Good News for Jerks
"Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love."1
I'm sure you've heard or read about the book authored by Thomas Harris, I'm OK–You're Ok, that was published some years ago. A humorist adapted it to say, "I'm not okay–and you're not okay–but that's okay." I read an even funnier suggestion not so long ago where an author said he would like to write a book and title it, I'm a Jerk–You're a Jerk (although he used a much stronger word than jerk).
This wasn't intended to put people down, but to realize that it is such a liberating experience when we admit what we are, because only then are we free to change.
The reality is that everybody at times feels insecure and not okay. And it's okay to feel this way. Once we admit it, then we don't have to quit living and pretending as if we don't feel that way. It's called being authentic.
It starts with courageous honesty and admitting who and what we are. On one occasion in a support group I was leading after a comment I made to a lady she retorted, "Innes, you are a j with an erk." So I replied, "You're correct. Sometimes I am a jerk." That's a fact. If I get defensive and deny it, I will never improve, but if I admit this and all my faults, which, by the way is vital for self-acceptance, I am then free to grow and improve.
When we are truly honest with ourselves and learn to love and accept ourselves as we are, warts and all—the way God loves and accepts us—we gain a much healthier sense of self-love and self-acceptance. Realizing however, that while God loves and accepts us as we are, he loves us too much to leave us as we are. His goal is that we not only become followers of Jesus but that we grow to become whole and mature in every area of life.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see myself as you see me—warts and all—and learn to love and accept myself as you love and accept me so that I am free to grow and become more and more like Christ in every area of my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:15-16 (NLT).