Accept yourself and enjoy life more

Do you accept yourself, or are you constantly scolding yourself because you make mistakes and have faults?

Many singles set impossible standards for themselves, even higher than God sets for them. They go through life frustrated and angry because they aren't perfect.

We should all try to improve, but beating yourself up is not the way to do it.

Accept yourself by being realistic

Many of us say things to ourselves we would never voice to another person. We're downright cruel, belittling ourselves when we feel we don't measure up. It's self-destructive and we need to stop it. We each need to face a simple truth:

I'm not perfect and I never will be.

If we can overlook the flaws and shortcomings of our friends and family members, we can do it with ourselves, too. This is so crucial to our happiness that I can't stress it enough. It takes the pressure off.  It allows you to make mistakes.  It allows you to be human.

Accept yourself by being optimistic

None of us is where we want to be, but with God's help, we can get there. That's a great source of optimism.

Instead of viewing life with discouragement, see it as a work in progress. That's how God looks at you.

Change is hard, but if we do it in small steps, we can make meaningful improvement. Don't keep replaying the things you've done wrong. Focus on the gains you've made. Feel good about how far you've come.

Part of the problem is that the world encourages us to compare ourselves to others. We find that we're not as attractive as the current popular celebrity, as smart as some computer wizard, or as rich as the list of billionaires (or even millionaires). Our culture's obsession with comparisonitis always makes us feel inadequate. Don't go there!

You're unique. There's no one else like you on the entire planet, and that's the way God wanted it. Remember, too, that you have more control over your future than you might think.

You are a work in progress, capable of improvement and refinement. If you set goals and make up your mind to achieve them, you can keep growing and becoming more.

Accept yourself because God accepts you

Finally, when you think about how much God loves you and finds you precious, just the way you are, you'll see things from a different perspective.

We can keep no secrets from God. He knows everything about us, yet he loves us anyway. That's something to think about.

I still remember something my Dad said to me when I was a small boy, over 55 years ago. I was feeling sad because I was having trouble with one of my subjects in school. I just couldn't get it. He looked me in the eye and said gently:

"As long as you do your best, we'll always be proud of you."

That's the way God feels about you. And when we make mistakes or mess up, we have to remember we did the best we could at the time.

You're not on a performance treadmill with God. He loves you because you're you. That's enough for him.

Remember that God is kind and generous. When you learn to receive his enormous love for you, you'll feel a new-found sense of confidence and strength. Growth is the goal, not perfection. When you live that out, every day becomes an opportunity to know true, soul-deep joy.

What you need to know about measuring up...

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