s far from the kind of love God wants to make us capable of employing. When we don’t like ourselves, in every single one of our relationships we will eventually come to a barrier standing in the path of loving as we should.

Consider for a moment Jesus’ words “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We cannot love our neighbor if we don’t love ourselves. We’re not talking about egotism, or being prideful and arrogant. On the contrary, every soul was created by God, in His own image, and has tremendous value. We were created to love God and to love one another. When we don’t like who we are, we should go to God and ask Him to help us change. As we communicate with God we begin to understand how much He loves us, and that’s a huge boost to our sense of self-worth.

The world is filled with deluded people, not knowing their own worth, and the world perpetuates their fallacious thinking by putting them down ever further. Let’s not be a part of that cycle, creating injured souls. We are to be a part of God’s construction crew, building people up, rather than on the devil’s demolition squad, tearing them down. Be nice. Be loving and kind. Be the light of truth in this dark world where there’s already far too much hatred. It’s not easy sometimes, but that’s why we must also encourage one another as we work towards the time when hate shall be no more.

God Bless You!

With Eternity in View,

Sheldon

 

 

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Value of Life

A close friend smiled peacefully as he went bravely to his death. In contrast, I’ve also been witness to the trembling fright and paling faces of people who knew their expiration date was swiftly approaching. There is nothing like visiting the threshold of death to cause a person to assess the value of life, especially when it’s their own.

Perhaps the mysterious unknown of death is the most frightening aspect. That’s what set the apprehensive ones apart from my dear friend who is now departed. He was fully convinced that behind the door of death lie true life in the spiritual realm.

What is it that gives human life such a high value? Aristotle said, “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” I would agree with the ‘awareness’ aspect of such a statement, if it were in reference to knowledge of the truth.

Even Darwin knew how precious life is in relation to its duration. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

Professor Kalu Kalu says, “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

Living our lives in service to others is indeed a healthy means of maintaining a good mid-level self-esteem and warding off depression. The sum of our character and what we do with our lives, however, is not what is needed to gauge its worth.  By themselves good deeds can produce an undesired affect. But once we come to know God, and have placed our faith in Christ Jesus, the Spirit teaches us humility. The humility we are taught in God’s word and through the Spirit combined with God’s valuation of you make for the perfect balance of self-worth.

“Low self-esteem has been shown to be correlated with a number of negative outcomes, such as depression.” (Silverstone & Salsali 2003). On the opposite side of the coin research shows that too high of a self-esteem also creates negative outcomes. The perfect balance, however is found in a right relationship with God. Learning God’s valuation of you combined with the humility the Spirit teaches Christians creates an ideal balance.

No one person can know how life is valued, because human life is not given its worth by self-valuation. Who can rightly determine the worth of any life, be it their own or another’s? The sanctity of people’s lives has been priced by the one who created life in the first place. In our Creator’s eyes every soul on earth who has ever lived was valuable enough to send His own Son to die in their stead.

When I visited a few auto manufacturers in Detroit I was educated on how the price of a car was determined. The company who makes the automobile is the only one who truly knows what each automobile is worth. They know the time, effort and costs that went into its production, and there’s other considerations also in determining its value, and its price-tag. When someone purchases one of those shiny new automobiles they are required by law to have it insured before driving it on the roadways. There’s the possibility of accidents which may result in the loss of human life. Not that money could ever compensate for such a loss.

God is the Creator of life and the owner of all that He has made. All life belongs to Him, therefore He is the one who valuates what you and I are worth. I’m amazed that He would think so highly of me as to go to such extensive lengths to insure me against the loss of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And God’s Son reiterated that fact. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

While everyone may have their own opinion on any other particular person’s worth, ultimately that opinion is of no consequence. Your own opinion of your worth is of no consequence as well. To God every soul is highly valuable, and being that He is the owner and appraiser of all life, His is the only valuation that counts. In God’s eyes you and I are worth more than we could ever imagine, no matter what we’ve done with our lives. God loves you, big time!

 

 

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