Lesson 3: Learning to Accept Myself
What you think about yourself is very important. It affects your happiness and everything you do.
It affects the way you get along with other people. Most important of all, it affects your attitude toward God.
Molly is an overweight sixth-grader. Ever since she started school she has been teased about her weight. She has been called “Fatty,” “Porky,” and “Fatso” more times than she can remember, but it still hurts. Even though it is not true, Molly thinks that all the children at school hate her. Worse than this, Molly hates herself. She sees herself as being ugly and not worth much. She wishes that she could be somebody else.
Much of Molly’s unhappiness comes from the fact that she does not accept herself and because she is believing wrong thoughts. We have already seen how important our thoughts are. What we think determines what we do and what we feel. This is why it is so important that we think right thoughts.
Three Facts from God’s Word
To help us think right thoughts, let us consider three facts from God’s Word.
FACT #1: We were created by God.
The Bible says, “Know that the Lord He is God: It is He that has made us, and not we ourselves.”(Psalm 100:3)
FACT #2: We were created in the image of God.
The Bible says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He them; male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:27)
Molly’s unhappiness comes from not accepting herself.
FACT #3: Each of us was given certain characteristics by God.
No one had a choice as to his parents, his race, the colour of his skin, his intelligence, his physical appearance, or his natural abilities. These all came to us by birth and they all came from God. Since this is true, there is no place for pride on our part. The Bible says, “Who makes you different from another? And what do you have that you did not receive?”(1 Corinthians 4:7)
We do not have anything to be ashamed of regarding the way God made us. You would not like it if someone made fun of something you made, and God does not like it when anyone makes fun of another person. Never, never, never make fun of another person.
To look down on yourself or to make fun of yourself is also wrong. In fact, it is just as wrong as looking down on someone else or making fun of them.
How to think rightly about yourself
We want to share with you some things that will help you to think rightly about yourself.
Realize that you are a special person.
Satan likes to put wrong thoughts into our minds. He likes to tell us that we are not worth much and that God does not really care about us. But this is a lie.
Jesus told His disciples that not even a little sparrow could fall to the ground without His Father knowing about it. Jesus said that we are worth more than many sparrows. He said that even the hairs of our heads are numbered by God. This shows us how important we are to God.
The most wonderful thing in the world is not some spaceship, some new computer, or some expensive automobile.
The most wonderful thing in the world is a human being! We were made in the image of God. David said,
“I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
We cannot imagine how many leaves there are in the world, yet no two of them are exactly alike. The same is true of snowflakes. We cannot imagine how many snowflakes fall to the earth each year, yet no two of them are exactly alike.
This tells us something about God—He likes variety! He could have made all leaves alike and all snowflakes alike, but He did not. He made them all different. He made all of us different too. No two people are exactly alike.
You are a special, one-of-a-kind individual. There has never been anyone exactly like you, and there never will be another person exactly like you. Say to yourself, “Though there are billions of people on the earth, God knows and loves me. I am a special ‘someone’. There’s only one me!”
Press your thumb on an ink pad, then press it on a piece of paper firmly. Don’t jiggle. No one else has a fingerprint exactly like that. Have a friend press their thumb on an ink pad, then press it on to your paper beside yours. Compare it with yours. It is not the same. There’s only one “you.”
Become God’s friend.
If you were a personal friend of the President of some country and talked to him every day, would it not make you think well of yourself? Your friends would surely look up to you and be impressed with you because of your personal friendship with such an important man.
Do you know that you can be a personal friend of someone who is much, much greater than a President of a country? You can be a friend of God!
The way to become a personal friend of God is to take the Lord Jesus as Savior. If you have not taken Jesus as your Savior, you can do this right now. Tell Him that you know that you are a sinner and that you believe that He is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins. Ask Him to come into your heart to be your Savior.
Don’t compare yourself with others.
Little children are happy because they do not compare themselves with one another. They are happy just being themselves and having what they have.
As children grow older they start looking around and comparing themselves with others. It is then that many of them become unhappy with themselves because they are not as smart as so-and-so or not as good looking as so-and-so, or they do not have money like so-and-so. God tells us not to do this. He tells us to be content with the way He made us and not to compare ourselves with others.
Do not be bitter about yourself.
Did you know that it is a sin for a person to hate himself and have bitter feelings about himself? When a person does this, he is saying to God, “God, You didn’t treat me fairly. You didn’t make me the way You should have.” Have you been bitter about yourself? Have you felt that God has not treated you fairly? If so, will you confess this sin to God right now? Just tell Him the truth:
God, I have been bitter and resentful. I am confessing this sin to You right now.
Our happiness in life does not depend on how beautiful or how handsome we are. It does not depend on how smart we are. It does not depend on how much money we have. It depends on our attitude—the way we think about things. God wants us to be thankful. The Bible says,
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Many years ago, a doctor made a tragic mistake that caused a little girl to lose her eyesight. The little girl, Fanny Crosby, was born with normal sight, but when she was only six weeks old, she had an infection in her eyes. The doctor put the wrong medicine in her eyes and it blinded her for life.
Because of the doctor’s mistake, this little girl would never again see her mother’s face. She would never see her friends and relatives. She would never see the blue skies or the white clouds. She would never see the beautiful trees and flowers.
She could have been bitter and resentful about what happened. She could have hated the doctor who made such a tragic mistake. She could have even blamed God for letting it happen. But she did none of these things.
Fanny Crosby had a grandmother who held her in her arms and taught her to know and love the Lord Jesus. As a small child, she opened her heart to the Lord Jesus and took Him as her Savior.
Fanny Crosby’s grandmother taught her to know and love the Lord Jesus.
As Fanny Crosby learned more about God and His great love in giving His Son to die for her, she gave herself to Him completely. Instead of being bitter about being blind, she trusted in God’s love and wisdom.
Fanny Crosby did something else too. She made up her mind to be happy and content. When she was just eight years old, she wrote this poem:
O what a happy child I am
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be!
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot and I WON’T!
When she grew up, Fanny Crosby began writing hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God. She wrote over 6,000 hymns! Millions of people around the world have sung her songs such as, “To God Be the Glory,” and “Blessed Assurance.”
Though she was blind and spent her life in darkness, Fanny Crosby was one of the happiest Christians who ever lived. What was the secret of her happiness? It was this: She was thankful!
She did not understand why God had allowed her to become blind, but she trusted in God’s love and wisdom. She didn’t spend her time feeling sorry for herself. She thought about all the blessings she had as a child of God and she was thankful.
Will you begin now being thankful to God for all His blessings? Here is a prayer you can pray to Him:
God, I have not been thankful to You. I want to confess this sin to You right now and ask You to forgive me. I thank You for the way You made me. I am trusting You to make me what You want me to be.