Have you ever found yourself working toward a goal only to have it promptly shattered by a mistake?
As you are attempting to accomplish something important for yourself, you start to feel stressed and anxious.
A feeling of overwhelm and fear sweeps over you, drowning you in a sea of doubt and confusion until finally, you’ve been overcome by deception.
That’s right, deception.
Self-deprecating thoughts are lies we tell ourselves when we doubt God’s power over our lives. When these thoughts manifest, if we allow this spiritual attack to overwhelm us, over time, frustration, anger, and discouragement will capture the citadel of our emotions, causing anguish and chaos.
In the process of these destructive emotions enslaving our minds, hatred and negativity infect us. To the point we actively hinder our success, causing damage to our relationships and our bodies and weakening our self-worth.
In the event that these issues aren’t resolved, how might things turn out?
We might start putting self-care at the bottom of the priority list. Negativity is the focus. As a result, we feel anxious about failing or succeeding. Insecurities about one’s self-worth. Our lack of motivation leads to procrastination, and we refuse to take responsibility. It is often the result of self-sabotage that leads to substance abuse: addictions, turning to food for comfort, becoming attached to the wrong people, and a host of other destructive patterns.
In most cases, these self-deprecating behaviors are strengthened by negative self-talk, uncontrolled emotions, and an unwillingness to cope with disappointment.
Of this, Ellen G. White said, “Some who make a high profession do not understand the sin of self-abuse and its sure results. Long-established habit has blinded their understanding. They do not realize the exceeding sinfulness of this degrading sin, which is enervating the system and destroying their brain nerve power. Moral principle is exceedingly weak when it conflicts with established habit. Solemn messages from heaven cannot forcibly impress the heart that is not fortified against the indulgence of this degrading vice. The sensitive nerves of the brain have lost their healthy tone by morbid excitation to gratify an unnatural desire for sensual indulgence.”
The Scriptures serve as a safeguard against this demoralizing behavior.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us the root cause of these problems, saying, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
It is His promise never to leave us. We become vulnerable to this spiritual attack when we forget the promises of God and focus on ourselves instead of keeping our eyes fixed on Christ.
By reprogramming our minds with the Word of God, we can overcome self-condemnation and deprecatory thoughts. Scripture supports this, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11).
And if the problem is severe, there is no better spiritual weapon against this powerful enemy than prayer and fasting.
I remember a silly meme I came across saying something to this sort, “Don’t tell God how big your problems are. Instead, tell your problems how big your God is.”
Never ignore the fact we serve the most powerful Being in the universe. The Creator of all things, Who has made provision for us to overcome self-deprecation through Him. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but experience everlasting life. (John 3:16).
We are loved very much by God. He left the comfort of His heavenly throne to atone for us at the cross of Calvary, losing His life in humiliation for us. The promise of God is that He would never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5). The fact that He lives, that we serve the living God, is of utmost importance. Our defense is in him; we cannot be moved.
When you’re assailed with thoughts that lower your self-worth, remember 1 John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
It is important to remember that God will always be there to deliver us from all our troubles, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:17-19).
God will heal our broken hearts, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
If we are fearful, Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
If we lack direction, God has promised to take us by the hand, saying, “And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).
Should our plans fail, remember God said, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
In the midst of discouragement and adversity, remember, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, he knows those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).
In the case of self-hatred creeping into your thoughts, keep in mind this Scripture, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6-19-20).
Consequently, God has made provision for us through Christ. We are to run to His mighty hands for help when assailed by toxic thoughts. May God be our guide in all things.