I recently became emotionally aware of the immense difficulty I’ve had accepting compliments and accolades, as if somehow I am undeserving. I know that I invest countless hours, money, and energy into my family, my students, my career–into people. I know that I’m self-reflective, my heart and intentions are pure, yet it’s so difficult to hear, “Thank you, you’re amazing, how do you do it, etc.” Why?
I deny myself the love that I so willingly give. I deny myself the freedom to absorb just as much as I release. Why?
I have yet to gain clear revelation as to why the discomfort is so overwhelming.
Yet, while taking inventory of my emotions during the times that I am being honored and uplifted by others, I realize that I am also humbled and grateful by those loving expressions towards me.
In a conversation with my eldest daughter, God gave me wisdom as to how to deal with this inner struggle.
She auditioned for a part in which she was double casted. She ended up being assigned two of the three show nights. She was excited, yet she explained that it was difficult for her to fully bask in that excitement because she felt undeserving for various reasons that she described.
In that moment, the Holy Spirit poured out wisdom in my response. In that moment, the Holy Spirit ministered to me while I ministered to my daughter…
“I get it, honey. One suggestion that I have is to allow yourself to feel the excitement, and channel the feeling of guilt and the discomfort of feeling undeserving into feelings of gratitude and humility. Feel gratitude around the thought that someone recognizes greatness in you. Feel gratitude around the gifts and talents that God has bestowed upon you. Be humbled knowing that you were given an opportunity that someone else could have had. Transform the thoughts and feelings that foster denial of self and God’s demonstration of love towards you into thoughts and feelings that help you to openly and willingly receive His Love.”
It is okay and honorable for us to demonstrate humility in the way that we live our lives. In fact, it’s biblical. But it is not okay for us to deny ourselves love. When we deny ourselves Love, we are denying God, for He is Love.
In God’s word, He says that He will pour us out a blessing that we won’t have room enough to receive. While much of the time this scripture is referred to when teaching about money, I have come to believe that it’s truly about our ability to give of ourselves. It’s about charity, about Love.
When we pour out love, we ought to expect that it will return to us in some form. When we feel overwhelmed with gratitude, love, honor, respect, accolades, compliments, we must realize that God is fulfilling His promise and pouring out blessings that we don’t have enough room to receive and keep to ourselves. When we are operating in that overflow, we must channel the discomfort that may come with feeling undeserving by pouring that overflow into others.
God loves us. And no matter how undeserving we feel, he wants to refill our Love tanks when we’ve been so busy emptying them while honoring Him in the process.
The next time you feel overwhelmed and undeserving of God’s overflow of love, just say, “Thank you.” Receive the love and pour the overflow into someone else.
Proverbs 22:4 Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.
Philippians 2:1-3 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Luke 15: 21-24 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Luke 1:43, 45 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”