"Why do we condemn ourselves?" by Claire McGarry (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2017 Claire McGarry. All rights reserved.

My ten-year-old son, Mason, has been playing baseball for six years, spring and fall, with batting clinics and camps in between. None of it seemed to be clicking. He did okay, and liked it enough; but there was no real spark. I had a hunch he was only playing baseball to please my husband. When I'd ask Mason about it, he'd imply it was part of the reason, but he'd never give me a straight answer.
There has been a vast turnaround this baseball season, and it's blowing me away! Not only is there never a complaint about going to a practice or game, but Mason is skipping-out-the-door excited about it all.
That positive attitude is doing amazing things for his game. He's hitting 100% better, and he's caught fly balls to make outs in almost every game. I've been so thrilled to see him so happy and proud of himself, I haven't dissected the situation to figure out where the change came from. Of course age and practice have something to do with it, but this transformation is bigger than that.
While reading Acts 13, it all came together for me. In it, the Jews are jealous and angry that Paul and Barnabas are attracting so many Gentile followers for Jesus. When the Jews confront the disciples about it, the disciples say,
"It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46)
Paul clarifies that he's not the one who condemned the Jews as unworthy; they condemned themselves. What a concept! I don't think the Jews are the only ones to have it backwards.
So many of us don't realize that the power to determine our worthiness is ours to wield. Often, we let peers and society be the ones who pass judgement on us. Paul helps us realize we have it all wrong! If God made us perfectly, and offers eternal life to all, why do we allow others to determine our worthiness?

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I think that is what Mason was doing up until this baseball season: he was allowing his teammates, coaches, and my husband to determine his ability at baseball. Worse yet, he interpreted certain feedback as negative, and was condemning himself as unworthy.
Somehow, something has shifted inside of him. He has taken back his right to be worthy; and the ripple effect in his performance is immense. We all know a positive attitude is half the battle in anything we do. Now that Mason has that victory behind him, everything else is falling into place. Most of all, he's happy, and he's proud of how he's doing.
We all need to take back our right to be worthy. If the Master Creator gave it to us, with no strings attached, we need to hold onto that gift with all our might. It is the key component to good self-esteem. When our self-esteem is in tact, we're able to grow into the best version of ourselves. Doing so is what glorifies God best.
Do I give others the power to determine my worthiness? Do I use their feedback to condemn myself?
Master Creator, thank you for making me worthy, simply because I am Your perfect creation. Help me to own this truth and guard it with all my might.
Copyright 2017 Claire McGarry