Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Should a Person Love Themselves?"
It's vital to love yourself!
It's not what you think!
When I say that you need to love yourself, I'm not referring to the stuck-up, prideful, worldly type of loving oneself (also known as self-worship); I'm talking about a concept of being thankful, and appreciating the person who God has made in you. The worldly type of loving yourself is where you are stuck up, prideful and arrogant, whereas this type of loving yourself is based upon humility and thankfulness. The two could not be more different!
The amount of bondage that results from self-rejection, self-hatred, unwillingness to forgive oneself and so forth is shocking. Below are just a few of the symptoms:
- Self-rejection; not accepting yourself, always beating up on yourself, not happy with the person that God made you, etc.
- Self-hatred; hating the person who God made in you, considering yourself ugly, dumb, clumsy, etc.
- Unforgiveness or bitterness; when a person continues to hold things against themself, such as something in their past that was embarrassing, gross, or that they are still ashamed of (even after repentance).
- Being hard on oneself; always beating up on yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. Always seeing yourself as worthless, or pushing to reach irrational goals just to feel good about yourself.
- Low self-esteem; always seeing yourself as a failure, or less than those around you.
- Ashamed of yourself; refusing to forgive yourself from something in your past.
- Feeling ugly or stupid; seeing yourself as ugly, worthless, stupid, no good for nothing, etc.
The list can go on and on, but if this sounds like you, then keep reading!
You need to be thankful
Many today consider themselves dumb, ugly, stupid, clumsy, worthless, etc. Did you know that you were created in God's own image, and whenever you consider yourself dumb, ugly, etc., you're actually considering something that God made as being ugly, dumb, etc.??
Genesis 1:26, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Let me ask you a couple questions...
- Did God create your physical body? If so, would you dare make a statement that God made an ugly body?
- Did God create your mind and intellect? If so, would you dare make a statement that God created a dumb, stupid, or worthless brain?
- If God created you in His image, then are you saying that His image is dumb, stupid, worthless or ugly?
David was a humble man with a heart after God's own, yet he praised and thanked God for the marvelous work that God had made (referring to his physical body):
Psalms 139:14, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
David was not boasting in who he was, but rather being thankful and rejoicing over the beautiful creation that God made in him! How many who consider themselves ugly are looking at things the way David did? Probably not too many!
King David appreciated and thanked God for what God gave him. Instead of saying, "I'm ugly", David was saying, "Wow! Look at what God gave me! It's marvelous!!" It's vital that we develop this same attitude about what God's given each of us as well.
You need to forgive yourself!
Much is said on how we are to forgive others, but many of us seem to skip over the concept of forgiving ourselves. Believe it or not, it's equally important and vital to be sure we've forgiven ourselves, as it is that we've forgiven others! Unforgiveness brings much bondage into our lives, regardless if it's towards God, others or even ourselves. Bitterness (the fruit of unforgiveness) is a means by which many are defiled:
Hebrews 12:15, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled."
Regardless of what we've done in our pasts, whether it be an abortion, fornication, or some gross and embarrassing sin, it's vital that we forgive ourself from everything in our pasts that we are ashamed of. If God chose to forget our sins for His sake, then I think we ought to do the same:
Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."
God's Word says that He has actually removed our sins from us! If we continually beat up on ourselves, it's known as false guilt, and is a tool of the enemy to pull us down. If we still associate ourselves with our sinful past, then we need to change the way we see things... why? Because the way we are thinking does not line up with what God's Word has to say.
Psalms 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
When we associate ourselves with our past failures, after God's Word has assured us that they have been removed from us... then do you realize that you aren't really believing what God's Word is saying? It's time that we make that choice to forgive ourselves, and then align our thinking with what God's Word has to say. If God says it's removed from us, then we need to take Him for His Word, and believe what it has to say!
If this teaching has ministered to you, then I believe you'll also want to read, "The Forgiveness of Sins".