“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take Care of Yourself Part 1

Time. Whom do you give it to? At the end of the day, is there any left for you?

It didn't surprise me when I read that over 70% of women with children under 18 years of age are working or looking for work.  Most of my friends are busy, even those who are not working outside the home.  What drives us to keep pushing ourselves until we're on empty?  It feels like we are trapped on a hamster wheel with no way off.  Thankfully, in Christ there is freedom.  Yet, we can't live by faith alone.  It takes work to change.  

From my experience, many of us get into a performance trap that says, "I must perform to a certain standard to have worth and value."  If that trap doesn't get us, then it's this one:  "I must be liked and have approval to have self worth."  So, we keep on working and meeting everyone else's needs until at the end of the day there is no time left for ourselves.  Does either sound familiar to you?

Let's look at the first trap: the fear of failure.  It comes out in different ways for many of us.  One person relentlessly works at something until it is perfect.  Others are frozen, thinking, "If I never try, I can't fail."  We get encouraged to stay in this cycle when we receive recognition for a job well done.  It feels good to our self-esteem.  Then when the recognition doesn't come or even worse when our work is criticized we either push ourselves harder or quit.  This is because our performance is enmeshed with our self-worth.  

Do you know that you became pleasing to God the moment you were saved?  (Or can be by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior).  Romans 5:1 & 2 says, since by faith we've been made right in God's eyes, we should have peace with God because of Christ's work on the cross.  Our faith in Christ has brought us into a place where we can stand confidently and look forward joyfully to sharing God's glory.  We should now find our self-worth in a quiet acceptance of ourselves in Christ.  We no longer need to try to be perfect!  

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