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!
We all struggle with loving ourselves at various seasons of our lives.
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 in the mirror. It’s time to start loving yourself people of God!
There are many obvious, but many more subtle ways that we may struggle to love ourselves.
We may not like our physical appearance for superficial reasons, but, the real reasons are usually buried a bit deeper.
Some may just be below the surface, and others may be buried deep within our psyche.
The gift of loving yourself is an imperative principle for your life’s journey.
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.
Someone reading this message today is saying, “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? Furthermore, if you struggle to love yourself, then it’s likely that you don’t take enough time to look after yourself with true caring.
You probably go through the motions to make an appearance at self-care; turning up for work presentable, but this is more of a societal expectation, rather than an indulgence in your own self-care.
It’s so easy to push our goals aside as we deal with the day-to-day, help others out with their concerns or just get caught in work or family matters.
But, if you end the day feeling deflated and unfulfilled and know that it’s because you did everything to avoid what really matters to you, then you’re not loving yourself.
Point to ponder
The greatest gift you can give yourself today and now in this season of your life’s journey is to genuinely love yourself as God intended you.
Its an amazing journey of learning to love yourself!
Quote – “Being loved by Him whose opinion matters most gives us the security to risk loving, too-even loving ourselves.” Gloria Gaither
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!
Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of August 2018 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mr. William Wilson, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Mr. and Mrs. Carl and Marguerite Williams, Mrs. Cynthia Waiters-Artis, Ms. Mable Bazemore, Mrs. Angela Harrison and Ms. Gertrude Scott.
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Pastor James Baker, Jr.