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Editor's Note: We are a non-religious magazine. However, we acknowledge that spirituality is an important part for some. Our Faith column is a place for anyone to discuss how faith positively affects their mental health and how to improve the conversation around mental health within faith communities.
Satan’s favourite tactic for sabotaging my faith is tempting me with self-hate. It is good to be humble and honest about our sinfulness, but allowing our imperfections to define us after we have brought them to the foot of the cross makes Satan, not Jesus, our Lord.
For many of us, this is one of the most common sins we fall into.
God promises us He will always provide a way out of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13, EDITION). For me, prayers of thankfulness are the key to fighting my way out.
When I am tempted to despair about the limitations I face because of my mental illness, fervently thanking God is the only way to escape the temptation.
I thank Him for all the ways I am healthy and all the amazing ways I reflect God’s image despite my illness.
When I am tempted to hate and fight my body because it does not reach society’s standards of perfection, praising God is the only way to escape the temptation. I thank Him for the awe-inspiring way He has formed the human body.
When I am tempted to dwell on my failures and mistakes, thanking God for creating us capable of learning and growing from mistakes helps stave the temptations.
I encourage you to come before God and fight Satan’s lies with prayers of thanks. The most important reason to do this is to bring glory and honor to our Creator. The second reason is to bring perspective into our lives, renewing our minds to see the world through God’s eyes.
It can be difficult at first to begin praying thanksgiving prayers about areas of your life you feel ashamed or bitter about.
I want to share some of a prayer I bring to God frequently to keep the temptation to engage in self-hate at bay.
Thank you for creating me in your image.
Thank you for making me a creative being who can imagine and form beautiful, intricate things. Thank-you for inspiring me to embrace my creativity through your awe-striking artwork.
Thank you for making me an intuitive being. Thank-you for designing my body to tell me what it needs, and thank-you for being patient with me as I learn to listen and obey it.
Thank you for creating us with the capacity for loving our imperfect selves and our imperfect friends, lovers, and family. Thank you for the butterflies of new love, the deep peace of a night spent sharing with friends, and the loyal forgiveness of family.
Thank you for movement. Thank you for designing this body to thrive and flourish when it has a chance to lose itself in motion. Thank you for the ability to move, and thank you for those wonderful endorphins.
Thank you for healing. Thank you for making a body that heals itself in so many ways and adapts in so many others. Thank you for giving me a body that forgives me when I do not treat it well. Thank you for a mind that can be renewed in You.
Thank you for creating me to find joy in the beautiful melodies of orchestras and the quiet rhythm of rippling streams. Thank you for creating me to find peace in the prism light of the morning and the crisp scent of flowers and pine trees.
Thank you for creating sleep and rest. Thank you for setting up our bodily rhythms so we can leave difficult days behind and start fresh each and every morning. Thank you for building in a time each day for us to process, reflect, and refresh.
Thank you for never leaving me alone. Thank you for always being by my side. Thank you for giving me little reminders of Your love whenever I start to doubt Your presence and goodness. Thank you for surrounding me with your children to show me Your love when I have pushed You away.
Thank you for making us all unique. Thank you for the way You endowed each of us with unique passions, desires, strengths, weaknesses, callings, personalities, and spiritual gifts, so we must enter the difficult but beautiful joy of community.
What are some areas you have been struggling with self-hate in? What are some ways you can use prayer to fight the temptation to hate yourself?
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