Last Friday, I performed a concert at a women’s event and spoke about the lies we believe about ourselves and that if we want to flourish in our lives, then we must drown out the lies with truth by embracing what God says about us. One of the pieces I performed was Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80. Beethoven thought so little of it that he didn’t allow it to be published with an opus number. As I played this piece, projected on the screen behind me were the lies that we believe about ourselves and the truths of what God says about us:
When Beethoven overheard someone playing this piece, he said,
“Such nonsense by me?”
The 32 Variations in C Minor quickly became popular. It is a masterpiece that is still performed over 200 years later.
My worth is dependent on how I compare to other people.
My worth is dependent on my performance.
I’m worthless. The world would be better off if I didn’t exist.
I’m not enough.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph. 2:10 NLT)
I’m too fat. / I’m too skinny. / I’m not the right size.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I am defined by my accomplishments.
I am defined by what Jesus has accomplished.
I am defined by my past.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
I’ve messed up too badly. My sin is too big.
No one is un-redeemable. No sin is too big for the grace of God.
“This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.” (Colossians 1:21-22 NLT)
I’m too young. / I’m too old.
Miriam (Moses’ sister), David, and Mary were not too young to be used by God for great things.
Abraham and Sarah, Elizabeth, and Anna the prophetess were not too old to leave their mark on history.
Because I’m a woman, I’m less than a man.
I’m overbearing. My emotions are too much.
I’m bossy./I’m not assertive enough. My personality isn’t right.
I am created in the image of God.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
“The Creator of the universe didn’t just love and speak us into being. He also called us good–the same word He called the massive, majestic oceans and the sun that lights our solar system and keeps us all sustained. (Jess Connolly, Wild and Free)
I’m not lovable. I don’t deserve God’s love.
I am loved.
God loves me so much that He died for me.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
“But I’ll only be loved if I add value/have something to offer.”
Love is not about merit; love is about grace.
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins…Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.” (1 John 4:10, 18-19 NLT)
God has overlooked me. I’ve been set aside.
I am handpicked by God. I am chosen. I am set apart for a purpose.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)
I am insignificant and have nothing of value.
God is for me. (Romans 8:31)
I am part of a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2:9)
I’m not important.
I’m God’s ambassador.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT)
“We have been given great authority through Christ! We’re called to action! And that passage says it’s as if God is making His appeal through us! Ladies, you are not called to sit on your hands in silence. You are called by our great God to run wild into our culture, calling out an incredible message of life: ‘God loves you! World! God loves you and made a way for you! Come with me! You don’t have to live lost and alone! My Dad has a place for you! He sees you as His ultimate treasure!” (Jess Connolly, Wild and Free)
God doesn’t hear me when I pray.
“I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and he will hear me.” (Psalm 77:1 ESV)
“Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.” (Daniel 10:12 NLT)
“Am I doing a good enough job at everything I’m doing? It needs to be perfect or else it is not effective. I’m not good enough.” -college student
“I struggled for a long time believing that I was unintelligent. It doesn’t seem to matter how well I did in school, I always felt like I was just getting lucky, or had to work too hard to “get it”, or that I was just a fake. -a high school teacher who has a PhD
I’m not creative / inspiring / smart / strong enough.
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT)
I just can’t do what God is calling me to do.
“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2 NIV)
I can’t take the next step until I have everything figured out and can see the entire path ahead of me.
God lights our path one step at a time. He reveals His way as we step out in faith. If you want to see what’s farther ahead, you have to take the next step.
“Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there!” (Psalms 77:19 NLT)
“God doesn’t see me.”
I’m God’s treasure, the apple of His eye.
“Our standing has never wavered with our Father. Though the world has twisted what it means to be a daughter, His stance and His position toward us has absolutely stayed resolute.” (Jess Connolly, Wild and Free, p 33)
“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
I am a daughter of God.
Resources to Help You Preach Truth to Yourself
Always Enough, Never Too Much: 100 Devotions to Quit Comparing, Stop Hiding, and Start Living Wild and Free, by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan
This book that inspired the above devotional:
Wild and Free: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough, by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan
This little book you can carry in your purse:
Garden of Truth, by Ruth Chou Simons