Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
I have no desire to put any of my dear friends on the spot, but the women in my life apologize for the silliest stuff!
I’m sorry my house is a mess…
I’m sorry for talking so much…
I’m sorry my kids aren’t behaving…
I’m sorry for asking for help…
I’m sorry for feeling that way…
When you say these things to me, all I hear is “I’m sorry for being me.”
You are my friend; I know you aren’t perfect and I don’t care!
I know you well enough to know that there is no part of you worthy of an apology.
It is time for women to STOP apologizing START accepting themselves.It is time for women to STOP apologizing START accepting themselves.
It is so easy for me to see the beauty in others, but I struggle to find it within myself.
Maybe you can relate?
When I look inward, all I see are the things I don’t like.
But recently, I found myself wondering…
What if all of the things I dislike about myself are actually gifts from God to be used for His glory?What if the things I dislike about myself are actually gifts from God to be used for His glory?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Our greatest strengths are often our greatest weaknesses?”
There are many parts of my personality that have caused me a great deal of frustration throughout the years.
But, what if the very traits I am often tempted to apologize for are there for a good reason?
In life, the line between a strength and a weakness isn’t always easy to define.
What feels like a weakness to you now may, in fact, be the trait that brings about your greatest success in the future.
But if we get stuck on sorry, we may never move to the place of success.
It’s time for us to look inward and say, “This is me. I’m not perfect, but I am significant.”
It’s time for us to stop apologizing.This is me. I’m not perfect, but I am significant.
There are three very important steps we must take in order to accurately define our own strengths and weaknesses.
And once we do that, we need to realize that our perceived weaknesses are nothing to apologize for!
1. Narrow the gap between perception and reality.
There is often a large disparity between identity and reputation.
Identity is how we perceive ourselves; reputation is how others perceive us.
We should be constantly striving to narrow that gap.
We accomplish this by learning to fully receive compliments and developing transparent relationships.
Let me give an example.
I was the youngest of three children and the only girl.
Because of this, I tended to be assigned a lighter load in the chores department.
At one point or another, one of my siblings called me lazy and it stuck.
From that moment forward, I was lazy.
I claimed it as truth and it impacted how I perceived myself well into adulthood.
Early in our marriage, my husband made it his mission to show me that I was anything but lazy.
You see, I perceived myself as lazy, but my reputation was as a hard-worker.
It took someone from the outside to show me that my perception was inaccurate and needed to be adjusted.
2. Learn what God has to say about weakness.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 1 Corinthians 12:9-10
What if the very weaknesses we are ashamed of were placed in our life to show us our constant need for the Savior?
I feel as though there is a war waging between the strength of my mind and the weakness of my body.
There is so much I want to do, so many ideas to pursue, yet my productivity is often limited by my physical weakness.
When I truly grasped the meaning of this scripture, I recognized my health problems forced me to rely on God for strength.
My life and ministry have greatly benefited from understanding this simple truth.
3. Change the tone of our “inner voice.”
If we don’t feel valuable, necessary, important or worthy, we will never make a significant impact on the world around us.
The only way to change the way you feel about yourself is to first change the way you talk to yourself.
When we fill our heads with negative self-talk day in and day out, we choose to focus all of our energy on our weaknesses and limit God’s power in our lives!
The Bible is chalked full of statements about who God created you to be.
There are so many rich promises within the pages of His book, yet many of us fail to grab hold of its truth.
We allow our own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy hold us captive, preventing us from seeing the beauty God has created within us.
When was the last time you said something nice to yourself?
Today is the perfect time to change the tone of your “inner voice” to one that is more positive and uplifting. Eventually, your feelings will fall in line.When was the last time you said something nice to yourself?
It’s time for us to replace our apologies with….
I am ready to stop apologizing for being me.
I am ready to embrace my weakness, for His glory.
I am ready to start being kind to myself.
I am ready to move to the place of success.
I am ready to accept myself, flaws and all.
Are you up for the challenge?