Monday, February 23, 2015


I know it, you know it.

It comes from the Bible:

"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you." 
(Matthew 7:12, NLT)

There's also this:

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31, ESV)

I think we're all very familiar with these verses.  And they're so very important.  The whole concept of kindness and sympathy and compassion is integral to who Jesus was, and to who He continues to be.

I believe that He was gentle and patient with people – (except for those Pharisees, but they deserved it!!)

I believe it's how He truly wants us to be, following His example of mercy.

Therefore, I believe that most of us strive to obey these commandments.

However, there's something else I want to talk about today.

And that is the idea of how do we treat ourselves?

In a recent conversation with a friend – (you know who you are!!) – it quickly became very apparent that we are very hard on ourselves.

And I've been pondering that.

If I apply the Golden Rule to myself, what does that look like?

For instance, if I was to treat my neighbor as I've treated myself lately, this is how it would look:

I would tell them they're weak.

I would tell them they're a lousy Christian with little faith.

I would tell them they're overweight, lazy, and unattractive.

I would tell them they're stupid.

I would tell them they can't ever do anything right.

I would tell them they are worthless.

I would tell them that they are alone and abandoned.

I would tell them to give up.

I could easily come up with many other statements.  Very easily.

But, can you even imagine what would happen if I actually did say these things to someone else??

I see lawsuits, and retaliation, and ugly recriminations.

So, really, why do I do this to myself then?

My friend and I talked about times of suffering and discouragement.  We talked about spiritual battles in the midst of these times.

And I believe one of the biggest struggles I face in these *seasons* is not so much turning my back on Jesus.

No, it's refusing to apply His grace to me.

I don't find it terribly difficult to be kind to others who are suffering.  But when the suffering plants itself on my doorstep, I can become downright cruel to myself.

So, here's where I come to the concept of grace.

I even looked it up in Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary:

G ently
R emembering and
A ccepting
C hrist’s
E ternal love

I find myself able to embrace the grace of my Savior as it applies to salvation.  And I am able to pass it on to others most of the time.

But, when it comes to me – nope.  I don't give myself any room to be *human* without an inner dialogue of unkind thoughts – especially when I'm tired or sick, or sick and tired.

I begin to see the enemy at work here.

Sometimes his weapons against those who sincerely desire to follow Jesus become more subtle.

Direct attacks like, "Forget about God" – or "Turn your back on God" – or "Curse and deny God" – those don't usually affect me too much.

But, when the enemy influences my own thoughts, and turns me against myselfwell, that's when I essentially turn my back on grace.

I have this picture:

Jesus, reaching out His scarred and loving hands to me, pleading with me to accept the kindness, compassion, mercy, and gentleness He extends to me…

…and me, turning my back on Him and saying, "No thanks, I'm a worm."

Oh yes, it's true, Jesus did save a wretch like mebut it wasn't for the purpose of always having me feel wretched.

And when I am suffering or feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, when I am struggling, it certainly doesn't help to pile on a bunch of internal kibitzing.

I think you get the picture.

So for me, the spiritual battle lies in accepting grace.

In giving myself some room to be sad or mad or discouraged or in pain – without also telling myself that I'm a loser.

Even in these moments, I have to refocus and look at myself through the loving eyes of Jesus.

Jesus, the One who says:

"My grace is sufficient."

"My strength is made perfect in your weakness."

The One who says:

"I love you."

So here's what I say…

Surrender yourself to His grace.

Accept that it applies to you – not just your salvation – but your everyday, often messy, complicatedly human life.

Don't fall into complacency and say, "Oh, it's just the way I am."  That is indeed the other end of the spectrum.  The *flip side* of the lie that the enemy seeks to implant in our thoughts and heart.

But neither wallow in personal negativity and naysaying.

There are times in life when we just need to be kind and patient with ourselves.  To extend to ourselves the same gentleness that we would extend to others.

To apply the grace that Jesus so generously offers and bestows upon us.

To internalize it.

To rest in the knowledge that we're not perfect, that sometimes we're just not doing very well, and that that really is OK.

We need to let Jesus love us, perhaps especially when we find ourselves most unlovable.

He died for our flaws, our faults, our failings.

He does not hold them against us.

Let us do the same.

Sometimes we need to do to ourselves what we would do to others.

Sometimes we need to love ourselves as we would love our neighbors.

And sometimes, we just need to cut ourselves some slack…

…and rest in the grace that has been given to us.

Be gentle, friends, be kind.

And let the Word of God be the words that you say to yourself.

"Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own?  No one…"

(Not even ourselves)

"Who then will condemn us?  No one…"

(Not even ourselves)

Dear ones, if God is for us, who can ever be against us? 


Oh yes, amen.

HEY, c'mon!

Who couldn't love
a face like that???

The LORD delights
in those who fear him.

"The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love…He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.  For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.  He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.  The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.  For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust." (Psalm 103:8, 10-14, NLT)

"I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.  I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them." (Hosea 11:3-4, ESV)

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  I will build you up again, and you…will be rebuilt." 
(Jeremiah 3:3-4, NIV)

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love?  Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?  No...

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35, 38-39, NLT)

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, 
gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (Philippians 4:8, MSG)

What lies do you tell yourself?

Linked with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. How about this one: GRACE is God's Riches At Christ's Expense. Good message sharon. And correct. Who could not love a face like that!! :)

  2. That is a great picture of you, Sharon! Always good timely advice you share with us. I need to learn to cover myself more with God's grace because I have been known to be harder on myself than others with sometimes how I view myself, but yet I need to remember how Jesus sees me :)


  3. I really like Sharon's acrostic dictionary. ;) Oh and I like Sharon too. :)

  4. We need to extend as much grace to ourselves as we do others.

  5. Aww...I certainly love that sweet face. Think how much more God does! I loved this post and just what I needed to hear. I can also be very hard on myself at times and wonder how God keeps on forgiving me over and over. Because HE IS GOD, THAT'S WHY...DUH!! Thanks for reminder...I need it often. God bless you, my friend :)

  6. Ouch! Wow--this really hits home, Sharon. If I spoke to others like I spoke to myself, I'd have no friends. ha. Thank you for spelling this out so clearly. May I also say "I forgive you" to myself now. Grace for all of us! Love the pic. :)

  7. Hi Sharon! You KNOW we all love that face of yours!
    Girl, we are on the same page today. Contributing compassion to ourselves is something we somehow don't do very well. If we can't be good to ourselves, then we're going to run out of gas when we try to help anyone else. I have trouble loving me enough, and I mean that in the best way.
    God sees us as his lovely ones, his doves. Let's do that too!

  8. Oh thank you Sharon, of course God loves that sweet face as much as I do and enjoyed seeing you in winter garb, as a California girl? Such a boulder delight! Anyways, which of us has the One Word "Grace" and which of us has "Healing"?
    Another new Acrostic for me from that special one of yours!!! I don't do very well with "love others as loving myself" either ... however, even if we are hard on ourselves, highly critical or demand much, it's usually not "loving" ourselves. I think we require much of ourselves and measure ourselves according to a high level of expectation that we can't quite arrive at ... but truthfully we do "love" ourselves (even if we don't think so) because we tend to put our selves, our wants and desires first (even if we don't say so). Yes, often we sacrifice THAT for the good of others (we think). But I think sometimes we get payback in this too! I might be wrong, but we really need to examine this truthfully and closely.
    Are our motivations self seeking? I say this because in my younger days, someone every close to me, would probably have said I love myself yet my actions toward myself certainly did not always show this (especially when I tread on dangerous waters or closer to "sin").

    One of my biggest lies is I can do this on my own ... and then I see my weaknesses, my frailties. I was thinking of what "lies" I tell myself ...and most have to do with not measuring up in some category or various ones. I hold myself responsible for much in my past rather than let it go. I often push the rewind button. I know that I am far from perfect yet I expect to do better with what I have or have been given (certainly not looks or brains, but I do the best with all I have). Fitness (I need work) ... taking care of my health and rest (need to improve) ... and the list could go on and on. Feeling like I don't deserve this or that ... such as God's Grace, or blessings ... etc. but knowing that I depend on Him for everything; my protection, my provision, my shelter, etc. When the portion comes to me, I try to make do and pass the compassion on. I hope that I am not refusing to apply His Grace to myself especially in my inadequacies. For we have been gifted! I try to make use of as many as I can ... encouragement, and compassion. Yeah, that old enemy knows exactly what area to attack me. I would have few friends if I treat them as I do myself or maybe this is my problem. :) Not as many friends as I once had ... more selective and more secluded than ever before in my life. Not reaching out as much as I use to or I could either. My limits are increasing and my fault finding. (sigh) Great lesson once again and now I need to internalize it and soak in this GRACE! I know God really wants me to get this and understand more of His Grace and extending His Grace to others and myself! Thanks for reminding me!

    Love ya' and sending my prayers still and this (((HUG))),

  9. Sharon, I think it's so interesting that we extend grace to others sometimes more than to ourselves. Our women's group just started a new study called "Lies Women Believe" (Nancy DeMoss) and it was interesting how many women resonated with the thought.... Must be a God thing :-) Awesome post~ thanks for visiting the Small Wonder link up.

  10. Great words! Stopping by from SDG, Blessings!

  11. It is good to realize where these type of lies come from and understand that everything Satan tells us, God says the exact opposite about us. Jesus tells us to come unto Him and He will give us rest. We labor until we wear ourselves out with trying - - Jesus tells us to cast our care - - turn and walk away and let him handle it. (Paraphrased) :-) Your inspiring discoverings, are blessing us all. Thank you for sharing your treasure of a story with us here at “Tell Me a Story."

  12. I will bless you with a future filled with hope— a future of success, not of suffering. You will turn back to Me and ask for help, and I will answer your prayers. You will worship Me with all your heart, and I will be with you (Jeremiah 29: 11-13 CEV).

    I am reading this great book by Clark, Dennis; Clark, Jen (2013-12-17). Live Free: Discover the Keys to Living in God's Presence 24/7 (p. 55). Destiny Image, Inc.. Kindle Edition. I got it either Free or I paid 99 cents for it from (I can't remember) It is regular about $10 for a kindle. The above verse I just had to copy for you my dear child.

  13. So crucial to allow ourselves to be caught up in God's love and grace no matter how inadequate and undeserving we feel. Wonderful post, Sharon!

  14. I recently read a study that said women feel guilty at least 4 times a day in relation to our roles as mother, daughter, wife and friend. I think we, and I know I beat myself up alot for "not measuring up". Thanks for your post. I am your neighbor at Holley's linkup.

  15. Oh, dear friend! How I needed this one today! I truly extend little to NO grace to myself...Kevin, Zachary, and I just had this conversation the other night. Why do I find it so easy to tell everyone else how much Jesus loves them and how unconditional His love is, but when it comes to me, I just do not believe that truth applies? I am so glad I am not the only one who feels this way and who struggles like this. God help us all to somehow find a way to SEE His grace...and not only to see it, but to ACCEPT OWN it as our own. I pray for you often and trust Jesus to see you through every battle you face. Love and appreciate you so much!

  16. Such a good word, Sharon! Our self talk is so important. We need to accept what God says of us, not the condemnation of the enemy.

  17. We all need this message! I like the thought, not to view ourselves as Jesus does is not accepting grace. I can highly recommend Jennifer Dukes Lee Blog. She wrote a book about being Pre-approved and it's become my favorite word. Once a week, she features a Pre-approved sister's post and it is very uplifting and keeps me in check about this subject!

    Sending you a hug back (your photo looks like you invite a hug!!)

  18. You really hit home with those direct questions and condemnations we speak to ourselves. We're striving to be like our Savior, but inherently know that there is no perfection in us... it is Him... and His love and grace that we don't allow ourselves.

    You're really onto something here, Sharon. A needed post.

    And I'm here every week! I make it a point to be! This is like my own personal "fillin' station"!

  19. I just went back to last weeks post and see that for some reason it didn't post my mug shot? Could be for the best!

  20. Great picture, great blog full of grace.

  21. Sharon,

    WOW! Okay, guilty party right here. So often I give myself the worst negative self talk and instead of realizing what is happening, I justify why I feel it's true. Man, the enemy can sure get the best of us at times. Thank you for this truly relevant post today. Going to start working on my own thoughts and start treating myself better instead of the martyr!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  22. Love this message! You shared it well. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  23. Great post and so true, it is easy to extend GRACE to others but when it comes to ourselves we find it difficult, thanks for the reminder to apply it to ourselves. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  24. Great pic btw. And funny thing, I posted about grace wrote out perfect grace. Hugs Sharon and wishes for a beautiful Thursday.

  25. That smile is such a great smile!

  26. Sharon, wow what a moving post today for #livefree - I felt you speaking directly to me: "But, when the enemy influences my own thoughts, and turns me against myself – well, that's when I essentially turn my back on grace." Yep. thanks so much for your encouragement today. Have a great one, Kim Stewart

  27. It;s so important to extend that grace and compassion to ourselves. God wants that for us! What an encouraging message.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.

  28. Sharon, I love this post. I absolutely agree that one of our biggest challenges is treating ourselves as though we are actually loved the way God says. I believe He delights when He sees us begin to honor this. Best to you.

  29. Ka-chow, girl! I love that you switched this totally around-- definitely haven't thought about it like that before... but I love it. Just like I love you :-) Thanks for this lady.

    PS: I really need a copy of Sharon's acrostic dictionary. It would be so helpful in my everyday. HA.

  30. Yep I am with you on that, those are all the things I feel about myself! I have to be truthful, I am not ready to accept who I am today. I want to be so much better. I am lazy and I don't like myself for that. I don't see life as fun anymore but I will never give up on God and His love for me.

  31. "Jesus did save a wretch like me – but it wasn't for the purpose of always having me feel wretched." NAIL ON THE HEAD, Sharon! I need to read this post on a weekly basis. Thank you, friend.

  32. Lately, I've been pretty hard on myself - feeling like I haven't loved good enough, especially in my classroom. It's easy to focus on what I'm not doing right (and I've had plenty of those moments) instead of all the good things taking place. God's grace is an amazing dispensation of love. I appreciate your reminder to "live" there rather than hide in the corners where truth is overshadowed by the enemy's lies.

  33. Excellent points here.
    I heard someone say once, "What would you do to a friend who lied to you as often as your feelings have?" and this came to mind as I read your final question.

  34. I have never considered this from the perspective of how I treat myself. Very thought provoking!

  35. Words are so often taken for granted but they have superb power in our lives. It makes a lot of difference both to the speaker and to the receiver of the message. :)

    Have a blessed week ahead!

  36. I just love you. Seriously, friend. YOU in so many ways have been such a blessing to me. The messages you share ALWAYS hit home and this one REALLY did. I'm still smiling over our time together!!!!
    God bless you.

  37. THANK YOU!! A much needed read as I'm very hard on myself, too. So good to be back in Blogland and spending a little time with you sharing God . . . always balm to my soul.

  38. I love how you encourage others! I suffer from ugly self-talk as well and I've recently had to literally stop in my tracks to "stop it". Love your posts and look forward to what you will share this week at Women With Intention Wednesdays!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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