What’s Wrong with ME?

Okay, this long post is to make up for all the time I didn’t get to spend blogging with you this weekend. Like Heather and Lisa B, I wish we could all be in a room talking and sipping on coffee or hot chocolate. Well, here’s the next thought I’d share…

What’s Wrong with ME?

Do you ever ask yourself that question?

Recently it dawned on me that when I ask, “What’s wrong with me?,” I am actually telling myself that something is wrong with me. Then I try to figure out what my illusive fault is so I can fix it. But honestly, my greatest fault is hidden in the question I’m asking and the statement I’m making with those four powerful words.

Why? Because every time I ask, “What’s wrong with me?,” I tell myself that something is wrong with me.

And if you are doing it, too, let’s make a pact to stop. You see, if we keep telling ourselves that something is wrong with us, we will live defeated and discouraged lives. I know most of us didn’t even realize (until now) that’s what we were doing, but now we know and we gotta do something about it.

Otherwise, the ‘real me’ (and real you) will never make her debut. (I am sorry that rhymes.) But it’s the truth. She won’t want to reveal her gifts and personality because she’ll be convinced that she’s got so much wrong with her that no one would ever want to be her friend. She’ll assume that every time someone doesn’t call, doesn’t initiate, doesn’t invite… that it’s because something is “wrong” with her.

But when we discover and embrace our unique traits, strengths, gifts, abilities and the preferences and quirks that come with them, we’ll realize we are the way we are because it’s all part of our “package.” None of us is perfect. All of us have strengths and weaknesses, but we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – just the way God planned.

However, there is someone who wants us to ask that question. He often whispers it himself, what’s wrong with you? We have a spiritual enemy who’s determined to convince us that we’re alone in our struggles. He wants us to focus on our faults and spend our days plotting strategies to hide our flaws. It’s the plot we see in the Garden of Eden. I wonder if Eve might have even said,”What’s wrong with me?” when faced with her inadequacies and insecurities. How quickly she began to cover up.

But think back with me to what God said to Adam and Eve soon after? He asked, “Who told you you were naked?” (in other words,”Who told you there’s something wrong with you?”) God acknowledged someone else was speaking shame on them and it wasn’t HIM. He was warning them that they had an enemy whispering lies into their hearts, causing them to move away from Him and each other.

Dear friend, his plot is the same for us. But we don’t have to comply. Instead we can refute his accusations and lies with truth. So today if we have any thoughts of doubt or self-criticism, instead of agreeing that something is wrong with us, let’s turn towards the One who created us and say:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them. (Ps. 139:14-17)

Also, this weekend I was reading all of your comments that mean so much to me. Amy’s confirmed the power of us sharing our hearts/stories and the power of us not thinking we’re crazy, or full of faults. She said, “Thank you for being so transparent and real and revealing your struggles so we can know we aren’t crazy and aren’t the only ones who are having these thoughts.”

Isn’t that what being friends is all about? Thank you all for being so transparent and sharing your heart with me/us in your comments. I am convinced more than ever that I’m not alone in this journey!

PS. The books Christi recommended in her comments on Friday’s post are some of my favorites, too.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Amy L Brooke says:

    Great post!

    I know the “What’s wrong with me?” question too well.

    You re right it is Satan whispering. The problem is that we believe him and often take over. He just plants it and we grab it and run — at least that is what I do. I’m am so working on watching my thoughts! But it isn’t easy because sometimes, most times, our thoughts have become so automatic. Sigh.

    I have someone in my life whose advice is constantly, “Be gentle with yourself.” She knows my propensity for negative self talk and that I would never talk to someone else the way I talk to me! It’s good advice. Be gentle with yourself. Just hard to do, but God is rooting for the choices we make even in our thoughts.

    Have a great Tuesday!

  2. Renee,
    At a women’s workshop I taught recently (“A New Vocabulary for a New Year”) I shared an experience I had once where I was ripping into myself harshly, hurt and angry, and castigating myself. The Holy Spirit whispered to my soul- “You would never talk to a friend like that. You would never let a friend talk meanly to herself. Why are you doing that to yourself then?”

    It was a turning point in my life. God lovingly convicted me that I don’t even have the right to speak harshly and negatively to myself. And He’s holding me accountable to this truth I now know.
    (I just love that about God!)

  3. You did it again!! I feel like you are living inside my head, and that’s just weird! I am currently half-way through reading a book on this very topic, “Self Talk, Soul Talk” by Jennifer Rothschild. We so often silently tell ourselves things and actually believe them, but they are not truth. As Amy writes in her comment above, we would never think of talking that way to someone else, yet we constantly let these negative thoughts spill from our minds and settle in our hearts. Jennifer’s book is all about replacing “self talk” with God’s truth.

    It’s funny – my devotional time this morning was focused on this exact same message – thinking God is really trying to tell me something. Thanks again for the further encouragement Renee.
    Love ya,
    Joy

  4. Lisa B @ simply His says:

    Thank you Renee 🙂

    I struggle with this all the time! I went through a great period of depression where I constantly questioned myself. Told myself I was no good. Thought to myself, I’d be better off in Heaven with Jesus so I couldn’t mess anything else up down here. The only thing I was confident of at the time was my salvation, but I was so far from God and His will.

    When I started talking, hesitantly to a friend, I found out that I am not alone. I had let satan get into my head and fill it with a bunch of crazy thoughts — stuff like I’d never be a good mother, that I’d already screwed up my little girl before she was one, that she’d be in therapy for life because I didn’t have my act together.

    Praise God! He didn’t leave me there. He told me He wasn’t finished with me yet and that it wasn’t my time to be in Heaven. So here I am — 5 years later praying that God brings women into my path who need the same message — that we are not alone.

    Awesome post this morning. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow, Renee – I go through times when I probably ask myself that question at least once a day…sometimes outloud through a lot of frustration and tears. And you’re right – it can be extremely paralyzing. I can’t tell you how many opportunities for friendship I’ve wasted out of fear that whatever is “wrong” with me will just mess it all up again.

    Oh, that I could ever see myself through His eyes…with complete sober judgement that doesn’t see too much good or bad. Sometimes I spend so much time trying to tell others how much they’re loved by God that I forget He loves me just as much and just as unconditionally.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder of whose voice is really asking that destructive question.

  6. Heather@Mommymonk says:

    You’ve hit on a few great points here today. We don’t usually recognize Satan’s voice because we just think it’s our own self-talk. And I think the point is, we can’t be any good to anyone else (as a friend or in ministry) if we are wrapped up in ourselves. Oh, I want to be confident in God’s creation and leave behind the self-doubt!

  7. Wow, I never thought about it that way, that we shouldn’t even be asking that question because of its hidden implications that something is actually wrong?
    I’m going to have to chew on this for a while.
    Thanks for making us think.
    I love that verse in Psalms, it’s one of my favorites.

  8. This topic really hits home Renee. I know the Lord brought me to this P31 website and the blogs on here at this particular time as I have been wrestling with questions of who am I in Christ and what purpose do I serve here (other than the obvious being salt and light in this world).

    Thank you once again for sharing so openly on this issue. It’s so good to know there are others out there that can relate and that we can encourage and build one another up in the truth.

    Kelli

  9. Thank you for sharing this post. I have been struggling with this very issue of self doubt lately. Through reading your post I realize that I have been allowing Satan to keep me pushed down and held back. I wonder what blessings I have missed as I sit at home and feel unworthy of friendship and fellowship with other believing women. My sadness has turned a page and has now become determination to value myself. I am a blessed child of the Heavenly King, I am nothing without Him and I am all things because of Him, if that makes sense. Thank you for being so honest in your posts.
    Tanya
    Follower of Jesus
    Wife to Matthew 12 years
    Mommy to 4 little girls

  10. Digging for Pearls says:

    Thanks again for your insights Renee. I agree with making a pact that we won’t get caught up in the “What’s wrong with me scenario”. I pray we will be quicker to realize that it is the enemy whispering that in our ears and we don’t want to listen to him.

  11. LAUREN at Faith Fuel- says:

    Renee,
    At a women’s workshop I taught recently (“A New Vocabulary for a New Year”) I shared an experience I had once where I was ripping into myself harshly, hurt and angry, and castigating myself. The Holy Spirit whispered to my soul- “You would never talk to a friend like that. You would never let a friend talk meanly to herself. Why are you doing that to yourself then?”

    It was a turning point in my life. God lovingly convicted me that I don’t even have the right to speak harshly and negatively to myself. And He’s holding me accountable to this truth I now know.
    (I just love that about God!)

  12. Mocha with Linda says:

    Wow. It would seem that you know me waaaay too well!! And yes, it’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one to feel this way, and feeling this way doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me! 🙂

    My mom reflected her insecurities onto us – if she wasn’t adequate, how could her children be great? – and this is something I struggle with, and probably why I struggle with people-pleasing so much.

    And yes, Jennifer Rothschild’s recent book Self Talk, Soul Talk deals with this very issue of the way we talk to ourselves. It is excellent!

    I love your posts and all these comment, and like Lauren said, I would never be as hard on a friend as I am on myself!

  13. Renee – I am turning into a faithful reader of your blog! I too appreciate your openness and transparency! It is refreshing and encouraging! I love reading the comments of the other women as well! Isn’t the body of Christ wonderful! We serve an Almighty God! It’s an honor to be able to share in this journey of life with you all! 🙂

  14. Samantha Roberts says:

    Wow, Renee – I go through times when I probably ask myself that question at least once a day…sometimes outloud through a lot of frustration and tears. And you’re right – it can be extremely paralyzing. I can’t tell you how many opportunities for friendship I’ve wasted out of fear that whatever is “wrong” with me will just mess it all up again.

    Oh, that I could ever see myself through His eyes…with complete sober judgement that doesn’t see too much good or bad. Sometimes I spend so much time trying to tell others how much they’re loved by God that I forget He loves me just as much and just as unconditionally.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder of whose voice is really asking that destructive question.

  15. Wow, if I had a dime for every time I asked myself the question,”What’s wrong with me?”, I would be a very wealthy woman! Just like Marylu, I had never thought of every time I asked myself that, I was really implying that there was something wrong with me.So many times I have casually asked myself that when I couldn’t find something or I was having a clumsy moment. I realize now that this has become somewhat of a habit. I don’t think I really mean it all the time, but there are times that I do. I, too, have a lot to think about!I loved your analogy about Eve in the garden. How many times does the enemy whisper lies into our lives and we believe him, and the whole time God is trying to get our attention to let us know that what the enemy has said is false, and He never felt that way about us, we are still His. As a teenager I was very emotional, and always feeling inadequate and thinking there was something wrong with me. My mother would always say,”Honey, there is nothing wrong with you, God made you the way you are, and He never makes junk!” Of course, I’d roll my eyes and sigh because she was my mom and had to say that. But now that I’m a mom, I find myself saying the same thing to my children when they feel they aren’t as good at something as someone else. I will gladly join you in your pact to not ask myself THAT question anymore! After all, we were ALL created in His image,He loves us all the same(weaknesses,quirks, and all) and God does NOT make junk! God bless! April

  16. MrsProverbs31 says:

    Renee, Thank you for this post. I so needed it. For some reason I was feeling so blah and confused. I was even beginning to doubt my calling: I had the “am I cut out for this mission?” thought. The enemy is so suttle, but I’m so glad our God is so Total in His control. He reminds me that I am annointed and appointed by Him for His specific purpose (Ephesians 1:4,11). Aaah! What a good feeling.

  17. tammy in tx says:

    Wow. I have been so convicted. I have begun to wonder what I have missed due to my own negative thoughts. I am a listener ~ one who listens to people~ but often doesn’t comment. When I do make a statement I’ve been told that I have such insight and wisdom. When I’m told that, I immediately hear satan say, “Yeah, right! You don’t really have anything good to say.” It makes me wonder what God could do in my life if I allowed him to use me ~ believing that He has a purpose for me. I know He does, but I too like you Renee have wondered what it is. Thanks for sharing your heart (and you too, ladies) so I can understand that we all struggle with this. I’ll be more focused on what I say to myself ~ realizing I’m calling God a liar if I believe anything other than what his words say in the Psalm you quoted.

  18. Thank you 🙂

  19. Dear Renee,

    I have thanked God a million times for your blog these past few days. I commented on your ‘Real Me’ post anonymously, as I am terribly embarrassed and ashamed of my life as it is, when I know that I don’t have to feel the way I do because God loves me, and has since before I was born.

    My husband is the one that puts me down so badly that I cry and cry, asking God what is so wrong with me that my husband doesn’t even like me. Sometimes it’s so bad that I wish I had just done away with myself a long time ago–before I had kids.

    The sad part is that I know that I have many good things about me–God has blessed me with a wonderful voice to sing his praises, I’m loving, kind and giving, I’m funny, I’m a great cook, and I’m crafty. My husband is so controlling, though, that I don’t get to share many of my ‘good things.’ I don’t have many friends (my husband doesn’t like anyone I talk to), so I have to look for support online–thank God for the internet!

    I am going to print some Bible verses and place them in strategic places around the house. I am NOT going to let Satan get to me when he tells me that something’s wrong with me! The next time an argument turns around to all I do wrong, I’m going to tell him that God says that I AM WONDERFULLY MADE! (I feel like Evelyn in Fried Green Tomatoes right now–TAWANDA!!!)

    Thank you,

    B. Brook

  20. Renee Swope says:

    B.Brook,

    I am praying for you today. I’d love for you to email me at the P31 office so I can send you a list of my favorite verses. These are the truths that have set my heart free!!!

    My email is renee@proverbs31.org

    You are precious in His sight and He loves you!

    Renee

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