Posted by: New in Every Way | August 15, 2012

Hitting the Bull’s-Eye

~~  Removing Roadblocks to a Healthy Self  ~~ How Real Life Connects with the Bible

I don’t play with a dart board very often. When I do, I find it’s not so hard to hit the target. But hitting that little circle in the middle–well now, that is not so easy. In many aspects of life—family relationships, success at work, and physical fitness, to mention a  few—our darts, figuratively speaking, land at the left edge of the target . . .  or the bottom edge . . . or far right . . . but not right in the middle.

Let’s apply that concept to our current idea that if we don’t love ourselves very much, we won’t be able to love others very much.

What do I mean by “loving ourselves”? I’m talking about believing in ourselves, being happy with who we are, and being comfortable in our own skin. Things that set us free to be the person God created us to be. They are also things we all desire so much that we constantly aim at them.

Pretty often, we miss the target altogether, but we keep trying. Many of our darts are barely on the board, far from  the bull’s-eye. But we sometimes settle for that because it gives us at least a little self-esteem.

Let’s take some examples. “Eric’s” darts do not hit the bull’s-eye. They land too high. He latches onto something good about himself—athletic ability—and makes that his source of self-esteem. He doesn’t work hard in other areas—like education or treating people well–because, well, he’s just too cool to sweat the small stuff.

“Sherri’s” darts land low on the board. She takes care of other people. When a neighbor is sick, she is always there with a pot of chicken soup. She spends all her waking hours chauffeuring her children to their events, helping them with their projects, and washing gym clothes her son forgot to tell her about until the last minute. She does not take care of herself. She doesn’t like being pushed around all the time, but she consoles herself with the thought that she is such a kind and considerate person.

“Garrett’s” darts end up too far left. His sense of self-esteem comes from his friendly, life-of-the-party personality. Everybody likes him. That helps him to not feel so bad about the financial fixes he always gets himself into.

“Janell’s” darts land too far right. She impresses herself and others with money, political power, and fame. She doesn’t take time to develop personal friendships, but she has an exciting life. . . .

And then there are darts that land high and to the right . . . or just a little to the left of center.

The thing is, we often throw blindly. We don’t really know how to develop healthy self-esteem, so we choose whatever seems right and run with it. The result is that our inner and outer lives are out of balance and wobbling badly. The Bible describes a dilemma like this with these words:

There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.
(Proverbs 16:25 NIV).

On the other hand, the Bible has this good news for those who learn from the Lord how to live:

Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it (Proverbs 16:22 NKJV).

Let’s talk again next Wednesday about why our attempts at self-love aren’t working, so we can turn from them and find the real thing.

Making It Personal

  • Has your search for self-esteem and well-being hit the bull’s-eye yet?
  • What does loving ourselves—the way Jesus  said we should—look like?

Can you give some examples of healthy self-acceptance and self-esteem? For no-hassle commenting, enter your name when prompted, but not your email address.

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Responses

  1. […] “Hitting the Bull’s-Eye” pointed out that we want so much to feel good about ourselves that we are constantly aiming at the target of self-esteem. Our darts seldom land right in the bull’s-eye–and sometimes do not hit the target at all. One thing that keeps us from hitting the target is shame. In some families, parents say things like “Shame on you” or “That was so mean” to steer their children toward better behavior. These parents mean well. They want their children to develop the good attitudes and behavior that equip them for a happy, successful life. But shaming children backfires. It robs them of the healthy self-esteem that is also necessary for a happy, successful life. […]

  2. […] “Hitting the Bull’s-Eye” pointed out that we want so much to feel good about ourselves that we are constantly aiming at the target of self-esteem. Our darts seldom land right in the bull’s-eye–and sometimes do not hit the target at all. One thing that keeps us from hitting the target is shame. In some families, parents say things like “Shame on you” or “That was so mean” to steer their children toward better behavior. These parents mean well. They want their children to develop the good attitudes and behavior that equip them for a happy, successful life. But shaming children backfires. It robs them of the healthy self-esteem that is also necessary for a happy, successful life. […]


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