Don’t Think Little of Yourself!

Don’t Think Little of Yourself!

Our guest blogger today is Jeremy Harrington, OFM. He coauthors the popular, free e-newsletter A Friar’s E-spirations. To subscribe, click here.

I hate to see people suffer because they worry about the wrong things and misread what God thinks of them. They feel guilty for past sins—sins for which they have been forgiven. They worry that a fleeting emotion, an uninvited feeling, or a persistent temptation is a sin. They demand of themselves inhuman perfection. All these worries keep them from feeling the warmth of God’s love.

With God’s help, we face up to our sins and weaknesses, beg pardon for them, and never forget that we are “beloved beyond all measure.” As St. Francis of Assisi said, “I am what I am in God’s sight. Nothing more, nothing less.” What he’s saying is this: I am a sinner, but a forgiven sinner. I am a work-in-progress. God, in both patience and love, is still helping me to be more like his Son.

Franciscan theologian Michael Guinan asks the crucial question: “What does it mean to be human before God?” He finds two answers in Scripture. One, “To be human is to be a weak, fallen creature prone to sin and death. We cry out to God and God enters our world to save us. . . . As true as this answer is,” Father Guinan notes, “in itself it is inadequate.”

He calls the second answer the blessing tradition: “To be human is also to be created by God, to be God’s image entrusted with responsibility to share in God’s dominion over creation. We have not only been saved by God, we have also been blessed by God.”

Van Breemen follows the blessing tradition in reminding us “to see ourselves as God sees us—beloved beyond all measure.” St. Paul says “the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” He adds, “where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.” We are coworkers, co-heirs, daughters and sons of God.

Do you find it easy to “see yourself as God sees you—beloved beyond all measure”? I welcome your reflections or comments. Peace! 

Photo: Kurhan/


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  • Allen Paul

    Christianity is like coffee, it’s great when cold or hot; but not so good when lukewarm.

  • David Kay

    I seem to always do a double take when I see/hear someone use “God”(apparently as The Father),then “Holy Spirit” as a separate entity from “The Holy Spirit”, as in”…the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit…”
    Realizing that Paul, and thus The Holy Bible is being quoted, so there is little room for ERROR, But, for discussion, Is not God pouring himself into us? Or equally, is not The Holy Spirit being poured into us by Jesus?
    No conflict-just saying.

  • VL Hudson

    This was wonderful; thanks for posting. It reminds me of a passage by Henri J. M. Nouwen: “…shows my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.” – (The Return of the Prodigal Son)
    I cannot “know” precisely what God thinks or is thinking – yet I do feel as if I live in divine grace and forgiveness, which encourages and entices me to further explore and build my
    relationship with God, His Son and the Holy Spirit.