People who clearly understand their own strengths and weaknesses are better able to accept themselves as they are and accomplish more in life. They can identify with the person who said, “I’m only someone, but I am someone. I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”

The apostle Paul recognized his liabilities, but he took his God-given assets and used them for eternal profit. His self-acceptance was based on God’s acceptance of him in Christ. God’s grace enabled him to affirm his apostleship while living with the painful memory of persecuting the church (1 Cor. 15:9; 1 Tim. 1:13-15).

Paul didn’t have a bad self-image when he called himself the “least of the apostles,” nor was it false humility that prompted him to say he was “not worthy to be called an apostle” (1 Cor. 15:9). Neither was it undue pride when he affirmed that he “labored more abundantly” than all of the other apostles (v.10). He was simply recognizing his human frailties while extolling the effectiveness of God’s grace. He knew he was able to serve God because he had been forgiven.

Trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord and being honest with ourselves will enable us to say, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” That’s a mature kind of self-acceptance.