Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Self-hatred is one of those phrases that can make people uncomfortable, particularly Christian people. In some ways, that's understandable because if we are being logical, then we know that hating ourselves is not a reflection of God's love for us. Even children learn songs that say, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

I feel dumb for saying this, especially on a public blog post, but I have battled against self-hatred quite a bit. Even this past week, it tried to creep back into my thinking. In 2011, being exposed for committing adultery didn't help matters, either. Thankfully, Jesus has done a lot of work in me to help me move further away from such lies about myself. I know that shame and self-hatred won't lead me to freedom in Christ. Quite the opposite actually. Shame will keep me in bondage. I definitely don't want that.

Self-hatred can lead to a lot of selfish, shame-based thinking and behaving. At least it did for me. It is hard to change when you let such lies take root in your brain. Jesus, through His holy spirit, is the author of change. Through Him, I can experience deliverance as I become "transformed by the renewing of my mind," and by "taking every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ."

Self-hatred is something we allow ourselves to drift toward and believe. Though some people are more shame-prone than others and have to work hard to avoid such negative thinking (me included), it is a daily choice to either believe such lies or to reject them and trust in God's truth and promises.

If I allow myself to drift toward self-hatred and shame, then I feel worse and get stuck. The more I reject such lies and rest in God's truth, the more victory I experience and the more freedom I find in Him. My personal walk with Christ, on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis is my best source of hope and strength. Apart from Christ, I am doomed. I am okay admitting that since Jesus never intended me to do this life on my own. He said to "abide in Him" and that's what I want to do.

Pride, fear, worry, isolation, loneliness, shame, self-hatred, bitterness, un-forgiveness, lust, coveting, gossip, and hate are not from God and lead to death. The fruit (not fruits) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control and leads to life, in Christ. When these things are evident in my life, it is a reflection of my growing dependence on Him.

A great book on overcoming self-hatred is by Brennan Manning called, A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred. See an explanation of the book below. It's worth reading, especially if you want to know Jesus more personally and understand how His relationship with His Father shaped everything He did, felt, thought, and knew. Or, you or someone you know, may be battling against self-hatred and need some Christ-centered guidance on how to overcome it.

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Jun 29, 2004

Description of the Book
"Following his work on the unconditional love of God in The Wisdom of Tenderness, bestselling Christian writer Brennan Manning now turns to the life and work of Jesus to find an answer to what he believes is the most pressing spiritual problem of our age: self-hatred. The damage caused by this problem is immense. We project it onto God, believing God could never love us because we are unlovable, or we expect an unattainable perfection of ourselves and are left drowning in shame. But Manning warns us that we can't look to ourselves if we want to understand God's love: "The Love of the Father for his children plunges us into mystery, because it is utterly beyond the pale of human experience." The answer to the problem of self-hatred is better understood when we look to the life of Jesus to illuminate the mystery of God's love and compassion. Manning shows us that our persistent self-hatred is rooted in a "script" founded in a faulty understanding of the nature of divine love and a lack of clear understanding of the person and message of Jesus. "In the eyes of the Master whom we have failed, we detect the infinite compassion of the Father and see revealed, in Jesus, the human face of God," he writes. In bringing us a clearer glimpse of Jesus, he helps us to rewrite this script of self-hatred by patterning our lives after the examples of Jesus on earth: his healing work, stories of deliverance, liberating prayer, integrity of self-acceptance, and all-encompassing compassion. Manning also takes us beyond the personal predicament of self-hatred, asking, "What would the church be like if we erred from an excess of compassion rather than from a stingy and legalistic lack of it?"

No comments:

Post a Comment