Do You Hate Yourself?

Do You Hate Yourself?

Stopping the cycle of self-hatred requires the humility to give over to God your dreams for yourself. This is one of the best exchanges we could ever take, since by doing it we gain clearer eyes to see Jesus’ love for us, which is far more powerful than our self-hatred could ever be.

They were the Greek gods of autumn. Green fields were their domain, and each fall we found ourselves drawn to those fields to see them play. They were the junior high soccer team in a small Christian school without the budget for football. But no one was thinking of that. These were the deities of our small world.

Soccer season was tough for doughy boys who like books. They didn’t measure up well to the lean warriors whose skill was so prized in our community. I was as aware of this as anyone, and it filled me with dissatisfaction. One evening this dissatisfaction boiled over, and I indulged in something I never had done before. I spoke out loud a thought that had been in my head plenty of times before. And I did it in front of my mother.

“I hate myself.”

You have to know something about my mother. She uses her words like a nesting hen uses her wings, always gently and for the care of her own. When I looked up, though, she was not looking at me. Her face had a strange steel in it. When she finally spoke, her voice had steel too.

“You have no right.”

I had awoken a deep offense in her. I’d expected pity. What I got was far better.

The Experience of Self-Hatred

We were made to perceive ourselves as God perceives us. Self-hatred means something has gone wrong with our perception of ourselves.

This post is part of a series that attempts to show how Scripture gives a framework for addressing different ways our hearts respond to the world that aren’t mentioned in their specifics. The introductory post laid out our guiding principle: God designed people to respond from the heart to the unique situations in which He has placed them. So the question this post addresses is, How should we understand self-hatred as an expression of the heart?

Self-hatred is your heart’s attempt to condemn the person you are in preference for who you wish you were.

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