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The Long Winding Road to Self-Acceptance

The Long Winding Road to Self-Acceptance
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalms 139:13-14

What good are you on the field as an introvert? No one will dare raise the question to my face, of course, but it’s something I’ve asked myself many times. The biographies of the great global workers from the past all point to the same attributes: they’re outgoing, go-getters, leaders, or trailblazers. They set a standard I could never reach. Why would God call me? I wonder.

Maybe you’re an introvert like me who’s struggled with the same thoughts. Or perhaps you can’t relate at all. But regardless, the enemy wants all of us to feel that we don’t measure up in some way. He wants us to feel so badly about ourselves that we stop believing that we have anything to offer the Lord.

For years I felt shame at being uncomfortable with street evangelism or being shy in large groups. If only I could be like… At the time of my greatest struggle, I went to our annual staff conference. We all took a personality test – can’t remember which one – and I had a revelation: God purposely made each of us different. He meticulously designed our personalities, our strengths, and weaknesses with the precision of a master watch-maker. 

In Psalm 139:13-14, David praised God for how he was created. He went so far as to call himself “fearfully and wonderfully made” because he recognized that the Lord formed him. He could accept himself – personality and all – because he knew he wasn’t the product of chance or the result of a mistake. God carefully crafted him to be who he was.

The truth is, the Lord needs all kinds of people in his service. Imagine if we were all the same: what chaos and conflict that would create. Every person, with their unique personality and gifting, has their purpose in the kingdom of God.

That staff conference was the beginning of a journey toward self-acceptance. I haven’t arrived yet, but I’m a lot closer than before. 

Whenever we see ourselves as less worthy than others, let’s agree with the psalmist that we are the masterful handiwork of God.

Closing Prayer
Lord, I thank you for how you’ve made me. I’m not a mistake. I’m not less worthy than others. Lord, forgive me for all the times when I’ve complained about how you created me. When I don’t accept myself, I’m actually rejecting you. Help me fully embrace who I am and strive to be the best “me” that I can be. Amen.
Song: Who am I? by Casting Crowns This beautiful song reminds us of our great value in God’s sight.
Question for Reflection

What stereotypes of the “ideal global worker” cause us to struggle with self-acceptance?

Carol Schlorff
August 02, 2022

I think that many people see the Apostle Paul as the stereotypical global worker. At least, that’s a standard I unconsciously put on myself, which, of course, I could never attain. No one writes books about the quiet and faithful workers who serve in the background. The idea that a trailblazer like Paul was the standard I should aspire to was the source of a lot of guilt and shame for me. Fortunately, I came to recognize my mistake (although I still struggle at times).