"You will never be good enough. Compared to everyone you are nothing. You are talentless. You are worthless. You are dumb, stupid and an idiot. You are just a waste of space, no one needs you here and no one will be sad or even notice if you go missing."
I know these words are harsh, but surprisingly, these words circle my brain day by day. There isn't a day where I don't say these words to myself. No, I didn't always have these thoughts my entire life. But the weirdest thing is that I don't voluntarily say these thoughts repeatedly because I want to (I'm sure no one does), but instead, it keeps circling in my head. Even when I don't want to think of these things, it won't get out of my head.
Maybe you are like me, a person that has fallen into these lies or perhaps you have never uttered these words to yourself. Wherever you are in the process, remember that these words are lies - lies made up by others; Satan and most importantly yourself.
Image of God
Imagine that you created a robot. You love that robot very much. You watch out for it, clean it and charge it back up. You give everything that you own for the good and well-being of that robot. But then, it starts saying, "I'm useless, I'm dumb, I have no reason to live." Let me ask you, who is the robot insulting? You, the creator? Or the robot, the creation? The answer is both the robot and you.
If we look at the context of our own lives, in this analogy, we are the robot, and God is our creator. So, when we say, "I am useless, I'm not good enough, I am stupid and dumb", We are not only hurting ourselves, but we are also hurting God, our Creator. Not just because He is our Creator, but we are created in the image of God. Just as it is written down in Genesis 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them."
We often tend to forget this point. I mean, I don't go around the house saying "I am created in the image of God" over and over again. As a child, I memorised this Bible verse for Sunday School, and I always thought to myself, what is the use of this verse in my everyday life? I mean, yes, I know that I am created in the image of God and that He is my Creator. But what is the use of knowing this Bible verse? Now in this critical time of my life, I realise that this Bible verse reminds me that I have a purpose in my life, I am not useless, and that God made me with a plan in His mind.
Knowing the truth
There was a man who worked at a jewellery shop. The boss of that jewellery shop came up to this man and said, "From today onwards, you are the manager of this shop". The man was excited, so he asked, "What's the first task that I have to do as a manager?". The boss answered with a smile, "You will go to the back of the store and polish the jewellery". This man got up and did what he was told. The next day the man came to work and asked, "What's the next task?" The boss answered, "You will go to the back of the store and clean jewellery". The man got up and went to work. This scene kept happening for a couple of weeks and even months.
After a couple of months, the man had the urge to quit his job as he did not like cleaning jewellery for a whole day, while his co-workers got to work a regular job. He went to his job determined to quit that day. When he arrived at his career, his boss repeated the same thing, to clean jewellery at the shop's back. The man walked with a frown stuck on his face. He sat down unwillingly and started to clean the jewellery, but then he noticed a slight change in the jewellery - a very slight change. He looked at it closely and examined it. He slowly went up to his boss and said, "Boss, this is fake". The boss smiled and said, "Now you can sit at the front and trade jewellery, well done."
The point of the story is that when we know (when I say ‘know’, that means knowing it inside and out) the truth, we will discern truth and a lie. The best way of finding a lie is to know the truth
This applies in our life as we live in a world full of lies, and most of us cannot tell the difference between lies and the truth. The only way we know that the things we are hearing are a lie or is the truth is by knowing the truth well. This means that we have to grow closer to God, and you can do that by reading His Word, the Bible.
I know sometimes it's hard to read the Bible, and sometimes you just read it, and it doesn't go in your head; I experience those things too. But reading the Bible is very important because it's the truth, and it's the only way you can discern between lies and truth in this world full of lies.
Knowing your worth
This life is a race. Some parts of it are meaningless, such as the race for approval from others. Let me tell you, do not run this race. This is a never-ending race, a meaningless race, a race that will end up in vain and a race that has no reward at the end. We, humans, tend to compare and seek the approval of others. This is very wrong; we were not made to please others. Our purpose in life is much more than comparing and pleasing other people.
I understand that it is hard not to compare yourself to other people. Truthfully, I compare myself a lot to the people around me, and it is not only bad, but it's self-destructive. It is toxic for you and the people around you. Comparing yourself to others will make you jealous of people around you, and it will also hurt you deeply. We all need to stop comparing. We are all made with different talents, different strengths and weaknesses.
Proving yourself is also another thing that is hard not to do. This world is competitive. I've had a hard time keeping up with the new ways to prove myself. Let me tell you; it is really, really toxic for you. The only approval you need is from God, not from other people. In my experience, I tried many times to prove myself in front of people and even in the church ministry. I failed every time I tried, and eventually, I gave up. Not only did I give up on proving myself, but I also had a thought to give up on the ministry.
I told one of my friends my problem. I told him that I felt like I was not good enough and that maybe I should stop doing that ministry. I was waiting for him to say that I was right but what he said next surprised me. He said, "Ivana, you need to stop living in these lies. Think it this way, yes, many people are better than you and I. But God has given us a chance to glorify Him, not those people that are better than us. We all should be grateful that he has given us a chance to serve him. It is an honourable and big task". We are not made to please people in this world. The most important thing is that God is pleased with our life.
If you think that you are talentless, you need to stop. Having someone do better than you in something you are good at does not mean you are talentless. We all have talent. God has given us all talents. Even though some are more gifted than others, we still need to keep going and let our talents bloom. I know that this is hard, I mean, I've fallen into this lie many times, and I still do. I've often compared myself to everyone around me, and I tried to prove myself that I am worthy of being there so that I can fit in. Trust me; you do not want to fall into this lie. When you have fallen into this pit of lies, it will be very hard for you to come out of that pit. Now I have realised that the way to cut these lies is to take them from the root of the problem, comparing yourself, and proving yourself.
Let me summarise this whole article in two sentences. This world is full of lies, lies that would crumble you down and lies that can hurt you and other people. The only way to get rid of this lie is to stay close with God, have a close relationship with him. That way, you can discern between the lie and the truth.
Trust me when I say you are not struggling alone. There are many people out there, like me, who are also struggling with this. I am not writing this because I have already gone past this struggle, but because I am in it. I'm here to warn you and be there for you.
There is one more most important thing you need to know:
Depend on God. He is the only one that can help you through this phase of life, no one else. Not even your parents, friends or even teachers. Surrender your whole life to Him, and He will guide you.