On a scale of 1 to 100%, 1 being “not at all” and 100 being “completely,” how much do you love and accept yourself? It is interesting because the Lord tells us to love one another as we love ourselves. But over the years of leading small groups and doing individual counseling, I have been amazed at how few love and accept themselves. In fact, once women really start to be honest, we discover that many sadly have a lot of self-hatred. If it is not hatred, there are many feelings of self-rejection and an inability to accept various aspects of themselves.
An international survey showed that 95% of women reject some or all facets of themselves. No wonder women have so much drama in their relationships with one another. I can only love another in proportion to the amount that I love myself. And I can only love others unconditionally to the degree that I allow God to love in and through me.
God’s first commandment is to love the Lord God with all your heart, mind and soul. The second is to love others. When we focus on receiving the unconditional love and grace of God, this will heal our souls and bring us into greater acceptance of ourselves. This in turn will enable us to love others.
I once heard a talk entitled J O Y. The idea of the talk was to say that we have JOY if we put J esus first, then O thers, and then Y ourself. On some level I agree with this. As my energy, time, resources, and attention are on loving God and others, I will naturally have more joy and thus will feel more fulfilled. But on the flip side, if I do not take the time to pray and renew my mind daily in the Word to see myself as God sees me, then I will continue to walk in lies about myself which will put me in bondage, hindering my walk with God and my love for others. As we diligently, daily look to God’s Word and take time to pray to understand and have faith in God’s Truth, we will get a whole new view of ourselves, God, others and our purpose in life. Take some time to pray and meditate on Isaiah 43:4. It is His Truth about you!
- Sue Corl