How often do you stop and really think about this verse?
We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. I don’t know about you but if I loved my neighbor the way I love myself, they would NOT feel very loved.
If I’m honest with myself,
Love is not something I give myself.
If I think back – and I don’t have to think back far – there are a multitude of examples of me being mean to… me. For example, recently, I was thinking about Saul and David and I came to realize that I have far too much Saul in me. By the time I was done thinking about this, I had convinced myself that I really had very little of David in me at all and that I had failed in my pursuit after the Father.
Wow…just wow. I would certainly NEVER say that to anyone else. If someone had come to me with these words about themselves, I would’ve above all pointed out how much they had grown and what their wonderful qualities were. All the while striving to be loving, kind, encouraging and showed them the truth, because YHWH (God) does NOT see us like that.
I felt depleted and like a fraud. As though nothing I had done had ever mattered one little bit.
I cried out to the Father about how I was feeling and the Father told me to write down all of the characteristics for each King on paper. See my list HERE.
Do you know what I discovered?
I wasn’t really like Saul at all. Oh sure I share some qualities with Saul, I think it’s safe to say that most of us do but I am not mostly Saul. Not only that, but I found that I did share quite a few qualities with David!
The Father knew that I had grabbed on to the negative and ran with it and as a result, I never even stopped to comprehend the positive.
How sad is that?
However, I now have the truth sitting in front of me…on paper and I can look at it anytime I need to. Not only can I see in black and white that I have good qualities, but I can also see that the Father guided me to a place where I could.
Our society is full of lies and deceptions about people and we buy into them. In fact, we don’t even need their help because we can easily fill our heads with these lies without them helping us.
So what do we do?
Read our bibles every day.
Take our thoughts captive.
Learn what it means to love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
WE NEED TO START APPLYING THIS KIND OF LOVE TO OURSELVES.
- Be patient with yourself. Don’t use words such as stupid, dumb, idiot, failure or any other word that is negative. Remember it takes time to accomplish something. None of us are going to be great at something the first try.
- Be kind to yourself. Make a list of all of your positive qualities. If you can’t think of any, then get someone to help you and hold on to those positive things. Put them in a place where you can look at them any time you want. Make copies if you want and tape them everywhere!
- Do NOT compare yourself to others. It only leads you to envy what you THINK they have. Cherish what the Father has given YOU!
- Do NOT Boast. This is a symptom of insecurity. This is something to pray about and reflect on. Seek the root cause of the insecurity so that you can receive healing and move past it.
- Watch the Pride. This is about being selfish and satisfied in what WE have accomplished. If we are prideful then we are taking credit for something that YHWH has accomplished through us. This is something to pray about and reflect upon as we need to give all the credit to the Father.
- Keep your anger in check. If anger is an issue, it might be good to pray and reflect on this. Ask the Father what the root cause of the anger issue is so that you can address it and receive healing.
- Stop keeping a laundry list of things you do wrong. It is important to learn from our mistakes and then move on. If you struggle with this list, ask the Father to help you get rid of it. If you still can’t let them go, then write them down and address each one with the Father and then devote the list to destruction by throwing it in a fire and burning it up.
Therefore, when we begin applying 1 Corinthians to ourselves, we can change our whole outlook and as we change, we will change how we interact with others. I wonder what loving our neighbors as ourself would look like then.