As news reports indicate, mistreatment of children is tragically widespread. And kids wounded by abuse can be scarred for life. Fortunately, most people’s experiences aren’t that extreme. But even mild hurts can fester, affecting relationships and self-image.
The Origin. The bondage of self-rejection can often be traced to feeling unaccepted by someone close. Trauma like divorce or a loved one’s death may also contribute to a distorted self-image. Once internalized, this type of thought pattern can lead to negative behaviors.
The Symptoms. If a person has difficulty accepting himself, he may have a tendency to criticize others and interpret innocent comments as personal attacks. Perfectionism and feelings of inferiority are also common. As a result, fear of failure and criticism may lead to procrastination.
Another outcome of self-rejection is unpredictable anger. People who are hurt may find themselves easily frustrated. Such individuals might become loners or feel overly concerned about others’ opinions. For example, instead of focusing on a church service, one may notice what people are wearing and feel insecure about her own outfit. Someone with this mindset can be hard to love because she questions whether she’s worthy of care and affection. Sadly, she may then behave in a way that “proves” her theory.
We find the solution in today’s scripture: We are to accept one another as Jesus accepts us. This includes accepting ourselves. Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of self-rejection.