Love Thyself

August 21, 2017

We’ve all heard them, the voices, telling us we’re not good enough, perhaps even not worthy of love. Whether they come from our culture, our families or ourselves, they can weaken and discourage us and even make our lives quite miserable.

Some well-intended people have decided to fight back, and a new trend was born. It’s especially visible in the self-help section of book stores and on social media. Some Christians have even adopted it. What is it? It’s the message that we are perfect just the way we are. Frankly, is it really helping?

The Pride Issue

Thinking we are perfect is opposite to what the Bible teaches. We are not perfect and we know it. The best of us are full of flaws, pretty flawful actually … if only that term existed. Thinking we are good enough on our own leads to pride. Good news! We don’t need to be “good enough” anyway because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. God makes us good enough through Jesus. We have to recognize our shortcomings and we must live by the truth that in spite of it all, Jesus thinks we are to die for. Through Him we are made right before God and that’s the best we will ever get. We don’t even have to work for it Because He loves us that much. Wow.

The Image Bearer

That said, we cannot reject the idea of loving ourselves even if some legalists would like for us to do so. It will make you more pious, they said… We are invited to hate what’s not of God and whatever we place higher than Him. Yet, how could we think He wants us to hate what He so tenderly loves? We have been made in His image. Every single one of us has been created in the image of God. We carry His image wherever we go. There is dignity and power in that. It has nothing to do with one being a Christian or not. We get right with God by believing in Jesus and what He did, but we are priceless image bearers by birth. When we begin to see ourselves the way God sees us and to love ourselves better, the way we love others also improves.

Your Body, My Body, Everybody

Our bodies cannot be taken out of the equation. It’s a significant portion of who we are and God’s design for us. I know God’s Word speaks against the flesh but I’m pretty sure it has more to do with our earthly desires than with actual flesh and bones. The Bible tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and bones, it does not only apply to those who persecute us, it also applies to ourselves. We do not wrestle against ourselves, we discipline ourselves with love for God’s creation.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I began appreciating my body in a way I never did before. I realized how good it is to me instead of seeing it as an enemy to be subdued. Then it dawned on me that I had sinned against God since He made that body of mine and I had been at war with it for so long. I’m grateful I no longer have to live under my own condemnation.

Lovingly Graceful

We ought to be graceful towards ourselves and others, not just others. What does it look like? One way I stopped abusing myself, is by never getting another tattoo or piercing. I was a tattoo addict and when I gave my life to Jesus, I was desperate to get a Bible verse tattooed to express my new-found faith on my body. As I was flipping through pages of Scripture, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me: I want you to stop hurting yourself. That was it, I broke in tears and repented. I have nothing against tattoos, but I personally don’t think I’ll ever get another one.

Another personal experience has been to be patient with myself and change my internal monologue from “what are you doing, you dummy” to “oh, baby girl! You’ll do better next time.” As a by-product, I become more graceful towards others.

What are ways you could stop hurting yourself and become more loving and gracious to yourself, you, precious son and daughter of the Almighty God? Could you stop drinking? Do you eat unhealthy? Do you drive recklessly? How would make changes this help you love others better? Let us know in the comments below so we can pray for one another!

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4 Comments

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  • Kirsten

    This is beautifully written-so powerful and true. It’s a delicate balance which only the Lord can lead us into-embracing and loving ourselves without becoming conceited and self-centered. I’m now middle aged and still at times I have to catch myself and make sure I’m not people pleasing. As I reflect on where it came from, my propensity to do so, I think it has to do a need to be accepted by others. But how foolish! I repent of it! For I’ve been perfectly accepted by my Heavenly Father through the sacrifice of His son, my loving Savior The Lord Jesus. In fact the fact that HE even created us declares our worth. We ARE fearfully and wonderfully made! Thank you sister. God bless you and the work He has called to too.

    August 21, 2017 at 11:22 pm Reply
    • Caroline Bellemare

      Thank you, Kirsten! I agree, I think people pleasing is my biggest weakness as well. I find myself in between wanting to love like Christ and wanting to please people. Such a delicate balance indeed. May the Holy Spirit strengthen us as we battle those temptations!

      August 22, 2017 at 10:13 am Reply

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