Recently we spoke about how difficult it can be for people to say the word, â€śno.â€ť But another common phrase that may expose an underlying fear is â€śIâ€™m sorry.â€ť
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I am not ruling out the necessity of a true apology or asking forgiveness. That is Biblical and a vital part of building and healing healthy relationships. The type of apology Iâ€™m talking about is the Â kind of â€śIâ€™m sorryâ€ť thatâ€™s impulsive, and flies out of the mouth a hundred times a day--even when weâ€™ve done nothing wrong.
This sort of apology isnâ€™t necessarily genuine and is instead a red flag for low self-esteem. When we donâ€™t feel like we belong somewhere or when weâ€™ve convinced ourselves that we are more of a nuisance than an asset, we tend to absorb the fault of everything around us. Low self-esteem can often be a mask for a fear of grace. We donâ€™t feel like we deserve it, so we are afraid to ask for it. Even worse, however, is that we are afraid to accept it.Â
Grace is a Calling
The first step in learning to accept grace is to know youâ€™re right! You donâ€™t deserve grace! And neither do I. The Bible is clear that we have all fallen short and that none of us deserve anything in this life other than death.
While this may not seem encouraging at first, let that sink in...God knows we donâ€™t deserve grace, but He loves us so much He offers it to us as a gift anyway! What that should do is swell our hearts to overflowing because to deny the grace God is offering us is to say that our low self-esteem is more powerful than Godâ€™s love and generosity. And thatâ€™s just simply not the case. Once God has His eyes set on you and declares you worthy because of what His son did for you on the cross, you have no right to declare yourself unworthy! So stand up tall and straighten the crown of righteousness Heâ€™s given you!
Grace is an Act of Humility
Many people believe that low self-esteem is the opposite of pride or the same as humility. But in reality, low-self esteem is just another expression of pride. Rather than thinking too much of yourself, you think too little of yourself. Both are derived from the same action--thinking about yourself. One of my favorite quotes by C.S. Lewis says, â€śHumility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.â€ť This means that if we take our Â eyes off of ourselves and fix them on others and on God, we will become more teachable, more confident, and will be able to find our place in the world to achieve the callings Heâ€™s given each of us.
Grace is Worship
You canâ€™t do anything outside of the love and power of Jesus Christ. So stop trying to rely on your own strength and then beat yourself up for it every time you fail! Godâ€™s strength is made perfect in our weakness, so stop apologizing and praise God when you are so weak that He has to work through you to accomplish His work. What an incredible miracle that we can be so imperfect and still be used by God to do His work.
I hope these words inspire you and give you some encouragement this weekend. As you go about your day, consider these questions:
- Do you find yourself apologizing even when youâ€™ve done nothing wrong?
- Do you believe you are suffering or have suffered from low self-esteem in the past?
- What would it take for you to believe you are deserving of grace today?