Are You Hard on Yourself?

I know what it’s like to be hard on yourself. Maybe you do too. Today Larry offers insights and tips to help those of us who lean this way. Now here’s Larry…

Do you lack joy, faith, or energy? You might be among the many who are too hard on themselves. Yes, God wants us to be holy, blameless, and above reproach. Yet this comes from Him working in us according to His good pleasure.

When we put undue pressure on ourselves, we may step away from what He wants for us. Paul instructs us to think about the things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8). Critical self-talk does not fit into this category.

Living by standards produces legalism which stunts our spiritual growth and creates hardship for those around us. If you’re hard on yourself, you may wonder how you can escape this bondage. Here are two suggestions.

  1. Be careful what you listen to.

    Critical voices, past or present, can stir bondage. Listen to what is constructive (Ephes. 4:29). Correction, yes. Critical faultfinding, no. Not feeling satisfied unless we meet certain standards may spring from a need to prove our worth to ourselves or others. God already established our worth at the cross.

  1. Choose friendships carefully (Pro. 12:26).

    People who don’t accept themselves may struggle to accept us. Paul told Timothy to invest in people who live the faith (2 Tim. 2:2). Spiritual maturity helps us grow in grace and be less critical of ourselves and others.

A person who continues to be hard on themselves may show hyper control in certain areas and lack control or overindulge in other areas. Living by the power of God’s Spirit produces the transformation that living by our standards never can.

If we can help you with this or another relationship issue, please contact us. You’re important to us and to God.

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Blessings,

 

Resources—for those who tend to be hard on themselves

Seeing how God deals with His imperfect children helps me extend grace to myself in my shortcomings. Follow this link to three studies that will help you enjoy a Big God despite your limitations and circumstances.

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Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee#Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Amy Edwards

    Great article that was very timely for me today. Thanks

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Amy, I think there are a few of us that need that reminder. God bless you!

  2. Jeannie Waters

    God has high standards, but He understands us and forgives us when we confess. This statement from the post sums up our standard: “Living by the power of God’s Spirit produces the transformation that living by our standards never can.” Amen.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Amen! We tend to focus on the external, like the Pharisees, while He changes our hearts.

  3. J.D. Wininger

    Enjoyed Mr. Larry. In my desire to become the best at everything I do/did, I became far too self-critical. Once I was saved, Satan only poured salt into that wound, reminding me every time I messed up that I could never be a Christian and I would always fail. With time, and lots of God’s patience, He showed me how to change all that with one simple letter. Today, I don’t fail, I fall. I FA(L)L into His arms and seek His forgiveness, guidance, and help. More great insights sir. Thank you both for sharing.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      J.D., I want to remember how you reframed that! Wonderful reminder of God’s grace.

  4. Joanne Viola

    “Spiritual maturity helps us grow in grace and be less critical of ourselves and others.” I am finding this to be so true as I grow older and my walk with the Lord grows deeper. Thank you both for sharing your wisdom.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Me too, Joanne. I actually think that is a form of humility, recognizing our limitations and need for God’s grace in our life.

  5. Ann Musico

    I have always been hard on myself all my life. As I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, matured (or gotten older, however you want to look at it!) and lived life, especially as a parent and now grandparent, I have learned to give myself at least as much grace in certain areas as I would one of my children or a friend. I trust He knows exactly where I am in my development and it isn’t a surprise to Him!

    Thanks for highlighting an important issue.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Ann, you’ve highlighted an important principle. To treat ourselves with the grace we would extend others!

  6. Barbara Latta

    I can fall into this category without realizing what I am doing. After much frustration and despair, I finally do figure out what is wrong. I especially appreciate Larry’s comment, “Not feeling satisfied unless we meet certain standards may spring from a need to prove our worth to ourselves or others. God already established our worth at the cross.” This is the root of our self-condemnation, when we try to measure up to other people or our own unrealistic expectations. Thanks to both of you for sharing.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Barbara, that need to prove our worth I believe began with Adam and Eve’s fall. So thankful for God’s patience with us.

  7. Brian Thomas

    Great wisdom!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Brian!

  8. Michele Morin

    So easy for those of us who are hard on ourselves to be relying on our self-salvation strategies instead of the Lord!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Well said, Michele. Never works, does it?

  9. Jerralea Winn Miller

    Refraining from critical self-talk is probably one of the things I should work on!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      You’re in good company, Jerralea.

  10. Annie Yorty

    Pithy and wise insights, Larry. Thanks!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Annie, thanks so much for reading.

  11. Paula Short

    Larry, great lesson. I needed to hear this today.
    Visiting today from Let’s Have Coffee #24&25

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Thanks, Paula. I’m glad it fit a need for you today.

  12. Yvonne Morgan

    Great and timely message Debbie. This is something I need to work on. I do tend to beat myself so thanks for sharing this.

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Me too, Yvonne. Larry kindly points it out when I head that way. 🙂

  13. Lois Flowers

    It’s interesting to me that some people are more prone to this than others. I wonder why that is … perhaps it has to do with not feeling loved unconditionally at critical times in one’s life. If grace has been extended to us, maybe it’s easier to extend grace to ourselves? Thanks for this thought-provoking post!

    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Good questions, Lois. It may have to do with what you mentioned. I wonder if personality and birth order also contribute. My mom always said that as the firstborn I was the guinea pig.

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