In The Lord of the Rings movies, Gollum is very hard on himself and anyone who gets between him and his ring. The insults flow freely from probably the most pathetic and piteous character in the series. He both loves and hates himself and doesn’t exactly make friends easily.
Are you like that at all? Do you insult yourself? Judge others? Rather avoid meeting people? We’re going to look at insulting yourself in this first post of three (like Peter Jackson, I like making a good trilogy). I used to insult myself all the time. I’d cuss myself out, call myself every name I could think of, and even hit myself. I showed myself no mercy verbally and little more physically. I was just so angry with myself that the tiniest failure was enough to bring that raging self-hatred to the surface. I told myself I deserved all the fury I was unleashing on myself, that if I could just be successful at anything like a normal person, I could stop.
There were two problems with this: 1. I was never good enough that I could stop. I could be perfect in something and it would only matter until the next failure. Even my successes reinforced my belief that success was required. 2. It never made me any better and certainly didn’t help me like myself more.
Every insult you’ve ever spoken against yourself is the result of you failing at something from which or letting down someone from whom you derive a sense of self-worth. This means that if you pay attention to your insults, you’ll find where you’re getting your value from now.
The next time you insult yourself, take a step back and think of a few things:
1. Your value doesn’t come from anything other than God. Not from a game, job, relationship, possession, the way you look, or anything else. From Him alone.
2. Ask yourself why failure in this area is so upsetting to you. What’s the worst that could happen?
3. No matter what could happen, nothing is worth insulting someone God loves enough to die for. In 1 Samuel 24, David cuts Saul’s cloak rather than killing him because he refuses to lift his hand against God’s annointed. How much more should we refuse to insult God’s children?