Most of us will never step foot in a boxing ring.
However, all of us face mental, emotional and spiritual opponents in the ring of life every single day. There are those in the stands that are cheering you on and those that hope you fail. Among those voices is a God who loves and is for us, an enemy that is out to destroy us, friends, foes and maybe the loudest voice in all of the mix is our own self.
Recently, I spoke with a friend that is attempting to restore someone’s heart to the place of trusting God and others again after some painful events. Their attempts did not appear to get very far and it was very discouraging to them.
They saw a failure. Then, when they realized how it had thrown them into a small depression they felt like a loser for being so overwhelmed because of it.
I was in the stands watching. Things look much different in the ring than in the stands. What did I see? I saw someone with a huge heart of compassion willing to take a risk and go out of their way to communicate love and value to a broken heart.
I saw Father God with love and tears in His eyes for both involved. When my friend saw how he had been so negatively affected by an unmet hope, he went ahead and threw a punch at himself. .. . “How could you be so immature?! Grow up.”
They way we judge ourselves is often way different from the way Father does. From my seat in the stands, I could see Father was moved and proud of a son that had so much mercy and passion that it could even ruin the rest of his day.
QUESTION 1: What would you do if you were walking down the street and you came around the corner to see your best friend being insulted and attacked by a couple of strangers on the street? Most of you would find your inner HULK and do something about it!!
QUESTION 2: What if the one attacking and saying the most negative things to us was our self?
Have you ever noticed that we often find it easier to fight for others than for our own self? If our friend was getting insulted, beaten up and condemned by the enemy or someone else, we would put a stop to it. But, sometimes we beat ourselves up in our thoughts and emotions and we think that is ok.
Sometimes we even take it even a STEP FURTHER than it being ok. We believe a lie that we deserve it. We sometimes believe we deserve the abuse of condemnation, the abuse of isolation, the abuse of accusation, the abuse of performance based living, failure and perfectionism.
How do you talk to yourself in your mind? We would never allow a friend to be spoken to the way we speak to ourselves sometimes!
Why do we do that? Often we are trying to pay for something Jesus already bought. . our acceptance, our right-ness with God, our ability, wisdom and competence.
So, the next time you want to throw a punch at yourself, love yourself like you would your best friend and don’t. Ask Father what He sees in that moment. Ask a good friend. You will get the truth which may call for a change, but you won’t get a punch in the face.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by man’s judgment. I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself. Yet I am not justified by this. But He who judges me is the Lord. . …there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 4:3-4, Romans 8:1