Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Have Confidence.

Sisters, today I am writing to you about something I've noticed recently that needs to be confronted.  This habit is something I also fall into if I'm not careful.  It's something most of the girls around me struggle with... and I am going to challenge you to end it.  What is this habit, you ask?  Apologizing unnecessarily.

So often, when I sit down and have a conversation with my sisters in Christ, much of the conversation consists of... apologizing.  Why?  We aren't wronging each other.  We aren't speaking spiteful words.  We aren't being mean.

We're self-conscious.  We're insecure.

"Sorry, I'm kind of dumb sometimes.  Just ignore me when I say stupid things."

"Sorry, I look gross today."

Sound familiar?  Apologizing should not be used to declare our insecurities.  Apologies are meant to right a wrong.  Sister, you do not need to apologize for the way you look.  Don't apologize for your quirks, for your personality, for who God created you to be.  Apologize when you have wronged someone. 

God made you in His image.  Don't apologize for that.

When you apologize unnecessarily:

1.) You lessen the significance of your actual apologies.  

I was told as a child that if I threw around the word "love" loosely, it would lose its significance.  "I love hotdogs.  I love Jesus.  I love summer.  I love this book.  I love my mom.  I love the smell of that candle."  I was told to use "love" when I truly loved something and to use the phrase "I really like" the rest of the time.  

If you apologize unnecessarily, when you actually mess up and need to apologize, your words won't have the same significance to the person you've hurt.  "I'm sorry I'm so ugly.  I'm sorry I'm so dumb.  I'm sorry I hurt your feelings."  Apologize when an apology is actually needed. 

2.) You don't come across as a confident woman of God.

I realize that is harsh, but it needs to be said.  When you put yourself down, you are damaging your witness. 

There have been so many times sisters in Christ have shared their stories with me and spoken about the love of God, yet their conversations have been seriously affected by the insecurities screaming so loudly through their words.  "Sorry, just ignore the way I look right now.  I know my hair is a mess and I look disgusting.  Okay, now I'd like to talk to you about how God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son to die for you and me."  The conversation loses a lot of its impact, doesn't it?

Don't litter your conversation with these meaningless apologies.  Speak with confidence

The person sitting next to you will only feel awkward and perhaps even a little guilty when you put yourself down.  They'll feel the need to say, "No, no, you're not boring me.  No, no, you're not ugly/fat/stupid."  And they shouldn't feel pressured to reassure you about the way you look and act.  Find your confidence in Christ, not in those around you.

3.) You are insulting a child of God.

When you speak words of hate about yourself, you are showing those around you that you hate a child of God... and you are going against the Gospel you are trying to share.

Yes, you are broken and flawed, but you have been renewed in Christ.  God not only made you beautiful on the outside, but He also created you with your special personality, your quirky sense of humor, and your special talents.  Embrace that.  Don't put that down.

Psalm 139:13-14
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Ask yourself this question with honesty: do you treat yourself as if you were fearfully and wonderfully made?

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 

Sister, include yourself here.  Do the things you say about yourself build you up or tear you down?  When your friends and peers hear the things you say, are they benefited by your words or are they discouraged?

Have you ever had a conversation with a girl who consistently puts herself down?  It's exhausting, isn't it?  You constantly feel as if you must build her up, and by the end of the meeting, you usually feel discouraged and bad.  It's not a good feeling to be around someone who is incredibly insecure and does not like herself.

While you tell those around you that they are loved by the Lord, show them that you mean what you say.  Treat yourself with love too.

This week, I challenge you to refrain from putting yourself down.  Apologize as a way to heal what has been broken, not to betray your insecurities.  I challenge you to strive to live in confidence, in joy, and in love with the knowledge of what the Lord has done in your life. 

By treating yourself with love and with grace, you will show others the confidence one can have when living in God's crazy love.

And that, sister, is beautiful.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. As I was reading I realized that I do say "I'm sorry" a lot! Thanks Emily!
    I hope you have a great week!!

  2. Emily, this really did encourage me. Almost everyone I know apologizes for everything, from the way they laugh to where they live. It's not only bad for them, it discourages me as well. One friend of mine in particular has low self-esteem and is constantly putting herself down. She's an amazing artist, for example, and when people tell her that she starts complaining about the smudge of paint in the bottom left corner, saying she could have done better. I'm not faulting her, because even I have apologized for things I didn't need to be sorry for, but it's just not good.
    Thank you for this post. :) I'll be watching myself from now on!