Love Thyself

Do you like yourself? It’s a serious question. Do you? I wouldn’t be surprised if you said you didn’t because very few of us think well of ourselves. We focus on our faults, our weaknesses, our sinfulness and feel we are terrible people. We keep replaying the mistakes we made in our lives and beat ourselves up over them, believing we are useless and good for nothing. We look at ourselves in the mirror and see somebody ugly and stupid looking back and feel ashamed of ourselves. Isn’t this true? How can we ever be happy if we think so poorly of ourselves? 

We need to change this attitude and start looking at the positive side of ourselves rather than the negative. This is what God does. I know that many of us are taught that God has a little notebook where he makes a note of every wrong thing that we do, and he will make us account for them one day, but this is far from the truth. When we become people of the New Covenant, we should remember his promise. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12). When God chooses to forget the wrong things we do, why do we keep remembering them?

“But I repeat my mistakes,” you say. “I can’t get rid of my addiction. I still mess up badly.” I know. But I also know that we are works in progress. Not one of us has led a perfect life, not even the great apostle Paul. “I do not understand what I do,” Paul cried at one time. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). But Paul understood that Christ would make things right, and later advised his readers to be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

God saved us from damnation, and he will keep us from damnation, but we need to trust his love for us. There is nothing we can do to make him love us more and nothing we can do to make him love us less. We need to believe this and love ourselves too. Jesus told us to love one another as we love ourselves (see Luke 10:27), and the main reason we cannot love others is because we don’t love ourselves. If we cannot forgive ourselves for our faults and failings, little wonder that we cannot forgive others for the wrong they do. Know what I’m saying?

The nature of love is acceptance, dear friend. God accepts you. You need to accept yourself too. You do terrible things on occasion, but I know that you do the right thing most of the time. Focus on that. You have weaknesses, but you also have strengths. Concentrate on those. And the more you like yourself, the easier it will be to become the person God created you to be.  And you will be a whole lot happier and at peace!

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