I have struggled with rejection, negative thinking, and a low self esteem most of my life. My parent were divorced when I was a child and I too have experienced divorced. I have been abandoned abused and I have felt totally worthless. Over the past few years I have learned through scripture study and the still small voice that my worth is not based on my determination of myself. 1 John 3:20-24 says:
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things…And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
Knowing this, I re-focus my thoughts on Christ and this helps me have an eternal perspective. I suddenly remember my potential and understand that I am much more valuable. I can hold my head higher and remind myself of who I am but most importantly who’s I am! I am a daughter of the One who created the moon and stars. Scripture says,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Esphesians 2:8-10)
As I have reminded myself of these things, my fears of rejection melt away. I no longer see myself as a failure. My faith grows as I abide in Him. As I follow His commandments, I see myself become stronger and more like Christ.
In his last talk at the April 2017 General Conference Robert D Hales tells us what disciple of Jesus Christ is. He says:
“What does it mean to be a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ? A disciple is one who has been baptized and is willing to take upon him or her the name of the Savior and follow Him. A disciple strives to become as He is by keeping His commandments in mortality, much the same as an apprentice seeks to become like his or her master.
Many people hear the word disciple and think it means only “follower.” But genuine discipleship is a state of being. This suggests more than studying and applying a list of individual attributes. Disciples live so that the characteristics of Christ are woven into the fiber of their beings, as into a spiritual tapestry.”
I think its very important that we remember who we are. We may have to remind ourselves daily and maybe more often. These characteristics that Elder Hales talked about come by way of abiding in Christ. How does one abide in Christ? Christ tells us in the book of John:
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit… If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
Christ asks us to abide in Him and we will bear much fruit. We learn from Paul about this fruit in Galatians 5,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Although these attributes are attained through abiding in Christ, we are human beings and sometimes its harder for us to maintain this spiritual state of being. For example, after I have cleaned all the crayon marks off the walls at our house and the next day our precious little finds girl a broken crayon and draws pretty little pictures everywhere — this allows me to choose. Do I choose to get angry or do I choose to have patience and see this as an opportunity to grow? Sometimes I get angry and I yell out of frustration. When this happens I immediately recognize it and the Spirit lets me know that maybe this wasn’t the best way I could have handled the situation. That’s when I repent and try to do better.
I know that my worth is unshakable and that the Father loves me beyond measure. There is is nothing that I can do or think that will separate me from His love. Paul also says in Romans 8,
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Knowing this keeps me going. I choose to follow His commandments because I love Him. I love that I am that valuable to Him. In return He blesses me with strength to endure day to day. I testify that understanding who you are and how much your Creator loves you helps you be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Knowing that I am His, helps me have a better image of myself. My mind is set on Him and I can focus more on His plan for my life. Being His disciple. I know that anyone can be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And I know that as we abide in Him, the Spirit will guide us to be better disciples.