Speaking the Truth in Love

I Despise Myself

Because of the terrible ordeal he suffered, Job began to question God’s justice. After realizing his mistake, he recanted. His humble confession included the words “I despise myself” (Job 42:6).

Some people look down on themselves for far less significant reasons. One time I read a snippet in a magazine written by a woman named Pamela. As a teenager she was unhappy about her height. Preparing to go out one evening, she laid out two pairs of shoes—one with heels, one without. Then the girl asked her brother to answer the door, carefully observe the date’s height, and then advise her as to which shoes to wear. When her brother came to make his report, he said, “Pamela, you’d better go barefoot.”

Do we despise ourselves? Are we too tall, too short, too heavy, too thin? Do we have too many pimples or wrinkles, too much gray hair or too much scalp showing? Do we feel inferior because of our age, income, social status, or lack of education? Do we identify with Moses, who asked God, “Who am I?” (Exod. 3:11)?

When I’m tempted to despise myself, I should remember three important things. First, feelings of inadequacy are universal. A beautiful woman may feel unattractive due to a barely noticeable blemish. A talented athlete may feel inferior to someone gifted with even more speed, quickness, and strength. Second, worthiness comes from God not self. His unbelievable sacrifice for us at Golgotha implies great human worth. Finally, the flaws in my nature will soon be replaced with perfection. Paul said that “what is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (1 Cor. 15:42-43).

Share This