The more I look not just at my spiritual life, but my life as a whole; the more I realise that so much of my future now hinges on one thing:
What’s going on in my head.
When I became a Christian something changed within me. I became a new person, a new creation as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 5:17. That doesn’t mean I became somebody else or was instantly perfect, but that the Holy Spirit took up residence within my heart and it’s my job to get that good stuff on the inside to work through to the outside.
But this means that I have a fight on my hands, because I don’t see myself as God sees me. He sees me as treasured, beloved and so very precious to him. I, on the other hand, see myself as someone God tolerates and puts up with; rather like a slightly embarrassing family member. He isn’t the one making me feel bad and no one else is either; this is all coming from my own head.
To really take hold of and make progress on the plan that God has for my life – the ‘race marked out for me’ (Hebrews 12:1) I have to make sure I do one thing more than anything:
Change the way I think.
I’m not going to make any further progress if I don’t start to wage war on the negative patterns of thinking that have held sway for far too long. God has told me what he wants me to do (write); I know I have a lot to give, you only have to take a cursory glance at my website to know that words tumble out of me at a phenomenal rate. But right now my full potential is being held back by the evil forces of ‘not good enough.’ It’s pernicious and undermines me at the sub-atomic level. Everything I do is compromised or downright sabotaged by this wrong thinking.
It’s a clear clarion call, being the first verse of scripture that jumped out and hit me between the eyes when I became a Christian on October 4th 2001. “Don’t copy the behaviours and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2 (NLT). I realised its importance to me back in 2001, so why, in 2012 have I still not got this thing sorted? That I can’t answer.
I don’t think I appreciated just how fundamental it was to the rest of the plan. I thought it was just one of many things I had to sort. Now, having looked at the big picture, I see that if I get this piece of the puzzle right then it has the potential to unlock so much more of the plan God has for my life.
I have booked myself on a self-esteem course later this month. It’s a secular thing, but right now I will take any help I can get to root this out of my life. Also, among my books, I have Neil T Anderson’s The Bondage Breaker which I know has been very helpful to a great number people over the years. Like many books in my possession, I’ve read the first few chapters and then got distracted or most likely found it too hard to persevere with. That’s usually the point where the forces of Not Good Enough have become too loud to continue.
Last May I wrote in this blog that becoming a Christian entails a major strip down and rebuild of everything that you are and everything that you do. I went on to say that you shouldn’t think for one minute that you can become a Christian and stay exactly as you are, that is not an option. I have changed greatly from what I was, but I know that I’ve stagnated in some areas.
So this is me, allowing God, not just into the Windows 7 bit of me but the DOS bit, the programing code – the bits that make me ‘me’.
This isn’t about getting an over-inflated opinion of myself, this is about having an honest estimate of my abilities. Looking at myself with sober judgement and not as someone who always does herself down or thinks she’s someone just to be tolerated. Why do I have such a hard time with people when they tell me they like me, or ask what yardstick they’re measuring me against when they tell me that I’m a good writer? Good compared to whom?
I have a talent that’s been entrusted to me. If I don’t tackle the forces of Not Good Enough, then I’m making a mockery of God. Who am I to argue with the Lord God Almighty when he’s the one saying I’m good enough and he’s the one who gave me the talent to begin with?
“…my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.” Psalm 45:1