We are frequently hearing, especially in theses challenging times, of the impact of Covid 19 on our mental health as well as our physical health.
For example, much has been said about the need to re-open our schools in September for the ‘mental well-being’ of our children. Our newspapers, TV and Radio are constantly reporting on stories of how people are coping, or not in some cases, during this challenging time.
I’m trying to help many men, of all ages, who are struggling to cope with being locked up for 23 hours a day. Some are coping, but many are really struggling. Some are struggling with life issues that they resort to self- harming. The growing feeling of isolation, failure and guilt compound the problem even more. For many, their ‘self-worth’ has become worthless!!
I read this the other day, ‘You teach people how to value you by the way you value yourself. If you never express a preference, boundary or any other limitation on how others interact with you, they will assume you have none, and treat you accordingly.’ (UCB Word for Today).
If we experience repeated rejection, it validates our fear that we are inadequate, especially if it comes from someone whose opinion we value. Even Jesus experienced rejection, although He never responded in a way that encouraged continued rejection. But He, and we, have God’s full acceptance and therefore need not fear man’s rejection. God says, “You are precious and honoured in my sight, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4). We’re not perfect, and there may be ‘work’ that needs to be done, but we have His love and acceptance, and we do well to keep that in mind at all times.
We can also take strength in the fact that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139) with specific temperaments, emotions and intellect that will enable us to fulfil the unique plan He has for us. We may not have become all that our parents, teachers or spouse, wanted us to be, but we are our own people and if we are becoming all that God wants us to be, we are fulfilling our worth and potential and being true to the way God has made us. And there is tremendous satisfaction in that.
The Swiss Theologian, Karl Bart, while lecturing in America, was asked to summarize the main theme of his theology. The great theologian thought for a moment, and simply replied: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
May you today, not just read about His love, but experience it your hearts.