She stood in the bathroom on top of the counter, looked into the mirror and started reciting her morning pump-up mantra.
“I am awesome” “I am amazing” “I am the best!” “I can do anything”
With a final look of confidence and a smile at herself through the reflection, she went along with her day. This little girl’s mom uploaded the video to social media and it went viral. People from across the world were praising this video and commenting on how much we could learn from this little 6-year-old girl.
This isn’t the only self-pump-up video online.
There are dozens of these sorts of “you’ve got this” videos trending all of the time. In fact, it’s not just videos of little kids giving themselves pep-talks that are trending, it’s pastors of churches having their congregation speak empowering words of self-love over themselves. It’s self-love meditation practices. It’s books and magazines discussing the importance of looking inward, finding one’s truth, and loving oneself more.
From the surface, these practices seem like a good idea. Isn’t self-love important? Don’t we need to build ourselves up to more? In a world filled with so much negativity, isn’t this a positive combative solution? With such low numbers in self-esteem, shouldn’t we focus on esteeming ourselves as much as possible?
The Biblical solution may be different than we think.
In fact, I believe the world’s solutions to self-worth and self-confidence often do more harm than good in the long run. These kinds of pep talks can only last so long. What happens when you’re genuinely not feeling awesome? When you truly disappoint someone? When someone disappoints you? When you look in the mirror and say, “I am perfectly amazing” but deep inside you know you know you’re not perfect.
What about when life is too hard and loving yourself more isn’t cutting it?
My proposed solution to finding true confidence, worth, love, value, and purpose has nothing to do with looking in a mirror and pumping ourselves up. I think it’s deeper than looking inward and speaking a self-help mantra over our hearts. I don’t believe it’s dependent becoming better, smarter, or more awesome.
Now, please don’t misinterpret where I’m going here.
I’m not advocating a mindset of self-hatred or self-deprecation. I’m not saying we need to despise ourselves or speak negatively about ourselves. That’s not a Biblical response either. What I’m getting after here is the deeper question of “how do we actually obtain true worth, value, and love?” As I’ll share below, I don’t believe it’s found by focusing on loving ourselves more, but rather loving our Creator more, and then learning how to embrace His love for us.
The Biblical solutions for lasting worth, value, and love are the opposite of what the world has to offer.
3 Biblical Solutions to Feeling Truly Confident and Loved as a Woman (even when you’re having a bad day) :
1. Start By Admitting That You Aren’t Enough.
You don’t have to be enough. The Biblical truth is, we are all sinners in desperate need of a Savior. A proper understanding of who we are as sinners in need of a Savior will help us to better understand who God is.
“We are born sinners, and for that reason, we are unable to do good in order to please God in our natural state, or the flesh: ‘Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).
We were dead in our sins before Christ raised us to spiritual life (Ephesians 2:1). We lack any inherent spiritual righteousness in and of ourselves.
No one has to teach a child to lie; rather, we must go to great lengths to impress upon children the value of telling the truth. Toddlers are naturally selfish, with their innate, although faulty, understanding that everything is “mine.” Sinful behavior comes naturally for the little ones because we are all born sinners.
Because we are born sinners, we must experience a second, spiritual birth. We are born once into Adam’s family and are sinners by nature. When we are born again, we are born into God’s family and are given the nature of Christ. We praise the Lord that “to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —children born not of natural descent . . . but born of God” (John 1:12–13).” – GotQuetsions.org
Admitting that we aren’t enough (and can never be enough on our own) is truly freeing. We are then able to turn our eyes to the One who is enough, and look to Him for our new identity.
2. Recognize that God Never Commands Us To Love Ourselves More.
We need to slow down and look carefully at the Bible. Nowhere in Scripture do we see God commanding us to love ourselves more. Why? Because God know that “looking out for self” is our natural default. Being self-focused is our natural default. Thinking about ourselves more (whether in a positive or negative light) is something that every human on earth does naturally. Even when we wrestle with negative and hateful thoughts about ourselves, our eyes are still turned inward, focussing on ourselves.
As one author put it, “The statement ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Mark 12:30-31) is not a command to love yourself. It is natural and normal to love yourself—it is our default position. There is no lack of self-love in our world. The command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ is essentially telling us to treat other people as well as we treat ourselves. Scripture never commands us to love ourselves; it assumes we already do. In fact, people in their unregenerate condition love themselves too much—that is our problem.”
Rather than trying to find love and worth by esteeming ourselves more, we need to look up at the One who made us.
We don’t need more self-love, we need more God-love. The more we esteem the One who is worthy, the more we will see how loved and valued we are as His redeemed daughters.
No amount of self-love or self-esteem can give us the fulfillment we are truly looking for. That must come from Someone greater. Someone who can look at us and tell us who we really are. I love the passage in Ephesians 1:3-14 that talks about who God says we are as His children. Here are a few of the words He uses to describe us.
Chosen. Adopted. Forgiven. Redeemed. Sealed. Obtained an inheritance. To the praise of His glory.
I love this song by Hillsong Worship that talks about who God is and who we are. Give it a listen: Who You Say I Am.
3. Believe that Jesus is Enough and as His Redeemed Daughter You are Enough in Him.
Jesus is enough. We never have to be enough. In Him, we have every ounce of love, worth, and purpose that we could ever have hoped or dreamed for. Think about it. God didn’t send Jesus to this earth to teach us how to pump ourselves up and find worth within. No. He came to give us His life because we could never be enough. We could never save ourselves. We could never do what only a perfect, loving, amazing God could do. He gave life and redemption to a lost and broken people. That’s us. That’s you and me.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Let’s claim our identity as God’s redeemed daughters and look to Him. Let’s choose to focus on loving our amazing Savior instead of loving ourselves. The more we focus on Christ and understand all that He did for us, the more we will find that all-satisfying love that we so desperately crave.
When You’re Feeling Down, Turn to the One Who Loves You Wholly and Fully.
The next time you’re feeling down, or in need of a “pump up talk,” I encourage you to open your Bible to Ephesians 1:3-14 and read those verses over your heart. Allow the truth to empower you and give you the hope you need for that day.
I would also love to invite you to the 2020 Girl Defined Conference happening on July 31st – August 1st. I will be teaching a breakout session on this very topic. You can grab all of the details here: 2020 Girl Defined Conference