Lent Day 23: Self-Acceptance

It has been interesting to work through this Lenten focus of surrender. I have found myself disliking this part of myself and wanting so much for it just to go away. David Benner, in his book The Gift of Being Yourself, is helping me with these thoughts. Through his writing I am realizing that allowing God to accept us just as we are and help us accept ourselves the same way is essential for genuine transformation.  Even things about ourselves that we most deeply want to change must first be accepted – even embraced. Until we are prepared to accept ourselves exactly as we are, we block God’s transforming work of making us into who He truly created us to be. It’s one thing to know something about ourselves; it’s a whole other thing to accept the reality of our tendencies. Until we are willing to accept the unpleasant truths about our existence, we will inevitably rationalize or deny responsibility for our behavior.
So what do I do with these ideas?  Jesus provides a great word about this in Luke 18:14. “If you are content with being yourself, you will become more than yourself.” (Message)  I must accept all of who I am before the Lord can transform the tendencies in my life that are not of Him.  He accepts me just as I am, and I must learn to accept myself the same way.  With this kind of honesty I will be able to receive God’s healing of my tendency toward control.

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