Too much of my life has been spent beating myself up about this or that. I should of done this or I should have done that. Why did I do this or why did I do that? Now these little guilt trips are not very productive unless you call making yourself feel like dirt productive. Now guilt can lead to repentance and change but often I am still so busy feeling bad the change does come. Satan wants us to stay in pity land. God wants us to lift our faces to him giving him our sins, unmet expectations, and failures and move on with his help. So here is my list of things I am not going to beat up myself about.
1. My weight. I am an okay weight for my height but lately my pants have been tighter than I would like. I don't want to go back to those days when I worried about my weight. But I would also not like to have to buy new pants. Worrying will not make my weight less whereas eating right and exercising regularly will at least make me healthier.
2. My language. I can communicate and usually get my message across just not always gracefully. I also know my vocabulary is lacking when it comes to getting into deeper conversations. So even though I may not be making as much improvement as I would like, I need to focus on learning a little bit each day instead of wasting time moaning about what I don't know.
3. My Ministry here. Am I reaching out enough? When do I help and when do I not help? I think a big thing here is remembering that God has a purpose for me here. It may look like someone else's ministry but then again it probably won't. So I need to be faithful where God has me now not comparing myself to someone else and what they are doing.
4. Communication with those back home. I need to do better with this but remember that communication goes both ways.
5. About how I spend my free time. Maybe I should read deeper books instead of novels. Maybe I should spend more time outside. Maybe I should watch less movies. Maybe this. Maybe that. Once again, I know I am comparing myself to some ideal. Instead I need to be thinking of what gives me rest and restoration. What does God think instead of what do others think?
Looking at my list I see how much of my worries come from expectations that I perceive from God or others. It is only when I am connected to the vine that I can clearly see what it is that God requires and wants and what is just my own doing. What are you beating yourself up about?