Sunday, March 22, 2009

I like who I am. I hate who I am.

It's so easy to trick myself, so easy to fool myself into believing lies about who I am. From July 30th to August 24th I was miserable. I hated who I was, I hated everything about myself, and I had no joy. I was a sinner, and I could not separate myself from the sin. For three weeks sadness and darkness were pressing closer to me than they ever had before, and I could do nothing but write angst-filled journal entries and wait it out.

And then my hands were pried off my ears and I was forced to see - those three weeks were about selfishness, not grief, they were a self-induced trial when I preferred to wallow in my own self-pity than attempt to live like the new creation God had made me to be. I had confused the fight inside of me, forgetting the justified self was not the same as the sin nature self. In those three weeks I learned that hate is selfishness, but love is self-less.

But now I find myself sliding into the same dangerous territory of selfishness. But the scenery is new and different and attractive. The snare is not that I hate myself, but that I like myself. I think I'm kind of okay sometimes. And this hurts more to admit, this subtle indulgence of pride, because I am not out of the woods yet and I think this sin runs deeper than I even realize now. What I am learning as I stumble forward, self-love is selfish, but love is self-less. 

Still, every time I turn to look, both now and during those three weeks last summer, God was there, God is there, God is love, and He is watching me, guiding me, and He has promised me victory. Not in my strength, but in His love. 1st Peter 4:8 runs in a loop through my head, "Love covers a multitude of sins." He is taking my frail understanding of love and replacing it with something deeper, something self-less, that I might really understand that God is love. 

And no one can see such love and not be changed.

1 comment:

Falling Wings of Glass said...

I know exactly what you mean by this! I've experienced that dangerous pendulum effect of hating myself so strongly I could hardly bare to exist, and then considering myself unique...and not so bad. I've discovered that pride is measured in absolute value. If the accurate view of oneself is the center of the number line (interesting that it's zero...), then everything after that is measured in the distance from the zero--regardless of direction.

Pride is a sin that everyone struggles with, in either negative or positive directions. Some, however, swing back and forth as if they're constantly multiplying themselves by 'i' (again, interesting variable, considering the topic). It's tough to stop momentum and realize that we have to stop looking side to side...and look up.