This next giant has also been taunting me since I was a little girl. Once again, I didn’t realize it was an issue until later in my life. I spent all of my childhood constantly striving to be noticed by my father. I wanted him to be proud of me, so I did everything I could to get him to recognize me. Grades were a big deal for him, so I tried the best I could to have as many A’s as possible. I joined clubs and teams and strived to be the best so he would notice my accomplishments. That pattern of behavior became the way I lived my life. But, no matter what I did, I still felt rejected. So, I am going to call the next giant “Rejection.”
Louie states in Goliath Must Fall, “Rejection shows up in more ways than we think. This giant has cousins on both sides of the family—and the two sides don’t look anything alike. On one side of the family, the cousins are called insecurity, low self-esteem, low self-worth, inferiority, and even self-hate. On the other side of the family—and it can be surprising to learn these are related—the cousins are called driven to succeed, perfectionism, winning at all costs, and being an overachiever.”
Because I was rejected in many ways by my father, I lived my life trying to please and perform and be perfect. I look back at myself as a little girl and I see that I was desperate to have my father notice me. I remember one time in particular that I looked at my Dad and said, “I am just a little girl.” His expectations of me were way above what any parent should expect from a child. I just wanted him to pay attention to me like any normal child does, so his rejection of me caused some terrible habits that I still fight today. Most of my issues are listed above.
This way of life has been very hard for me to change because it is so ingrained in me. I have fallen into the trap of getting my worth by pleasing others. But, when you are pleasing others instead of the Lord, then it becomes a major issue. I am learning that there is a line that I need to stay away from. I kind of become a maniac and go into hyper-drive trying to make people happy. I can’t stop because I am getting my worth out of performing instead of from the Lord. It is a vicious cycle and a daily struggle. I know I would be much happier if this giant was dead.
While I was reading Louie’s book, he said some things that made me understand why I am the way I am. I would like to share them with you. “If you’ve been told you’re worthless, then you think low of yourself. And if you’ve been told you’re only valuable when you perform, then you think you’ve got to prove yourself every single time to be accepted. Both methods of coping are signs you’re battling the giant of rejection.”
My Dad didn’t say I was only valuable when I performed, but the only way I got his attention was when I performed. Until I started reading this book, I didn’t realize that most of my issues stemmed from rejection. My Dad’s rejection of me turned me into a person who got her self-worth from trying to please him and others. I have learned that living to please others is dangerous because you can never please everyone and people are not going to give you what the Lord can give you. My worth can’t come from others. And, the world we live in doesn’t help matters either. Our culture is focused on achievement and success, so we feel like we aren’t worth anything unless we measure up to the world’s standard of success.
It has been tremendously difficult to believe that I am loved and I don’t have to perform for that love. Because giants have a history with us, my giant doesn’t want me to believe the truth that I am accepted and loved by God. He wants me to continue to believe that I need to perform for God’s love. Well, I am sick of listening to this giant! God’s word says, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” Psalm 27:10
If you have the giant of rejection in your life or any other giant for that matter, there is a book written by Neil Anderson called Who I Am In Christ that I recommend for you to read. (I need to read it again.) The very first chapter in Neil’s book says, “I Am Accepted.” It feels so good to say those three words. I am sitting here trying to soak those words into my brain and my heart. I don’t have to do anything to be accepted by God. Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” He accepts us because He created us and loves us. We don’t have to do anything to gain that acceptance. He even loves those who don’t choose Him. He just loves because that is who He is. Isn’t that amazing and hard to grasp at the same time? It boggles my brain! (I know it doesn’t take much to do that!) But, really He is truly amazing! He holds us close no matter who rejects us. He is always there for us.
The bottom line is our true net worth is Jesus Christ. Giglio God loved us so much that Jesus had to die for our sins. His life was given for us. Louie reminded me of the story of Jesus getting baptized in the Jordan River. Matthew 3:16-17 “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove resting on Him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” The point that Louie makes about this story is the fact that Jesus hadn’t even started his ministry yet. He hadn’t healed anyone or performed any miracles. God was already pleased with Him before He even started. Does that speak to anyone else out there? It sure does to me! The Father was pleased with His Son without Him doing a thing! (Well, He did get baptized and lived a perfect life because He was perfect, but besides these little facts, God accepted Him and loved Him and He wanted the world to know that!) WOW! He is whispering in our ears too!
Haven’t we all yearned to hear words of acceptance and love from others? I know I have. I yearned for years to hear them from my father. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear them very often from him. So, I have to start listening more to my heavenly Father and believing His words when He speaks to me instead of that ugly giant! I can’t listen to that giant any more. Whenever he tries to speak to me, I need to tell him to “shut-up!” I need to start living my life from believing that I am loved and accepted by the God of the Universe! That is huge people! (At least it is for me or maybe other performance driven people out there) He loves and accepts us before we do anything! I am in awe! My goal is to tell myself that I am loved and accepted every morning before I do anything.
I am going to end with one more story from Louie. He was asked to speak to the swimmers on the USA swim team before they left for the Olympics in Rio. This is what he said. “I don’t know exactly what you’ve been trained to think just as you stand on the blocks ready for that beep that signals you into your race. Whatever you’ve been taught to think by your coaches, think that.” He glanced at the coach and he nodded and smiled. “But if you have a split second to spare, look down at that block and imagine the word accepted written on it with your name. Hear your heavenly Father saying for all to hear, ‘This one is mine.’ Imagine Him whispering in your ear: ‘I really, really love you. I am already pleased with you!’ Then he added, “Swim your tail off! Not because acceptance is waiting for you at the end of the race—but because you already have it.”
I don’t know about you, but that is how I want to live my life. I need to believe before I do anything, even write this blog, that I am loved and accepted by God. I want to live every single day of my life hearing Him whisper in my ear, “I really, really love you. I am already pleased with you!” Thank you Louie Giglio for sharing that story! It really helped me view acceptance differently. That giant of rejection is going down! Until next time friends……