When I moved from Virginia to Colorado, I had to give a lot of stuff away. I have a small car that I couldn’t tow a trailer with and I’m too cheap to rent a truck and trailer. So I went through everything I owned and gave away bags of clothes I didn’t wear, dozens of old books, trinkets I’d picked up over the years, and more. A few things went to friends, most went to Salvation Army.
Since then, I’ve moved twice more, most recently into an apartment so I could get married. This last time, I also went through my stuff and got rid of a bunch of it, mostly more books. And then she moved in with me and there was a bunch of new stuff in our place. Wedding gifts, her books and furniture, furniture we found on craigslist, a new bed, her clothes, and a wife (that’s the best part 🙂 ).
I haven’t gone back to my old place in Virginia since I left. I visited Virginia once for a friend’s wedding, but didn’t go to any of the places I lived. I simply no longer live there and there’s nothing for me there now.
Self-confidence is much the same. When you get your new identity in Christ, it’s like moving into a new house. You take some of your stuff with you, things that will help you or that mean something to you, but things you don’t need are often tossed or given away. When you leave, there’s no reason to return.
Too often, though, we seem to want to live in both houses at the same time. We get our identity in God for a little while, but then seem to want to revisit the squalor of our former lives, where we constantly had to earn our value and feared we would lose it. It’s as though we don’t fully grasp that our place is in our new home. We may realize it’s a better place, but we don’t seem to think of it as ours.
Moving is never easy or fun, even when you’re going to a better place. Neither is changing your old thought patterns and habits. What will make it easier, however, is knowing you never have to go back to the place you once were, the place that you realized you were so miserable in that you wanted to make the effort to move out of.
When you’re starting out in your quest for true self-confidence, remind yourself often of how miserable you were in your old lifestyle, that you no longer belong there, and where you do belong, especially when situations that tend to get you frustrated or insulting yourself come up. It’s admittedly something of a habit change, but it’s necessary for the foundation of your heart change to solidify. You’re building a new house for the new you. Don’t go back to the house you hate.