Love Series (Week 3): Loving Yourself!
On a Sunday night, I received a text from my supervisor telling me to report to the administration building early the next morning. My heart sank. I immediately knew something was wrong. I prayed and cried all night long. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and let me know that I was getting fired the following day, but told me to “be still”. And surely enough, that was the case, I was fired. Nine months with the company and I was told that I was not a good fit, wait what? Two months prior I had a perfect evaluation. I was escourted to the main building to gather my belongings as if I was a criminal and had done something wrong. I was so embarrassed and so confused. I was in shock for two days. I played the past nine months in my head over and over again. Although I had many successes at the company, all I could think about was me, as a FAILURE. Who gets fired for no reason? What is wrong with me? Why am I not good enough for the company? Why am I such a failure? This makes me a bad mom. All these thoughts about myself played over and over again in my head for the next four months until I obtained another job. As I started that new job, I worked so hard to “prove” to management that I was good enough. Why did I let this incident hit me so hard that it made not believe in myself? Why did I let this incident make me feel so much shame, guilt, and embarrassment? I felt as if I lost all my self confidence and self worth. The truth is, at this time I still did not know what it meant to truly LOVE MYSELF.
Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.
Proverbs 19:8 (ESV)
What does it look like to love yourself?
Surely I am not talking about bring arrogant. Some of us do not love ourselves. How do we get to the point where we do not love ourselves?
1) We are still holding on to past hurts.
Some of us have not healed from things that happened to us when we were young. Some of us have not healed from the pain in past relationships. We have allowed feelings of (hurt, shame, and guilt) get deep down into our soul. These negative feelings/emotions lead to negative thoughts that we have allowed to become part of our identity.
2) We compare ourselves to others.
We feel that we should look a certain way or have a certain career, car or home to be “good enough”. God made each and every one us individually and unique. Not one of us are perfect. We each have strengths and weaknesses. We should embrace our strengths and not our weaknesses. We should be aware of our weaknesses, but we should not dwell on them to the point that we are feeling like failures. Besides, God is looking at our heart, not our outward appearance or "things" that we may or may not own.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height,
for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7(NIV)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14) I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15) My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16) Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
3) We were talked to in a negative way or put down by others.
A few months before I was fired from my job, I was dating this man who told me that I was “damaged goods”. He told me that I do not know how to love. He told me that I would never be in a worthwhile relationship. Now add that with feeling like a failure due to being fired from my job and you get a negative thought party going on in my head. But during those four months of unemployment, I continued to pray, meditate, and read God’s Holy Word. At some point, I finally realized that I was made in God’s image. Yes, I had read that scripture time and time again. But it really "sank in". I had finally started believing and reciting that I was created in God's image. That job or those negative feelings and thoughts did not define me anymore. Each one of us are a unique creation from God. Yes, you and I both were created in God’s image.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
We may not have intentions of not “loving ourselves”, but this is what happens to us. We think that we are not good enough because of past hurts, negative words from others, negative emotions/feelings, and negative thoughts. We think that we are not lovable. We think that we are not capable of loving. This is what happened to me. I was starting to let all those negative things that were said to me, get not only into my head, but also my heart. I started to go waaaay back in my past and dig up other past hurts. I started to go back to when I was bullied as a child and other rejections in my past. This is what happens when we do not get the full understanding of God's love for us and the concept of loving ourselves.
As I searched through scriptures, this one really reasonated with me. Yes, I am flawed. I see my flaws and others see my flaws. But HE, the all mighty God, the one who created me and knows my inner being sees me as flawless.
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Song of Solomon 4:7 (ESV)
It is so easy to get caught up in our emotions and feelings about what others think or say about us. The fact of the matter is that God thinks that YOU are AWESOME! I am here to tell you that God loves you and God wants you love yourself. We are to love ourselves as Christ loves the church. During week one we discussed God’s love for us. Think back to those verses and how much love God has for us, not matter what we do. That is the same the love that we should have for ourselves.
For no one ever hated his own flesh,
but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
Ephesians 5:29 (ESV)
It may be hard to feel like you are worthy when you were told that you are not. It may be hard to love yourself when things are not going right in your life. It may be hard to love yourself when you are not feeling successful at life. You may feel that it is hard to change the negative thoughts that you think about yourself to positive thoughts. Pray to God and ask him for clarity so that you can see yourself as he sees you. Write and recite the verses presented in this post to help you gain that confidence, strength, ability, and courage to love yourself. YOU GOT THIS!! LOVE YOURSELF!!
Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Ephesians 1:4 (ESV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God? You are not your own,
20) for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
HIS LOVE and MINE,