Lately I have had a lot more time than my usual pace of life (living in a house with 20 kids and managing 25 staff members etc) gives me to reflect and ask myself challenging questions.
I have of course as a single 31 year old woman been asking myself and God (broken record) questions about my love life! ;)
One thing the Lord has been teaching me about is loving myself. I believe you can't really love anyone well unless you love yourself well. In fact, Im certain the world would be a LOT better off if everyone loved themselves well, took better care of themselves, and made made more loving decisions. This is not to be confused with being selfish or greedy both of which are unloving to yourself and to others.
One thing my small group leader and now a pastor used to say is "self care is not selfish", and I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.
As someone who loves the sacrificial aspect of love, this can be a fine line for me to walk....and quite frankly I do think the Lord kind of emphasizes different aspects of love in different seasons. In other words, I love to give myself away! I love this aspect of love. I love serving and I love feeling God's compassion running through my blood and moving me to act. Some seasons have been all about that aspect for me but this new season I am in is not. haha. It is all about taking care of myself. Truthfully, you CANNOT take care of anyone else if you don't or can't take care of yourself. The same as a man cannot take care of a wife and children if he can't even provide and take care of himself ladies ;)
Okay so...this has led me to ask what does it look like? What does it look like to love yourself well? What is the difference in that and being selfish? The last thing I ever want to be is selfish or self-centered.
With this in mind, I think we can simply turn to scripture. Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself". I know we can't love our neighbor well if we don't first love ourselves well.
THE LOVE CHAPTER!!!!!!!!
1 Corinthians 13 says:
We need to be patient with ourselves. We are learning and growing and doing what we can do with what we have. Sometimes we will mess up and make mistakes. Sometimes we will not have enough energy or health to do the tasks of the day. Sometimes in some areas of our lives we will be like little babies learning to walk. We will stumble and fall and get back up again. We should be proud of ourselves for trying and be patient with our progress and growth.
We need to be kind to ourselves. How many of us have a constant critical berating voice in our heads? You may think you don't but spend a few days consciously listening to that voice and you might be surprised. We often are too hard and too harsh on ourselves. Bottom line: this is sin. God wants us to be free and not in bondage to our own judgment. We need to repent of a critical spirit and let the Lord set us free. We should learn to be kind to ourselves. As that voice pops up, just say I forgive myself for thinking that and I speak the truth over myself that I am dearly loved accepted and I am doing a good job growing in this area.
Okay that's all for this post: I will continue this topic next time. :)
Love Yourself Today,