We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as our ourselves. This is the Great Commandment – which instructs us to love three: our Lord, our fellow man and ourselves. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Sometimes we find it difficult to love ourselves. As discussed in yesterday’s post, there will be no peace in our hearts until we forgive ourselves for the wrongs that we have committed. (See Forgiving Ourselves and Inner Healing)
We need to love ourselves and be thankful and appreciative of the person who God has made us. The worldly type of loving yourself is where you are stuck up, prideful and arrogant, whereas this type of loving yourself is based upon humility and thankfulness. The two could not be more different!
The amount of bondage that results from self-rejection, self-hatred, unwillingness to forgive oneself and so forth is shocking. Below are just a few of the symptoms:
- Self-rejection; not accepting yourself, always beating up on yourself, not happy with the person that God made you, etc.
- Self-hatred; hating the person who God made in you, considering yourself ugly, dumb, clumsy, etc.
- Unforgiveness or bitterness; when a person continues to hold things against themself, such as something in their past that was embarrassing, gross, or that they are still ashamed of (even after repentance). (See Removing the Weed of Bitterness)
- Being hard on oneself; always beating up on yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. Always seeing yourself as worthless, or pushing to reach irrational goals just to feel good about yourself.
- Low self-esteem; always seeing yourself as a failure, or less than those around you.
- Ashamed of yourself; refusing to forgive yourself from something in your past.
- Feeling ugly or stupid; seeing yourself as ugly, worthless, stupid, no good for nothing, etc.
The list can go on and on, but if this sounds like you, then keep reading!
You need to be thankful
Many today consider themselves dumb, ugly, stupid, clumsy, worthless, etc. Did you know that you were created in God’s own image, and whenever you consider yourself dumb, ugly, etc., you’re actually considering something that God made as being ugly, dumb, etc.?
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
Let me ask you a couple questions…
- Did God create your physical body? If so, would you dare make a statement that God made an ugly body?
- Did God create your mind and intellect? If so, would you dare make a statement that God created a dumb, stupid, or worthless brain?
- If God created you in His image, then are you saying that His image is dumb, stupid, worthless or ugly?
David was a humble man with a heart after God’s own, yet he praised and thanked God for the marvelous work that God had made (referring to his physical body): “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalms 139:14)
David was not boasting in who he was, but rather being thankful and rejoicing over the beautiful creation that God made in him! How many who consider themselves ugly are looking at things the way David did? Probably not too many!
King David appreciated and thanked God for what God gave him. Instead of saying, “I’m ugly”, David was saying, “Wow! Look at what God gave me! It’s marvelous!!” It’s vital that we develop this same attitude about what God’s given each of us as well.
You need to forgive yourself!
Much is said on how we are to forgive others, but many of us seem to skip over the concept of forgiving ourselves. Believe it or not, it’s equally important and vital to be sure we’ve forgiven ourselves, as it is that we’ve forgiven others! Unforgiveness brings much bondage into our lives, regardless if it’s towards God, others or even ourselves. Bitterness (the fruit of unforgiveness) is a means by which many are defiled: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)
Regardless of what we’ve done in our pasts, whether it be an abortion, fornication, or some embarrassing sin, it’s vital that we forgive ourselves from everything in our pasts that we are ashamed of. If God chose to forget our sins for His sake, then I think we ought to do the same: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)
God’s Word says that He has actually removed our sins from us (if we confess it and repent and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior)! If we continually beat up on ourselves, it’s known as false guilt, and is a tool of the enemy to pull us down. If we still associate ourselves with our sinful past, then we need to change the way we see things… why? Because the way we are thinking does not line up with what God’s Word has to say. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
When we associate ourselves with our past failures, after God’s Word has assured us that they have been removed from us… then do you realize that you aren’t really believing what God’s Word is saying? It’s time that we make that choice to forgive ourselves, and then align our thinking with what God’s Word has to say. If God says it’s removed from us, then we need to take Him for His Word, and believe what it has to say!
“If I were your enemy, I’d constantly remind you of your past mistakes and poor choices. I’d want to keep you burdened by shame and guilt, in hopes that you’ll feel incapacitated by your many failings and see no point in even trying again. I’d work to convince you that you’ve had your chance and blown it–that your God may be able to forgive some people for some things, but not you… not for this.” (Fervent: Your Past: Ending the Reign of Guilt, Shame and Regret)
Jesus did not come to accuse or condemn us. Christ restored our souls and made us righteous before God so that our guilt is removed. If our Savior forgave the woman caught in an adulterous relationship, just imagine how ready He is to take your shame away too (John 8:11).
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)