There’s no doubt for me, that a living in chronic pain impacts how I see myself. This is one of the reasons I love the healing of Bartimaeus.
Pain drags me down, restricts me and stops me living. It’s easy to feel I’m sitting on the sidelines, watching people live.
The healing of Bartimaeus is a story of a man who is sat by the wayside, probably not feeling very good about himself either.
How has your illness affected your self esteem? Do you also see yourself as inferior or as though life has somehow forgotten you?
I hope that the series on the healing of blind Bartimaeus will help you begin to see yourself differently, that you are not an outcast or second class citizen just because you have some kind of physical (or emotional) limitation.
THE HEALING OF BARTIMAEUS
a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging.
In those days, beggars were considered ‘less than’, generally ignored by society and thought to be subservient. His posture was one of smallness and on the periphery of life.
When life is going well and your working full-time, it’s easy to feel good about yourself.
But when the opposite occurs, when you’re living with a disability or unable to work because of illness, or living a life full of physical restrictions, feeling like a second class citizen is understandable.
I love that Jesus didn’t see him that way. (And He doesn’t see us like that either)
CHANGE YOUR POSTURE
Jesus’ disciples instruct him ‘Rise, He is calling you.’
You see, Jesus doesn’t talk down to people. He doesn’t view us as inferior members of society. But he wanted Bartimaeus to ‘stand tall’ so to speak, infilling him with a sense of eligibility.
This reminds me of when Jesus heals the leper. He touches him, something no-one else would consider doing. He infilled him with a sense of love, connection and worthiness.
The healing of Bartimaeus is not just a physical one, but an emotional one.
So if you’re feeling unworthy or not good enough because you live with a debilitation, then I wonder if you could begin the journey of self-love?
If we are not actively thinking about and shaping our identity, we will be shaped by the world around us.
Everything in the world right now may be telling you that you’re not important, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can see yourself the way God sees you.
Caroline Leaf says that ‘No one can compete with you because you have no equal’. God has designed you uniquely. No-one is better than you, it’s not possible.
You are a strong, mighty, child of God. The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, worthy of every blessing because of who and whose you are.
Why not take a read of ARE YOU CLOTHED IN CHRIST OR CLOTHED IN SICKNESS?
CAUSES OF LOW SELF ESTEEM
In my counselling experience, feeling inferior often stems from our upbringings. As children we develop a self concept which is so dependent upon the environment we’re in.
Perhaps your care-givers were unable to attune to your needs for some reason. This emotional neglect can cause a child to feel they’re unlovable.
Maybe you grew up in an environment that was incredibly stressful; a parent was ill, unemployed or maybe just dealing with their own struggles.
If the atmosphere was toxic, like parents arguing. This too can be incredibly traumatic for the child.
Often we can develop a low self esteem if we endure some kind of trauma in early childhood. This then distorts are relationship with ourself or those around us.
We then operate from that place; we’ve wired it in in order to survive.
You may attribute feeling inferior to your heath condition, but often you were already predisposed to feeling this way, the illness or present circumstances has just brought it further into the light.
If this is you, please remember you are not to blame, you were surviving within an environment in the only way you knew how.
I invite you, like Bartimaeus, to ‘arise’. You are worthy of love, of compassion and of healing.
BARTIMAEUS RECIEVED GOD’S LOVE
My suggestion would be to focus on how much God loves you. This is your perfect Father in Heaven, who gave up everything for you. You are the apple of His eye and His treasured possession.
He joys over you with singing and His dream for your life far exceeds any dream you have in your heart.
As you grow in revelation of God’s love, you’ll become empowered to love yourself more.
One self-love exercise I do with my clients, is ‘What would you say to a friend?’ Often the thoughts we have towards and about ourselves are not the thoughts we have towards others.
If Bartimaeus was speaking to a friend, I’m sure he would tell them how amazing they are, how kind, thoughtful, beautiful etc they are.
Jesus wanted him to see himself in the same way. His position, was not his identity, not from God’s perspective. This is why Jesus asked him to change his posture.
If you’re feeling unworthy today, take a read of WHY FEELING UNWORTHY OF GOD’S LOVE HINDERS HEALING
A HEALTHY LIFE POSITION
When you’re living with any kind of disability, it’s easy to become a victim. As a child of God, you are called to be ‘the head and not the tail, above and not beneath’ The victim mindset robs you of your true identity.
The post HEALING AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA: WHY SOME DON’T HEAL may help you with this.
You are a victor, more than a conqueror, above and not beneath. The Sprit of the Living God is in you.
In counselling, we often refer to a person’s ‘Life Position’. How they see themselves in relation to others and the world around them.
A healthy life position is to know that, despite your circumstances, YOU ARE OK. But often, when we become victims, our life position is ‘I AM NOT OK. YOU ARE OK’.
I’m not suggesting that your circumstances are OK, nor am I devaluing the trauma of depression. This is purely in terms of how you see yourself in relation to others: The Victim.
How can you step towards your true identity today?
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
In childhood, we often pick up messages from our parents. Please remember it is the child’s perception, and not necessarily reality or an accurate perception of parental love.
Experts say there are 12 injunctions; some are
‘Don’t belong…don’t grow up…don’t be a child…don’t be you…don’t have feelings…’
This is so sad. The child develops such a deep rooted shame, often unconsciously. It’s not surprising he ends up with a poor self-concept.
To cope with this, their system developed incredible coping strategies such as people pleasing and ‘being strong’ all the time.
Such behaviour patterns detract from feeling the pain of shame.
When I work with clients and we explore possible injunctions, they can usually identify more than 1 message they’ve unconsciously been listening to all these years.
The good news is, you can rewire your brain and meditating on Scripture is the first step.
Could you give yourself absolute permission to be yourself in the world? It’s ok to feel, to belong, to have emotion, to be an adult….
God gives you permission to be yourself. You have a right to belong in the world and to own the emotions he has given you.
God ordained Bartimaeus to show up in the world even before his healing, to take his place as an amazingly individual person with unique gifts and God given personality.
SOUL PROSPERITY EQUALS PHYSICAL HEALING
Wouldn’t it it be wonderful, if every person with an illness or disability saw themselves through the lens of their identity in Christ, and not the label that society gives?
To give themselves permission just to be and to show up authentically and see themselves the way God sees them.
To receive God’s love so deeply that they cannot help but fall in love…with Him and with themselves!
I wonder if this would make a difference to their physical health as well as a healthy self concept goes hand in hand with soul prosperity.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2
I hope this helps you a little today.
Why not take a read of