Negativity Redeemed

Eric Lee
4 min readMay 13, 2019
Photo by Steve Richey on Unsplash

You’re stupid.

That was the dumbest thing you could’ve ever done.

I can’t believe you did that.

That’s what I tell myself so many times a day.

It’s kind of scary the number of times I say those phrases to myself.

Even when I don’t say these negative words aloud, my self-deprecating self finds a way to ease itself into the conversation.

As I reflect on the harsh phrases I beat myself with, I realize that one of my biggest insecurities is being considered unintelligent. To not be in the know or to be recognized as a flop in my career.

That’s why, especially when attempting to dive deeper into my faith, entrepreneurship, or self-improvement, I find myself spending hours upon hours reading many different books in order to gain insight, feeding my voracious appetite. Attempting to quench my fear of not understanding anything and everything, I would prioritize my learning from different books over my own academics — forgoing my own projects, tests, and homework in order to learn a new concept, idea, or perspective.

With my insecurities, I seemed to act with an almost serious personality with people. Listening to others intently and processing the information that is given to me, I try to understand and grasp the whole picture before speaking up.

And usually, I don’t talk in a very conversational tone. Instead, I am always trying to connect multiple different concepts in my mind in order to provide feedback and thoughts to the other person. Not only to be a listening ear but also to show a new framing of the situation. I feel like a consultant for people’s lives at times, which seems counter-intuitive since I’m only 22, and I haven’t lived very long.

But even with this desire to gain knowledge, I seem to feed my own insecurity many times. Outside of conversational interactions, I act like a fool. Pretending I don’t understand what’s going on, I make silly mistakes (both intentional and unintentional), sometimes destroying my own dignity.

I tend to look at myself with a low regard, and expectations that seem almost disgusting.

What is it about this juxtaposition? Why do I do this to myself?

Am I some masochist that enjoys the humiliation found amongst others? Do I desire attention so much that the only way that that can be gained is through trivial actions?

Something is wrong with how I approach this insecurity.

Seeing myself less than who I actually am is a sin. It’s a disbelief of the design that God has made of my life.

If I were to call myself stupid, it’s almost like looking at God’s creation, and calling the Creator stupid.

Now of course, I do make many errors in my life, and I’m a very imperfect person.

But the way I see it, I need to be real with myself and recognize how God has made me uniquely. I need to dispel any lies that the devil might be speaking into me and transform those rooted unbeliefs into seeds of truth.

Seeds of truth that will grow firmly into wise oaks that trust in a foundation based in God.

Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

- Psalm 139:14

When I first heard that Psalm, I thought it was for girls. I waved it off and focused my time and attention on other things.

But as I reflect on that statement — guess what Eric — surprisingly, that verse in God’s Word is meant for everyone.

We have been made with purpose and intention, and there is something wonderful in God’s design of our lives. We need to have fearful awe of how God created us and made us.

Seeing myself as dumb is still something I work through. My imperfections always stick out to me like a sore thumb than any correct action I take.

But this process of recognizing my imperfection and turning to God is so good. It’s necessary. It’s a reminder that I can’t rely on my own perceptions. My own judgments. My own faculties.

God is the one who’s in control and knows specifically how He has made me. He has already set an identity for me that no-one else can set nor take away.

I am a child of God. A follower of Christ. A citizen of the kingdom of heaven. An ambassador.

Fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Eric Lee

✝ ~ Type 2w3 ~ ENFP - SWE @ RetailMeNot & Substack writer ~ pointing self and others to Christ ~ "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" ~