Two Steps Forward and One Giant Step Back

By Kristen Clark

I had spent a lot of time studying the Bible in my effort to understand how God sees me, and started feeling better about myself as a result.  I began to embrace my value and worth in His Kingdom and my confidence naturally grew.   After all, I was dearly loved; a treasured possession chosen and hand-picked by the Most High King.

Then suddenly, I took a turn for the worse.  As I dug deeper into the scriptures I glimpsed an unexpected ugliness about myself.  I began to see how I:

  • criticized and judged people harshly,
  • was less than compassionate toward those who needed it most, and
  • felt resentment as a result of my own unreasonable and unmet expectations.

These realizations were glaring and I felt cheated.  Sound familiar?

God’s desire is for us to be transformed into His likeness.  As a result, He will also show us things about ourselves we’d rather not see.  He will use the scriptures to reveal our weaknesses, unhealthy habits, and self-sabotaging behavior.

As John 15:2 reminds us, He will reveal our character defects so we can partner with Him while he prunes us of them.  This is part of the process.  

Thankfully, we have a choice in how we respond to the vulgar truth about ourselves.  We can take a defeatist attitude toward what seems like a giant step back, and diminish the great work done in reversing a damaged self-image.  Or, we can see through our misperceptions and rejoice in God’s desire to restore us to physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness.  With His help we can unveil hidden character assets and unrecognized talents, and move forward with surer footing.

Ours is a journey of progress and not perfection and there will be moments when we suddenly feel like we’ve stumbled in our confidence and self-esteem.  That’s normal and we can rejoice because God, the Father Almighty, will help us replace our unattractive behavior with those positive attributes that are ready to flourish and lead us to greater accomplishments.

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