Breaking up with a person that you’ve loved very deeply can be a difficult thing to bear, and some people encounter serious blows to their self-esteem as a result of it. This is especially true when the person in your life makes you believe that he or she is leaving because you’re not good enough for them. When I hear stories like this, it’s almost like hearing the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. I know teachers will make this mistake as they erase away errors, but it doesn’t make hearing it any better. The first thing that pops in my mind is the absurdity of someone actually thinking and behaving so arrogantly, and then I get agitated by the unmitigated gall of anyone that could do this to another person. The truth is that when everything is said and done, we can’t be mad about it. If you give someone your best, and they show you time and time again that they don’t know how to appreciate it, who’s to blame…them or you?
I’m reminded of a situation of someone that held on to a relationship for many years, and a lot of the times she was not treated well at all. The man was very handsome, and she didn’t think much of her own looks. She felt almost privileged to be out with him. It wasn’t until she actually overheard him speaking on the phone to a new interest that it finally sunk in. She had settled for crumbs, and realized that she had been in denial about how bad things were for a very long time. This man belittled her to an unspeakable level, and it took hearing the two of them laughing and conversing at her expense for her to wake up.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT) “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” The image of ourselves that we see today is incomplete. It will not be totally perfected until Christ returns, but this image can and should become clearer the more we put on the mind and heart of Christ. The thing is, none of us should shy away from looking at the mirror life holds up for us. We can learn from it.
When a person tries to build a relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate and honor them, as hard as it is to hear, the person that they’ve chosen will hold up this mirror for them. The reflection is going to be a picture of how they really feel about themselves. It is easy to play the blame game when this happens, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. The reflection tells us that it is time to wrestle with the real issue.
If somewhere deep in your soul you don’t feel good enough, it is a terrible feeling, one that will cause many other feelings of insecurity and doubt to spring up. Jesus Christ will help us to deal with the root of why we feel poorly about ourselves, and he’ll heal us in ways that we can’t possibly know, but it isn’t until we’re ready to deal honestly with this issue that we can set things in order and move forward with a new found strength and confidence.
So it stands to reason that if we want from another person the kind of love we feel we deserve, we must first have it anchored in our souls for God in Christ, and then for ourselves. 2Timothy 1:7 (NLT) tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” God hasn’t given us a spirit of insecurity, doubt, self-loathing, and self-deprivation. He’s given us a spirit of power, love and soundness. Colossians 2:10 assures us, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” No good thing has God withheld from us. We are power packed and oozing over with good stuff. If we believe anything to the contrary of this, we are believing something that isn’t true.
If we keep our eyes focused on the imperfection we assume we have, and if we refuse to allow the Spirit to help us release things that hold us back, then we might continue to allow others to rob us of the power, love, and soundness that God has given us. This will continue a negative cycle, and it doesn’t have to be that way. We cannot control how others see us, but we can certainly control how we respond to their perception of who we are.
Many of us have the ability to keep on loving even when the love from the other person is no longer there. This is admirable, but it should be love from a distance. In other words, we should only want to be in a relationship with the person that God has ordained to be our partner. This is a person that will help us to love ourselves in a healthy way. So some of us need to change the lens from which we view ourselves, and we also need to change the focus of our prayers. They should be centered around what we need to do and see so that we can begin to love ourselves in the Spirit of Christ, and thereby begin to attract all the goodness that God has in store for us. ■
“When His Love is No Longer There!” written for FACM ©2016. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!