Fare Thee Well

One of the most interesting parts of self-confidence is reflected in what we think of others. The higher our own self-esteem, the more we want the best for others. Generally speaking, the lower it is, the more prone we are to believing the worst about others. There are exceptions, of course, where people believe another person is nigh infallible, but this most often happens when the unconfident person is getting their sense of worth from the person they’ve put on a pedestal. 

There’s a very good reason for this: it’s instinctual. We believe the same thing about love and acceptance that we do about food and money, that there’s only so much to go around, so we have to grab all we can. With our fellow humans, it’s true. We only have so much time and energy to devote to other people, so our love is something we only have so much of. Because of the constraint on our resources, we tend to make others earn it and expect to earn it from others. 

Fortunately, God isn’t like this. He has all the time in the world, literally, and can be everywhere at once (for those who like “Word of the Day” things, that mean’s He’s ubiquitous 😀 ) so He never has to dash off to meet someone else. Better still, you don’t have to earn His love; it’s a gift.

This means that all the love and acceptance you’re seeking are already yours for the asking. You don’t have to earn them from other people. You don’t have to prove yourself worthy to them, neither do you have to demand they prove themselves to you. You’re free. 

It means no more fighting for affection, no more seeing other people as competition for what you’re seeking, no more putting on your finely-honed facade in front of the world. There’s just nothing from them that you need.

And if you’re not competing with them, it’s easy to let them go on their merry way and wish them the best. You’ll love them more because you feel loved by God. You’ll want the best for them because you know the best is going to be provided for you. You’ll want them to experience the freedom and joy you are. 

The flip side to this is that this gift from God, once understood, can’t help but produce a lot of humility. That we’ve been deemed valuable enough for Jesus to die for us is so amazing that I’m at a loss for words. I can’t pay that back, not in a billion years of perfect service. If you realize what you’ve been saved from and what you’ve been given, you won’t judge others simply because you know they are no more lost than you were, no more in need of God’s help and mercy, no more in need of knowing how much they are loved. Not judging them will help keep you from assuming the worst about their motives when they do hurt or offend you and it will let you forgive them much more quickly. 

Notice that here, too, you’re getting the benefits of a stress-free life because you don’t have a grudge or dislike of someone hanging over your head. You love them and it helps both of you. And if you have everything you need, why would you have any reason to not give others what they need?

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