Thursday, February 8, 2018

GIVE YOURSELF A HUG

Yesterday's topic and Scripture brought a response from Victor (He's Here) that was exactly what I was thinking when I quoted The Word.  The Second Greatest Commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, but if we do not love ourselves how can we do this?



Interestingly, this perfectly dovetails into the Bible Study we are beginning in our small group.  Another great example of a God-incidence in my life.  I was already pondering this very subject and I get a little nudge to continue to explore exactly why we do not love ourselves.



Somewhere between loving ourselves above all others (narcissism is the fancy psycho babble name) and deep seeded hatred toward ourselves is the goal.  The key lies in the First Great Commandment---"Love the Lord Your God with ALL your heart, your soul, and your mind."  Putting God first and worshiping Him above all else allows us to live the life He intended.  The first step toward loving ourselves is loving God and because of this love being obedient.  As we strive to be obedient, we please God and when God is pleased with us--we are pleased with ourselves.


When we were children, we sought our parents' approval.  When we managed to stay within the boundaries of their rules, hopefully we received their approval and reaped the warm and fuzzies.  We became proud of ourselves and beamed  when we knew they were proud of us.  They were the ultimate earthly authority in our lives and we looked to them for a reflection of who we are.  If they were proud of us--we were proud of ourselves also.  


Contrast that to when I was naughty (GASP--I know difficult to believe).  When I broke the rules, there was swift consequences.  The emotions I felt included shame, embarrassment, and failure.  My parents were not proud of me and that disapproval was reflected in how I felt about myself. 

NOW---before you jump on my case about what Jesus did for us---I totally understand this.  The topic of this blog is not His paying the cost of my sin-the topic is why we do not love ourselves.  We do not love ourselves because we believe the lies we are fed by The Deceiver.  We replace our mantle of righteousness with the mantle of shame.  We do not love ourselves because we have not accepted what was freely given to us and cling to the shame of the past.  


As I work through this Bible Study and ponder this question, my goal is to accept who I am and God's provision.  Learning to love myself will open a huge door in deepening my relationship with The Father.  As I learn to love Him deeper and deeper, I will understand the perfection of His love and this will allow me to love others in the fullness of the Father's love.  I believe Newton's scientific principle is "For every action there is a equal and opposite reaction."  As I accept God's love for me, I am able to love myself and pour out that love on others."  

What a beautiful truth!



19 We love because God first loved us.
I John 4:19

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the mention, Lulu. Much appreciated and I am very grateful for your kindness over the years.

    "The topic of this blog is ... why we do not love ourselves."

    There are many reasons really. Some I have touched on in my comment yesterday. But there are others.

    For many people, there is no God in their lives. They just do not believe in Him. He is not relevant to them. And if this is the case, they cannot love Him as per the first Commandment. But what is sadder, they do not and can not experience His love for them. If He is not present in their lives they cannot possibly know and appreciate what He has done for us, or what Christ did for us. Hence - no God equals no love for Him and consequently for ourselves.

    Secondly, you touched on it when you mentioned your youth. When you did wrong you were reprimanded and ashamed. But today, there is no shame in the world. It is OK to be promiscuous, to get drunk, to behave as you wish. It is all part of our liberation and freedom of speech and action. Things that were taboo and frowned upon in your youth are now the norm, and if you do not practice them or partake in them then it is you who is out of step with today's civilised enlightened liberated society. So with lack of shame and lack of guilt, there cannot possibly be love for oneself, for one's neighbour, or indeed for God, (Whom we agreed does not exist anyway - in their lives at least).

    Thirdly, there is another love in our modern world. The love of materialism. Money, house, car, yacht, jewellery or whatever. The only way to get on in life is by stepping over others, not love them. And with that kind love taking over and suffocating our very lives there is no room for loving ourselves, our neighbours or God. Even our spouses are disposable. Divorces are on the increase. Living together without marriage is more fashionable and easier to dissolve at one's convenience. Who needs shame and reprimand when we are all enjoying ourselves any way.

    Need I go on any more? We know well enough why there is no love of oneself or for others.

    Lulu - your topic today is so serious I cannot make any jokes.

    God bless.

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    Replies
    1. It is life threatening, Victor. The end for us if we fail to acknowledge the existence of God and never claim His grace. Sad-sad! Yes, an extremely serious topic. BUT GOD!

      Thank you for your comments, Victor!


      Blessings!

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  2. Oh, I love that quote from C. S. Lewis - so true!!! Accepting and believing that we are God's children does go a long way to realizing that self-love (maybe selfless self-love?) is not just important, but crucial for our ability to love our God and others as He would have us do. Wonderful reflection, Lulu!
    Blessings!

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Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!