The victim rationalizes anticipation of disaster as prudence; anxiety in anticipation of such trials as exams and court appearances as practical rehearsals; guilt as a high sense of responsibility and morality; inappropriate worrying as human caring and great concern linked to martyred saintliness. But these are actually all devices working in the service of self-hate. They invariably destroy pleasure and happiness as well as efficiency and effectiveness in current here and now activities. They have a depleting, fatiguing, constricting effect, and are ultimately destructive to self-esteem and to one’s actual person.Theodore Rubin, Compassion and Self-Hate, Page 76
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another post.
Regular Readers definitely know by now I’m a real bookworm. I always have my nose in a book; I never stop. And besides Christian books I make sure to get a good amount of variety.
Christ is the Truth, and worldly wisdom (small ‘w’) is not Godly Wisdom (big ‘W’). But there is practical wisdom we can learn from secular books. We can use this practical wisdom to Glorify God by living a better life and achieving more things for Him. There’s value in reading history, science, self-help books and other genres of writing. Even some fiction books too. We shouldn’t shun the other genres because they aren’t Christian. They very well could have useful info for us, and sometimes God can even direct us to read one.
The latest book I’m reading right now is called Compassion and Self-Hate by Dr. Theodore Rubin. It’s a great self-help book explaining the ways we attack ourselves in our minds and our heart, our soul. These attacks happen on both a conscious and unconscious level. It’s been enlightening seeing the ways certain thought patterns of mine are actually attacks on myself, coming from myself. I’m very grateful to have this book and the wisdom from it, and I thank God for moving my Spirit to read it.
Today I’m pulling a short quote from the book, and it’s about worrying. Worrying is actually an act of self-hate, Dr. Rubin says. Have you ever thought about worrying like that?? It makes much sense, what Dr. Rubin says. And when we contrast what he says with what Jesus says in Matthew 6, the two ideas are nicely compatible.
Stay in the Now
I’m sure you remember Jesus gave the most complete teaching on worrying and why we shouldn’t do it. His teaching is so famous even non-Christians reference it. The verse that stands out from this section is Matthew 6:27. In it Jesus says, “Who among you can add even one minute to your life by worrying??”
But let’s look at the full teaching, which is found in chapter 6 verses 25 to 34. This is where Jesus explains that God knows exactly what what we need, and provides for us as we need it. So don’t worry about tomorrow, because today has enough problems of its own. Words to live by, for sure. So let’s take a look:
(25) “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? (26) Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? (27) Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? (28) And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. (29) But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. (30) If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? (31) Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ (32) Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (33) Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (34) Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:25-34 (CEB)
It’s interesting to compare the words of Jesus with the following passage from Compassion and Self-Hate by Theodore Rubin, a psychologist. When he explains the ways self-hate can manifest in a person (in other words, symptoms of self-hate), he lists guilt, anxiety, and worrying as a form of self-hate. Worrying is an attack on ourselves, from ourselves, and motivated by self-hatred. This motivation can be unconscious, by the way.
Ever thought about worrying this way?? Let’s hear what Dr. Rubin says, and see why he classifies worrying as self-hate.
GUILT, ANTICIPATION AND EXCESSIVE AND INAPPROPRIATE WORRYING
These self-hating activities often have the special characteristics of being passed off as virtues. The victim rationalizes anticipation of disaster as prudence; anxiety in anticipation of such trials as exams and court appearances as practical rehearsals; guilt as a high sense of responsibility and morality; inappropriate worrying as human caring and great concern linked to martyred saintliness. But these are actually all devices working in the service of self-hate. They invariably destroy pleasure and happiness as well as efficiency and effectiveness in current here and now activities. They have a depleting, fatiguing, constricting effect, and are ultimately destructive to self-esteem and to one’s actual person.Theodore Rubin, Compassion and Self-Hate, Page 76
Worrying is self-hate because it depletes us, fatigues us, and is self-destructive. When we worry about worst-case scenarios, we’re devoting all our mental energy to imagining something bad for us, even catastrophic. This is self hating because it means all our mental energy is going toward terrorizing ourselves rather than thinking positive things to build ourselves up. Or at the very least, thinking realistic thoughts to come up with solutions to problems.
There’s one more thing Dr. Ruben mentions, and it ties in perfectly to what Jesus says. When we worry about the future or have guilt about the past, we only make our present harder on ourselves. And we have enough to deal with in our present already!!
Dr. Ruben says guilt (past) or anxiety (future) destroys genuine happiness in the present. And Jesus taught not to worry about tomorrow, because today has enough problems of its own. I know we can all understand how anxiety makes both the future and the present harder to deal with. We dread the future that’s coming, meanwhile right now in the present, today, we suffer from anxiety.
Well we heard it from our Savior, and now hear the same but from a secular perspective. Don’t worry. Worrying is only destructive, never constructive. It’s not a virtue; it’s an attack on ourselves. It’s an act of self-hate. As Children of God called to love others as we love ourselves, we’ve got to love ourselves, not hate ourselves.
Besides that, we know we have a loving father who wants to ease our anxieties and give us peace. It’s one of the best promises of the New Testament, and it’s in 1 Peter 5:7. When we have anxiety, we can give it all to God because He cares about us. Instead of destructive self-hate, we need to get in prayer with God because He wants to help us. Let’s never forget that.
(6) Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that he may raise you up in the last day. (7) Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you.1 Peter 5:6-7
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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