Sunday, February 26, 2023

Accepting That God Loves You Even When You Don't Love Yourself

 By: Paula Short

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself. - Galatians 5:14 NIV 

That's an impactful verse, and it's found more times throughout the Bible too. I'm guessing here that you might not have a problem loving others. It's 'easy' to love others. Sometimes family can be a pain, or our kids can make us crazy, but we still love them when it comes down to it. 

But how well do you do when it comes to loving yourself?   

"That was a dumb thing to say." 

"How could I have been so stupid to do that?" 

"I'm so fat." 

"My nose is too big." 

"I'm so ugly." 

"I'm so stupid."

"I'm not smart enough." 

I'm guilty of having said things like that about myself before. Those words, or comparable ones, are often spoken over and over inside our heads. They aren't words we would ever think of saying to people around us – friends or family – but we can speak them to ourselves without hesitation. Why is that? 

Sadly, society and even people we're around throughout our lives lead us to believe we aren't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc. It's taught us that if we aren't a certain height or weight or act a certain way (to name a few), there's something wrong with us.

Or what about when we keep reliving past mistakes or failures over and over in our heads? Oh boy, that's a big one for me sometimes. 

Sometimes we have forgiven and moved on and don't want to talk about past failures or hurt, but we can't stop doing it because we haven't forgiven ourselves yet. And, finally – what about when we feel there's no way God can love us when we don't love ourselves and think our past sins are unforgivable? 

Why do we fall prey to those thoughts and think them about ourselves? God doesn't want us to believe those lies! Just look at Psalm 139: 13-15.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-15— NIV

Did you catch that? Fearfully and wonderfully made! 

But we're human, and it's not always easy to fight the self-sabotage and negative self-talk, and that makes it hard for us to show ourselves love and grace which is right where the devil wants us – 'hating' ourselves.

Friend, our heavenly Father loves us beyond measure that we can't fathom from this side of heaven. God's character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or begin to not like yourself, remember that God's spirit is ready and willing to work within you. We should have as much respect for ourselves as our maker has for us.


Do you ever have self-defeating thoughts?

What is an encouraging thought you can share to counteract one of our self-defeating thoughts?

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