We are always our own worst critic. When it comes to our job, our roles in life, or our appearance, we always find something to critique.
Imagine you're meeting someone new for the first time. You are having a conversation and getting to know one another. You may say something the other person does not agree with or may find odd. They may be secretly judging you, or worse, they are judging not so silently.
Our biggest fear (or at least mine) is finding out that someone does not like something about us, especially when it is something you can’t control. I once heard that someone did not like me because I was too nice. I was so confused. I thought you were supposed to be nice to everyone. Since when could someone be too nice? I was convinced I could change their mind. But why should I have felt like that? If they think that about me and I disagree, it should not matter.
In Your Past
What about someone disliking you for something you did in the past? I had a classmate in high school who made an honest mistake and got the whole class in trouble for it. Even though it was a mistake, a lot of people felt animosity toward him for a while past the event. Things that happened in the past, or baggage, often linger over our heads. We know what we have done, we have asked for forgiveness, and are trying to move past it. We know that is a part of who we are, but we do not need to dwell on it.
In Your Appearance
I tend to continually worry about what others think of me. But, more likely than not, strangers who pass me on the street are not thinking, “Wow, look at that blemish on her forehead.” The little flaws and blemishes that typically annoy you, annoy only you. Our past experiences and flaws make us who we are and that is not something we should be ashamed of.
A big insecurity for many individuals is their looks. Whether it is shedding those extra pounds or strengthening your arms or legs or whatever, we look in the mirror and see the things we can constantly improve. Each and every one of us can find at least one thing we do not like about ourselves. But instead of wanting to change it, we should learn to embrace it. God made us the way we are because he has a plan for us.
Moving Toward Acceptance
Acceptance is hard. I see things that I love about myself, but there are other things I still find difficult to accept. I recently discovered that I am a bit of a micromanager when it comes to working on a project or planning something for a close friend. Everything has to be perfect! My friends know this, and they often call me out. “Megan, everything is going to be find. Relax.” Even though I know this about myself, I still wish I could change it. But I am constantly learning how to accept it. Finding the positive within the negative, in my case I turn in detail-oriented work, can help when learning to accept your flaws.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul says this about our flaws, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God has our back. He is there for us even with our flaws. He made us as we are. Knowing that our Father made us perfect in His eyes is incredibly encouraging. For when we see those blemishes, we are reminded that we are children of God.
Others may doubt God’s intentions of what He has planned for us. But doubt is taking a step backward from accepting the traits that we already have. God made man in His own image. We are created by our perfect Father who based all of us on Him. We are in no way perfect, living in this sinful world, but we are created by Him and we are perfect in his eyes. So, when life is stressful and you are beating yourself up or you look in the mirror and wish you could change that one little thing, know that you are perfect in the eyes of God. He makes no mistakes. Instead of critiquing, embrace those flaws.
Address the desire for self-improvement...