When Self-Hate Threatens Another Beat Down

Photo by Rachel Cramer via Creative Commons

Photo by Rachel Cramer via Creative Commons


I had a holy moment today. Not quite a take-off-your-shoes-you’re-on-holy-ground moment, but almost.

You’ve probably had your own God-epiphanies.

The word revelation comes to mind because my heart instantly understood what my head has always known.

God loves me.

I did what I always do in these God-thick moments, and I cried.

I realized how void my life is of His Love. I saw how often I run from this love because I don’t feel worthy.

I test and measure myself and always come up short. Jesus never measures me this way.

He is love. He is forgiveness. Redemption. Peace.

So, why do I struggle sometimes—and I mean truly wrestle with condemnation, fear and all-hands-on-deck self-hate? Not to mention my daily tug-o-war with anxiety.

My history of legalism, no doubt, has contributed. And without God’s love in the center of our lives, won’t we always teeter on the edge of legalism?

When love doesn’t motivate us, how can we experience a relationship with Christ that doesn’t end in an authoritarian relationship based in fear?

I’ve also had many run-ins with those who speak in God’s name but don’t espouse His very nature of love.

Church has taught me to be wary of loving myself, to care little for myself.

I’m learning there’s a difference in loving yourself and making an idol of self.

God’s teaching me how to love myself because He first loved me. If I can take a peek through His eyes, I won’t swim in self-defeat. I won’t even stick in my toe if I can daily catch a glimpse of this all-satisfying love.

We like to believe we’re carving out time for God when we pray or read our Bibles.

But isn’t it really time to position ourselves before the God of love because somehow a holy transaction takes place and this God-type love rubs off on us?

When we experience God’s love at our core, we love ourselves. Self-hate and God’s love can’t coincide. We love ourselves as a byproduct of God’s love working in us.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39 ESV).

Will you posture yourself to receive His love today? In a nanosecond, He can reveal His love to you and buoy you out of a swamp of condemnation and fear.

Will you let Him?


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6 thoughts on “When Self-Hate Threatens Another Beat Down

  1. I completely agree that legalism keeps God’s love from drenching your heart and soul. If you haven’t already read Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, you would probably enjoy reading it. My personal battle is with trust – – He builds it in me year after year and I hope for my cup to be full one day! Enjoy your God moment today!

  2. Thank you so much Trisha this post hits home hard for me. I am 64 years old, Methodist, involved in Servant Angels in my Church and raised my girls up in Church. But all my life I have struggled with an eating disorder, childhood memories of abuse and self hate that still rears it’s ugly head from time to time. Posts like this, my faith, my connection to nature, my writing and on-going therapy are a great help to me.

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