A few years ago, one of my dearest introduced me to the mythical creature that is Dan Allender. “Because of the way you love story, I just really think you’d be in to this guy.”
And boy, was she right.
A conference, a couple books, and many podcast episodes later, we arrive at today.
Listening to podcasts is one of the best ways for me to keep my mind engaged throughout the day when I’m doing no-brain-space-needed tasks. Yesterday in the midst of one of those tasks, I was listening to an Allender Center episode called Stumbling Toward Wholeness.
I MORE than recommend you go listen to the two-episode series.
The thing that has been stirring in my mind for the past day & a half is something the guest said early on: Kindness toward ourselves is not pride. Hatred toward ourselves is not humility.
I’m sorry. What? You mean that if I think something is good or delightful about the way I am or the things I do, it’s okay for me to call those things out? To give glory to the good parts of me? To say, “Wow, God! Good job on making me the way that you did!”
Boy, do we do a real crappy job of that as Christians.
But his point – and it is so true – is that when someone does call out the good in themselves, we dismiss them as prideful, arrogant jerks.
When someone calls out the good in us, we dismiss them as not really knowing what they are talking about. “Are you kidding? You really don’t believe those good things about me, do you?”
This happened to me just a couple weeks ago. My sweet friend called out a thing that she admires in me and I buried my chin into my chest and completely dismissed the blessing she was giving to my spirit. Words I so desperately needed to hear in the moment, but was so unwilling to receive out of fear of being perceived as full-of-myself.
I was so unkind to myself. And in turn, a little unkind to my friend.
Diminishing who I am is not being a humble servant of the Lord.
It’s actually dimming the Light within me, unwilling to acknowledge or celebrate the exact imprint & image of God that I uniquely reflect.
It’s okay to be kind to yourself.
As Romans 2:4 says, “Do you not know that it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance?”
And when someone in your circle is struggling to be kind to her own self, celebrate her. Tell her who she is in Christ. Call out the good. Be kind to her.
Know that you are blessed to be a blessing, and it’s more than okay to hold that truth with tender kindness for yourself.