Maintaining a positive self-image

Gone to War (Part Two): Finding Your Spiritual Weeds

December 8, 2017

 

Read the first post in the Gone to War series HERE

 

Bushes circle the inside of the fence on the eastern perimeter of my backyard. The original owner likely planted them for the sake of privacy. However, the bushes’ yearly crop of weeds devalues what little privacy they afford. Some of the weeds are easy to remove. Others, however, curl about the stems of the plant or shoot from the midst of the bushes. These are the hardest to remove, as they have almost become a part of the plant itself.

 

Deep-rooted lies are like these weeds. They rob our lives of valuable energy, and they bind us amidst their twisted roots. Do you struggle with weeding out deep-rooted lies? If so, perhaps the difficulty is in recognizing them.

 

 

I have found that noticing recurring instances of fierce emotions (such as anger, bitterness, sadness, or stress) helps me find the lies embedded in my psyche. The following are some examples of warning signs that have helped me locate the weeds in my own life.

 

  1. Hearing things that weren’t said

 

This is when we allow our insecurities to speak through the words of others. Here’s a recent example from my life.

 

A couple of years ago, in a college composition class, I was assigned to write on the topic “Who I Am” and share my essay with the class. My classmates (most of whom I did not know at all) and my professor critiqued my work aloud. Despite the positive feedback I received, one of the only things I remember from that day is my professor calling my essay “boring.” As it was, I felt like I didn’t belong at that school or in my major. As a result, I heard something my professor had not said at all: a criticism not of my writing but of me.

 

2. Feeling condemnation instead of conviction 

 

Condemnation causes us to focus on ourselves and how we have failed. Conviction shows us how we have offended God. Don’t buy into the lie that you must have the Christian life figured out; we are all works-in-progress!

 

3. Seeing gifts as curses

 

I touched on this a bit in these posts (here and here), but let me reiterate:  sometimes God’s “good and perfect” gifts are not what we would expect.

 

As a middle and high school-age girl, I often bemoaned the fact that I was quiet, when in truth, that characteristic in me caused the struggle that led to my personal relationship with God. So many good things in my life happened because I was—and am—a reserved person. For me, it is a gift. But in times when I see it as a curse, I am falling back on the lie that God’s gift was less than good.

 

These are just a few examples. My hope is that they have helped you discover the falsehoods that you believe about yourself, so that you can recognize the devil’s attempts to deceive and keep you from God’s purpose for your life.

 


IMG_6146Natalie Macek – Column: Maintaining a Positive Self-Image

Natalie Macek is a college student who studies Elementary Education Integrated Studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, with the goal of becoming an elementary or middle school teacher. She currently works as the editor for Refined, an e-magazine for Christian teen girls and their moms.  She loves drinking warm cups of tea and trying to capture life on paper . Natalie is passionate about her faith in God and about reminding girls of their identity and value in Him, especially as they navigate the struggles of middle and high school.
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