Why is it that we have such a hard time saying good things about ourselves? Recently I have begun to realise that people tend to fall into one of two groups; those who says lots of inflated things about themselves and those who have nothing good to say about themselves.
I probably fall into the latter. I don’t find it easy talking about a positive attribute I may have. I do find it easy to encourage others to speak of their own positive attributes, but hearing something good about myself just makes me cringe.
Is it just me, or is there something awry with this?
Often it is easy to encourage others (particularly in church leadership) and don’t get me wrong, being an encourager and an encouragement is a wonderful thing. But some of the biggest encouragers are notoriously bad at being encouraged. Some shy away from it, whilst others actively reject anything good that someone has to say about them.
Yet, if we truly believe that we are created Imago Dei – there must be at least something good in us!
There has been an avalanche in recent years of books, interactive websites and courses designed to help people think more positively and whilst these are undoubtedly valuable and important, it seems to me that truly “good” thoughts, thoughts that make us see ourselves in the light of the Gospel, as valuable creations of God they must be rooted in scripture.
They must be rooted in our identity in Christ, our place as children of God. Out of these roots, we can be more effective as encouragers of others. If we can grasp who we are, then our encouragement of others is more authentic and ultimately more honest and encouraging!
I am far from claiming that I’m good at this, but I want to try my best to root myself in what God thinks of us.
This isn’t positive thinking, this is godly thinking. We are called to love others as we love ourselves and that means we must love ourselves – it’s not an optional extra.
So I’m setting myself a challenge. To think good thoughts, about others and about myself. Join me?