Often, when we think of the Biblical people of old, we forget that they were not perfect. In fact, they were everyday men and women going about their lives, trying to embrace promises God had given them despite the fact that nothing gave the slightest indication those promises could come to fruition. We have been “formed in sin and shapen in iniquity” (Psalm 51:5), which means things have occurred in our lives over which we had no control, and these things have, in part, formed our characters. That is why knowledge is so powerful — the more you understand yourself and why you do the things you do, the better chance you have of making positive changes in your life.
This next series will address things that stand in the way of our desire to change. While we don’t always know why we are the way we are, we can look at certain behaviors and determine the type of injury that must have been inflicted. In no way are we saying that you should lay blame on those who raised you the best they could with what they had or didn’t have at the time. We look to the past only to understand ourselves; that we might be able to make changes that will positively affect future generations.
Christmas in my house was the best time of year: the smell of cookies, cakes, and pies was mesmerizing, and the music playing in the background only helped to brighten the mood. For a small period of time, those with “grown-folk” problems could get lost in the nostalgia of the season. I remember the first time I was allowed to help put up the tree. I saw the adults start with the lights, and as I grabbed them I heard someone yell, “No! That’s not how you handle lights! You could damage the bulb, and then we’ll be here all night trying to figure out which bulb is causing the rest of them not to shine.” After the lights went up, I started picking up ornaments, but again I heard the words, “NO! That’s not how you handle the ornaments!” The entire evening went on like that, and the truth is they were right. I didn’t know how to do anything that I was trying to do that night … because no one had ever showed me. They expected me to know how to do things without ever having taught me.
If this story resonates with you, there’s a good chance you lived in an environment where you felt criticized a lot. A couple of behaviors arise from those of us who felt constantly criticized: we tend to either be perfectionists or procrastinators who settle for second best and take few risks for fear of getting things wrong.
May you have the courage to believe that YOU are good enough.