Sunday, October 25, 2009

Loving Myself

The commandment "love your neighbor as yourself" implies that we're supposed to love both our neighbors and ourselves. Sometimes I find that loving myself can be just as difficult as loving other people. It can be really hard for me to accept my imperfections and still see myself as a good and valuable person. So often when I see weakness in others I feel compassion, but when I see weakness in myself I feel contempt. As I learn how to forgive others, God wants me to also learn to forgive myself. Just as I should be patient with others when they struggle, I need to cut myself a little slack when I am having a hard time. I am an imperfect being just like everyone else, and I shouldn't be more critical of my own shortcomings just because I am more aware of them.

Love also carries discipline with it, so while I should try to be understanding towards my weaknesses,  I can't be self-indulgent. I need to be able to look at the big picture even when I'm distracted by my wants and desires, and I need to be able to hold myself to the same standards that I would like to see in the lives of others. I can't encourage others to be good and righteous people without driving myself to grow in faith as well. I don't want to get lost in complacency when I am expecting action from my community. I need to encourage myself to work towards my goals and dreams just as I cheer on my neighbors. I want the whole body of Christ to be healthy, happy, and productive, and that includes me.

Self-sacrifice is a really important part of loving others, but I also need to make sure I am taking care of myself on a basic level. Sometimes I do need to deny some of my needs for a while in order to help someone else, but that shouldn't be taken to extremes. If I allow myself to get run-down or heartsick, how will I be able to help anyone else? God wants me to meet the needs of others, but He also wants my needs to be met. I need to respond to others who ask for help, but I also need to love myself enough to ask for help when I need it. Sometimes I may need to take a little time for myself, and that's OK. Jesus spent most of his time healing and preaching to the people, but he did wander off to pray by himself sometimes. Jesus certainly didn't overindulge himself, but he did make sure that his basic needs were met so that he could remain strong in his demanding ministry. Likewise, I need to make sure that I am getting what I need to continue on in my Christian life.

Every time I look at someone else and see a precious child of God, I need to remind myself that I am beloved too. Whenever I see someone making a positive impact in the world, I should remember that God has given me the ability to do good things too. I can take care of others and myself at the same time, and I can engage in relationships that sustain and affirm both parties. I get frustrated sometimes when I look in the mirror or think about the mistakes I've made, but I do know deep down that I am a good and beautiful person. God loves me, and I love myself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is what I'm looking for thank you very much for posting this blog

Christian Love Lessons - Free Blogger Templates - by Templates para novo blogger