I John 3:18-20 (MSG) My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.21-24 And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God!

Are you your own worst critic? And in response to that criticism, are you constantly trying to transform yourself into a person who meets society’s expectations, but not God’s expectations? If so, it’s time to become a little more understanding of the person you see whenever you look into the mirror. It’s time to start loving yourself people of God!

Being patient with other people can be difficult. But sometimes, we find it even more difficult to be patient with ourselves. We have high expectations and high goals. We want to receive God’s blessings now, not later. And, of course, we want our lives to unfold according to our own wishes and our own timetables-not God’s. Yet throughout the Bible, we are instructed that patience is the companion of wisdom. We read in (Proverbs 16:32) teaches us that “Patience is better than strength” (NCV). God’s message, then, is clear: we must be patient with all people-including ourselves. Loving and accepting yourself gives you the capacity to love and accept others. I need this Word today, because I am not sure I always function in this principle.

The Bible affirms the importance of self-acceptance by exhorting believers to love others as they love themselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Furthermore, the Bible teaches that when we genuinely open our hearts to the Lord, God accepts us just as we are. And, if God accepts us, with our faults and all, then who are we to believe otherwise?

Quote Gloria Gaither – “Being loved by Him whose opinion matters most gives us the security to risk loving, too-even loving ourselves.”

Prayer to seal the deal – Lord, we Your people have so much to learn and so many ways to improve ourselves, yet You love us just as we are. You are the Potter and we are the clay. Please help us to love ourselves the way we are. Help us to trust that you are shaping and molding us into the people you want us me to be in your Kingdom here on earth, In Christ name, Amen!

Advancing His Kingdom,
James Baker, Jr.

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