Joyce Meyer - The Focus That Brings The Greatest Joy
What is your attitude toward yourself? Hmm, do you like yourself? We had a few people there, but, you know? You know, I spent a lot of years not liking myself, probably even in some ways dealing with some self-hatred, certainly some self-rejection because a lot of what happened to me when I was growing up, I thought somehow or another was my fault. And so, first let me start by saying if somebody has mistreated you, devalued you, abused you, criticized you, judged you, done something that has left you wounded, their ignorance is not your fault. Don't hate them, don't be mad at them because if you do that, that will just continue giving them power over your life. The thing you want to do is just realize the source, shake it off, say sleep on, and go on with your life, amen?
And to be honest, I tried for so long to love people after I became a Christian and started really studying the word of God. I heard a lot of messages about loving people, and I could see that, from the word, that God wanted us to love people, and I wanted to love people and I wanted to be patient with people and I wanted to be merciful to people, and I just couldn't seem to do it, and it got so frustrating to me because I felt like my heart was right. I wanted to do the right thing, but I just couldn't seem to pull it off. And God began, many years ago, revealing to me that the reason why I couldn't love other people was because I didn't love myself. I couldn't be merciful to other people because I didn't know how to receive God's mercy for me. I was hard on myself, and if you're hard on yourself, you're gonna be hard on everybody else too.
Come on, now. So one of the things that I've learned over these 42 years that I've had the rare privilege of teaching God's Word is that you can't give away what you don't have, so you might as well stop trying to give something to other people that you don't have yourself. And see, God equips us. He provides us with everything that we need to get out in the world and do everything that he wants us to do. You've got what it takes. But if you don't know it, then no matter what you have, if you don't know it, it won't do you any good, and if it's not doing you any good, then it can't get through you to do somebody else any good.
And I know many of you've probably heard me teach this. I don't care if you've heard it a thousand times, if the devil can get you to not like yourself, he has already won the battle in your life. What is your attitude toward yourself, what is your relationship with yourself? How do you think and feel about yourself? How much time do you spend thinking about everything that's wrong with you and what you can't and what you don't and what you didn't and what you should've, compared to, or do you ever even purposely sit and think about what your gifts are and what your strengths are? See, we kind of think, "Well, it just might not be good to just sit around and think how good I am". Well, I'm not talking about how good you are in yourself. I'm talking about thinking about what God has done for you, and what he's invested in you, and what he's given to you.
Let me tell ya something, there's a lot of things that I'm not, but I gave up thinking about all those a long time ago and I actually really do purposely think sometimes what I'm good at. I'm a good communicator. I am very loyal. I am very committed. I'm very dedicated, and I am really a hard worker. Now, I know that I'm also impatient. I can expect a little more out of people sometimes than what they know how to give me, and I can go on and on but, you know, frankly, I don't want to because I'm not gonna give the devil the time to think anymore or talk anymore about what's wrong with me. You know why? Because God knew everything that was wrong with me when he chose me. And the same thing goes for you.
You remember on Thursday night I talked about thinking about what God has done in you more than you think about what's going on around you. Let's not be so all caught up in our circumstances, and what we don't have, and what's not working right, and what people are not doing, and let's latch on to something. I don't care how tiny it is, that is a good thing in our life, something that God is doing in us, and let's celebrate that thing. And the more you celebrate the good things, the smaller the bad things are gonna become.
Come on, now. And I'm gonna tell you something, the more you focus on what's wrong with you, the bigger it's gonna get. I said, the more you focus on what's wrong with you, the bigger it's gonna get and the less likely you are to ever get rid of it. We're gonna say that to this side of the room. The more you focus on what's wrong with you, the less likely you are to ever get rid of it, and the bigger it's gonna get in your life. And if you think you're a mess now, you just keep focusing on what a mess you are and just see how much worse you are this time next year than you are right now. But if you'll grab a hold of something, "I'm good at this, I'm strong in this," whatever it is.
Matter of fact, I want to challenge you to write it down on a piece of paper. "Hmm, well, that's a new thought, isn't it? Make a list of my strengths, make a list of what I'm good at"? The devil not only doesn't want you to think about it, but he certainly doesn't want you to write it down anywhere. My gosh, that's like another element of getting a revelation. Matter of fact, if you get a chance, you could even maybe have the right kind of friend and you can just tell, "Let me tell you what I'm good at". I just stood here and did it. Come on. I mean, it's got to be somebody that understands you and knows what you're doing, but it's good to vocalize it. It's good to put it out there.
Can I tell you something? Please listen to me, there is more that is right with you than there is wrong with you. There's a lot more right with you than wrong with you. The problem is is you don't focus on what's right with you, and some of you may have even totally lost sight of it.
You know, I'm not a great cook. I used to cook years ago, believe it or not, I used to cook and make big meals for my family every day, but I'm not very good at that now. I haven't done in a long time, don't want to, don't care to, don't need to, and not going to. I tried several years ago, lots of years ago, tried to make some clothes for my family, made my husband a pair of shorts, and I was trying to be a normal, regular woman. Well, how boring is that just to be regular? I don't want to be regular? I want to be out there in another stratosphere somewhere else different than what everybody else is.
And I'm not saying that, you know, you're not valuable if you make your family's clothes, I think that's wonderful. I applaud you. And sometimes I've wished that I could do that, but I don't wish that anymore. First of all, I'm not gonna spend my life wanting something I'm never gonna have. You gotta stick in your anointing. You gotta stick with your gifting, and you gotta start giving yourself to the things that you're strong at instead of spending all your time trying to be strong in areas that you're never began be strong in.
You know what? I'm just gonna tell ya, if you want counseling, I would not be the best person to come to. Now, I mean I'm pretty good at it from up here, but, you know, I wouldn't be very good. You know why? Because I can tell ya in two seconds what the problem is, and we're not gonna make excuses. We're not gonna play games. This is the problem, this is what you need to do. Go home do it, if you don't want to it, it's probably not gonna be any good to come back 'cause I don't want to... so I just don't do that. I don't do that.
I don't do weddings. Don't ask me to do your wedding. I don't do weddings. I've done about three weddings and the first one I did, and this is the honest to God's truth, the first one I did, I preached so long that the best man passed out. Fell through the wall that kind of separated the platform from the worship thing, it was like a little half wall. His head went through the wall because if you put a microphone in front of me and stand me up, I don't know how to do a little of anything. He passed out. I didn't know you're supposed to just get people married quick. I thought it was an opportunity to tell them how to live their life, how to get along with each other, how to... I would have to study harder to do a wedding than I do to preach.
It's not something I'd be very good at, but there are things I'm good at, and when you're good at something, you enjoy it. So, why don't you stop trying to live up to everybody else's expectations of what they think you ought do and end up giving yourself doing a bunch of things that you don't like while you're missing out on all the things that you do like?
I got so amused, I thought for some reason, I just thought this was hilarious. I don't know if you'll think it's as funny as I did, but I've been getting these cryogenic treatments. Anybody know what those are? They're like, you know, well. It's this thing you get in and it goes down to minus 132 degrees Fahrenheit, and you're in it for three minutes, and it takes the inflammation out of your body, it increases your metabolism. You burn calories, it gives you energy. It's actually really helped me with recovering from the back situation.
Well, by the way, I conned Christine Caine into going last week. I got her to go with me, and at first she said, "There is no way I'm doing that". I said, "Listen, I am 74 and you are 51, and if I can do this and you can't, you are never gonna hear the end of it". Well, she likes a challenge so she did it, but I wish I had to put on the screen, I don't, but it was really hilarious. She literally jumped up and down the whole time she was in there.
You're only in there three minutes, but it is very, very cold. And so, I only tell you that to say this, one of the girls who does the treatment, there's a machine that they have to run, they have to monitor it. And they try to make conversation with you to keep your mind off of what you're doing, which is good. And so, she says to me, "Oh, this week is your talk, isn't it"? And I said, "Yeah, it is". I knew she didn't have a clue. And she said, "Well, where's it at"? And I said, "Oh, it's down at the dome". And she said, "The dome"? I said, "Yeah, you know, where they used to do the football games downtown". She said, "Well, that's kind of big, isn't it"? And I said, "Well, yeah, there's almost 25,000 women coming". And she said, "Really"? I thought it was so funny.
Can you imagine me trying to do a little talk? That's just, like, not gonna happen. And so, here you have Joel Osteen who memorizes his messages word for word. He can preach the same message three times. You could print them out. You can lay them right on top of each other and it would be word for word for word. Well, I'm doing well to remember where my phone's at these days. I don't have to be like him, he doesn't have to be like me. You don't have to be like somebody else. Come on, I said, you don't have to be like somebody else. You can be like you, and hopefully in the little bit of time I have with you this afternoon, I can help you have a better attitude toward yourself, and I can send you out of here with some confidence because I want to tell you, a confident, God-filled woman is dangerous and unstoppable. I mean, you really are. You absolutely really are.
Women are phenomenal. They kind of start coming apart once in a while, which I just noticed one of them slipped out now. And yesterday one was out, and I handed it to one of the guys with me that's actually really, he can fix just about anything. I thought well, this will be nothing for him. And so, the next thing I knew, he had two out and were working toward three and he wasn't fixing, he was tearing it up. So, then Matt got on it and he was trying to help him, and here are these two grown men that are supposed to have mechanical ability couldn't put this little plastic thing together. I called Penny, my administrative assistant. She fixed it in less than probably a minute. Last night when three grown men couldn't get the switch to work, I mean, it took an army of them to just get a light switch on. And they're probably a woman out there that got a little screwdriver in your purse that you carry around with you. You could have come up here and fixed it in a second.
So, just stop letting people put you down because I'll tell you what you're not, you're not just a woman. You are a woman! Two of the most important relationships that you have is, number one, your relationship with God. Number two, your relationship with yourself. If you have your relationship with God right and your relationship with you right, you are not gonna have any trouble with anybody else. That doesn't mean people won't be challenging for you sometimes or maybe a little bit difficult to handle, but you might as well stop trying to get along with everybody else out there if you can't get along with yourself.
And I think a lot of people, to be honest, don't like themselves. They don't even know that's the root of their problem. I didn't realize, until God taught me that, that was why I couldn't really love anybody else. I didn't love myself, and I'm not talking about being in love with yourself. I'm talking about loving yourself in a balanced way. Your attitude toward yourself affects your relationship with everybody else. And although we are taught in the Word of God not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, we are never taught, not ever taught to have a low, demeaning opinion of ourselves. Matter of fact, I'll tell you I think it's ungodly to do that.
We should learn to see ourselves in Christ, to see ourselves the way our Heavenly Father sees us, in Christ. If we stay rooted and grounded in Christ, John 15 says, "If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, you will bear much fruit". You know why? If you stay in Christ, if you abide in him, what the root has, and Jesus is called the root, will come up through the vine and into the branches. You will become more and more like Jesus the more you focus on what he's done in you, then you do what is wrong with you.
Who are you? If you don't know who you are, the devil knows that you don't know who you are, and if you don't know who you are, then he is gonna run all over you because really, although you can read scriptures about your authority over him, and you can sing Cece's song, "Hey devil," till you don't have any voice left, but the devil is just gonna laugh at you. You have to know who you are. You have to know, "I am God's daughter. He loves me. He sent His Son to die for me. I'm unique, and I'm special, and I am powerful, and I can do something that nobody else can do. And I am not gonna let people demean me and devalue me and put me down anymore".
You do not have to let anybody else anywhere on this planet determine your worth and value. And how many times do we do that because somebody else mistreats us, or somebody else rejects us, or somebody else doesn't like us? We assume they're right and there's something wrong with us. Everybody's not gonna like you. I'm sorry to tell you, but no matter how sweet you are, everybody is not gonna like you.
Matter of fact, the experts, whoever they are, I haven't figured out who they are yet. It's amazing how we, if somebody says, "Well, this expert says we think we ought to listen," you probably know more than most of them. But the experts say that 10% of all people won't like you no matter what you do. So, you might as well go ahead and just be yourself and have a good time.
Let's look at Acts chapter 19, verse 11, "And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or towels or aprons which had touched his skin were carried away and put upon the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them". Wow, didn't some of the traveling Jewish exorcists, there were people back then that were professional exorcists, they actually professionally were paid to cast demons out of people. "They undertook also to call on the name of Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I solemnly implore and charge you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!'"
Now, if you missed that, you missed the whole point. Here's the point, they didn't know Jesus, and the devil knew they didn't know Jesus and they're saying, "We command you to come out in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches". Now, let's look at the next verse please. "Seven sons of a certain Jewish chief priest named Sceva were all doing this. But one evil spirit spoke up and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?'"
Let me tell ya something, the devil says that to us, "Who do you think you are"? How many times in my life do you think I heard that, especially in the beginning when I was trying to start this ministry, "Who do you think you are? You are nobody from nowhere. You don't have enough education. You don't have the proper degrees. You're not a theologian. Who are you and who is gonna listen to you"? Well, let me tell ya something, when God puts his finger on you, when God puts his hand on your life, it doesn't matter what you know, or who you know, or what you don't know, or who you don't know, it's God's anointing that makes all the difference in the world. Well, I want to say again, if the devil can get you not to like yourself, he has already won the battle for your life. Learn to see yourself the way our Heavenly Father sees us and that is in Christ, chosen, valuable, he loves you, he's given you gifts. You really are very awesome and you need to see that.