In my last post I shared that the most important thing for me to leave to others was LOVE. God’s love…and a glimpse of what that looked like to me. Most of us THINK we love God but I’m not sure we fully understand the definition of His love that has been acted out. Since love is such a huge deal and so multifaceted, today I want to leave, still again….love. Loving yourself
Loving yourself and waking in pride or even a puffed air of protection are two separate things. I did not realize this until I was in my mid thirties (yes I know…slow learner). Loving your self does not encompass pampering your physical body with all the things it wants. Dressing it to look the best it can, or even putting your needs before others. We are called to live in humility, that does not mean we constantly put ourselves down, looking in the mirror and hating what we see, or thinking we are less then we are.
I have learned it’s a fine balance of loving the creation God has made vs. loving the image the world seems to want mold us into. You must love God first to love yourself the way He intended. Once you realize that every time you are dissatisfied with the way you were made, you are telling God, you didn’t do a good enough job for me! Think about it…Every hair, eye shape, lip shape, BODY shape you have…He made. Everything HE makes is good! Now it is our responsibility to value it, and take care of it…however if we hate our insides then no amount of physical maintenance will do.
Ever heard of the phrase pretty is as pretty does? Well, that is so true. Once you have learned that this physical body will soon pass and is only the shell and inhabiting place for who you truly are, then you can start working on “prettying up” the inside. You see I had physical beauty as the mainstream world would view it. However, I was so hurt and broken from using the physical beauty to make my insides tempoarily feel better, that I was hard, closed up and rather cruel at times. If you don’t believe me just ask my husband!
Loving myself meant I cared enough about myself to work the principles of God’s word into my life. You no matter how “beautiful” my outside appeared, the inside was not so much and I definitely didn’t love me! I did not look in the mirror and speak kind words to myself. I was impatient and frustrated when I messed up or didn’t perform to the standards I thought I should. I was always picking my looks a part and pointing out what was to big, not big enough, to curvy, or flat. I was always trying to “fix” myself on the outside so others would accept me, when I didn’t accept myself. You see you cannot love others until you love yourself. You must first practice on the hardest person to love…yourself. Love is an internal process that produces and external beauty.
So, I say, love your GOD FIRST because He loves you above and beyond what you can fathom! Then start loving yourself. If you can’t seems to stand to even look at who you are then start the process of changing the inside into a person who is easy to love, you’ll be glad you did!