God Wants You To Love Yourself

Before I begin let’s note one thing. Lovers of (your own) self (only) and loving yourself are two different things.

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
2 Timothy 3:1‭-‬5 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/2ti.3.1-5.NLT

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy….
2 Timothy 3:2 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/2ti.3.2.KJV

Lovers of self and themselves only is how one is consumed with themselves and their desires only. They are selfish and always put their own desires and needs before others. In reality and biblically, sometimes you will have to consider others and their needs. And there will be times when you will put their needs before your own.

Another thing to look out for that is in line with lovers of self is the following. If you make yourself or your desires idols or are constantly obsessing over being and doing better, those too can be idolatry. There is a wearing ourselves out to get rich and for some wearing ourselves out to be better. Both can be weary, greed, and idolatry. And when we are trying to do things without God, over pursuing wealth or riches and “better” can consume us or weary us as well as can be a detriment to the people around us.

Now, it is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved, successful, wealthy, and/or the best versions of ourselves. But without God, it is futile. Obsessing and draining our very being to obtain such can wear on our souls and can lead us astray.

Your love for yourself should not put others in danger. It should not cause hurt. However, your love for yourself may challenge some people, especially those who are out to manipulate you or control you (and you don’t have to subject yourself to mental abuse). But, it should never danger someone or make someone feel they are an inconvenience or not worthy of love (agape) themselves. To further expound, your self love should neither be marked with pride and selfishness, nor lead you to hurt someone.

Furthermore, you should not obsess or worry about what others think. However, don’t shun away every criticism or perspective. Chew the meat and spit out the bones. Just maybe that person is not a hater. Just maybe they are bringing you the truth and in love.

Loving God and yourself are crucial because it helps you to love others from an adequate, good place, and with joy.

Loving yourself is commanded. It is imperative that you love yourself and through God’s truth and love. Learning to love yourself shows that you are learning to see yourself through God’s eyes, that you are learning to receive God’s love, that you are finally realizing your worth. Learning to love yourself moves you to set boundaries, do things more with the right motives, be unafraid to face yourself, love people properly, to not seek validation from man more than God, realize who you are in the Father, and carry yourself with dignity.

Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love as given to us in this Scripture: “You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself!” For keeping this law is the noble way to live.
James (Jacob) 2:8 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/jas.2.8.TPT

Think of how Jesus carried Himself, how He knew Himself, how he loved the Father and others, how He set boundaries and held to His standards.

God has given me grace to speak a warning about pride. I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem.
Romans 12:3 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/rom.12.3.TPT

So, go right ahead and learn to love yourself. Begin that healing journey.  Don’t think only of yourself as 1 Corinthians 10:24 says. Dont think too high of yourselves but don’t think low of yourselves either. Ask God to see yourself through His eyes, His perspective. Don’t forget yourself. Practice self-care. Give attention to yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, etc. Protect yourself and what God has placed within you. Be grateful and give yourself mercy. Allow God to show you how much He loves you and adores you.

Learning to love yourself is courageous. It is bold. It is freedom. And it helps you to provide love to others in a way that is authentic, meaningful and whole.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I exhort you this week to ask God to help you to learn to love yourself and Him. And to receive His love for yourself. And to express it to others. May you feel safe, loved, and remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength. In Jesus’ name, amen.

As I went researching some things, I came across an article that was so good! Check it out.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/self-love-toxic-behavior_l_6216753ae4b0ef74d729b591

Getting Back To Self

Right now, you may be at the part of your journey where you have discovered that you are wanting more or even less. You may have lost your motivation or inspiration. You may be burnt out or overwhelmed. You may be leaking emotionally and much stuff is coming to the surface waiting for your discovery, acknowledgement, and healing. You may be comparing or desperately trying to create a bucket list. Your insecurities may be screaming and your career may be looking at a different you than when you first started, causing you to feel a change is necessary. Whether you are 22 or 42, or even 62, you are coming to the realization that there is more to life but the only one that can fulfill you is God. And the only one who needs you to heal the most is you because you are with you and in your skin 24-7.

I think when you get to this part of the journey, you are really looking for you. Who are you really? And what do you need here on out as you heal, grow and prepare for new seasons in your life. It is time to get back to self. Meet your authentic self. See yourself the way God does. Live life where His voice is first and yours is second.

Getting back to self requires unlearning old things that need to be unlearned. It requires healing, humility, honesty, and patience. It requires also analyzing and sometimes resetting your motives and intentions. It requires self-care, self-love, and setting boundaries. It requires being vulnerable and healing the little person inside from the trauma you have endured since the beginning of your existence. It requires time and work as well as acknowledging all of you, including your flaws and parts that you feel are unlovable. It requires gratitude and making peace with self where necessary. It requires allowing God to help you to navigate through your healing journey.

It requires you to be present and you to be you, the you God knew before you were even in your mother’s womb and the you He desired and destined for you to be.

Feel free to leave your comments below. And if you need prayer, please indicate so and we will pray for you.

Could The Healing Journey Be Causing A Strain on Your Relationships?

Sitting here pondering this. Could the healing journey be putting a strain on my relationships?

Setting boundaries and healing kind of put strains on your relationships for some reason, I suppose. Maybe it is because you are recognizing your triggers. Maybe it is because you are recognizing what behavior from others you no longer want to tolerate. Maybe it is because some people benefit from you staying the same. Maybe because other people may not be going through the healing process and seeing you go through yours may be foreign to them or uncomfortable to them also. If it is uncomfortable to you, I would assume it can be uncomfortable to those around you. I don’t know. Maybe because you are speaking up for your self now. Or you and your loved ones/relatives have different lifestyles or going in different directions now. Nonetheless, relationships take hard work. And the same mercy we are learning to give ourselves, we have to give others. And vice versa. But going through your own healing journey can be difficult on a relationship.

Extend mercy to your loved ones. Be patient with them. But also continue setting boundaries and healing with humility, self-care, forgiveness, God’s wisdom and grace.

And you and your loved ones must realize that healing, restoration, and living/functioning from such a state not only is beneficial to you but those around you.

Continue healing.

Persevere one day at a time! You got this!

What are your thoughts? Respond below.

Real Confidence

Sometimes, you can lose your self. And even your confidence. Sometimes, the enemy’s lies start getting louder than the truth of God. Or your confidence never fully bloomed from the start. May you see yourself through the eyes of God. May you come to love yourself because God first loved you and His love for you is beyond measure. May you remember your worth is not predicated upon what you do or what titles you bear. May you heal and exhale in the presence of a gracious and patient God. May you remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. May you walk into the room with the brightest smile, a persevering and resilient attitude, and a peaceful heart as you learn to trust God through each day.

Here is a snippet of my poem, titled Real Confidence.

…When my confidence enters the room

May it be quiet, regal, and signaturely pleasant

As a sweet, elegant perfume

When I put on the shoes I can fit

I will walk confident

I too have fallen short of the glory of God

But I was heaven sent

…I am heaven sent

To read the beginning of this poem and more, get your copy of Bring It To The Surface Poetry & Journal. Available on Amazon now!

How Anxiety Feels

I was briefly reading Psalm 55 before a meeting this morning, and as I came across verses four and five I realized it described how anxiety feels. I am grateful that David was able to share his heart with God and thousands of years later, many us, if not all, can relate.

My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.
Psalms 55:4‭-‬5 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.55.4-5.NLT

Anxiety can be felt in your chest as it pounds to the beat of stress and sorrow. Anxiety can be a lump in the throat making it hard to swallow the fear that does not want to submit and go away. Anxiety can be sweat and chills with tension and rapid eye blinks. Anxiety can be in the trembles of the body and the mind wandering a mile a minute with a plague of worries and thoughts. Anxiety can be in the avoidance of necessary activities in life and still step out on faith in moments while having a desire to run and hide, costing you freedom and joy. Anxiety can be the mind stuck in the past or stuck in the future. Anxiety can feel like death is following and no one can help or understand. Anxiety can feel like a death sentence as well as a life sentence. But God…

There is hope. And we are anxiety fighters. Thanks to God we can take one day at a time and fight through. We can develop courage and joy because the joy of the Lord will be our strength. We can learn about ourselves, how to endure, and learn to see ourselves the way God does. We can heal and grow, and many of us will receive the deliverance from the spirit of fear because God did not give us a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind.

But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
Psalms 55:16‭-‬18‭, ‬22 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.55.16-22.NLT

God is our safe place. God can and will sustain us. God cares about us and is concerned about everything that concerns us. God hears our cries and collects our tears. He is the answer to our problems. He loves us greater than anyone ever can. Jesus is a testament to His love for us. God reminds us to not fear. He is with us and He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is a present help in the time of trouble.

Let us ask God where we have not been trusting Him. Let us take a deep breath and rest in the God who loves us beyond measure and wants us to receive the life and life to the full He came to give us. Share with Him, like David, the contents of our hearts. And let us remember how good God has been and worship Him through the good times and bad, the certainties and doubts, and anxiety.

Be encouraged, loves. We are anxiety fighters.

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Was I Really Free?

Around the time I was promoting my first self-published book, Setting The Captive Free poetry book, I did a promo photo shoot with some friends. I had us list what God had delivered us from. And I, myself, listed several things including anxiety, depression, generational curses, etc.

Looking back, maybe at that time that was true as life during that time was most likely okay and breathable. And I could honestly say God did deliver me from depression and even a suicide attempt years prior. I also know there were generational curses that were broken. But I wondered to myself as I saw a reminder of the I Am Free promo, photo shoot and post if I truly was free or capping as they say. Or maybe I felt free at the moment.

In any event, I notice that a lot of believers know that Jesus can and does set us free. Although we may still sin, sin no longer can reign in our lives. And although the world may never have the solutions to our problems, we have access to the throne of grace of the One who is the solution. But some of us are still walking around bound. The joy of the Lord is our strength but we rarely experience or spread joy. We are worried and stressed while God is ready to be given our cares and burdens because He cares for us.

Anxiety has plagued me for years. I would not realize until years later that even in college and teen years anxiety was present. It was present when I would get sick to the point of having to go back home after almost making it to the bus stop. And when I say I got sick, it was sick to my stomach… nevermind. Lol, I will stop there. It was present when I was lightheaded and hitting the floor. It was present at every moment of overthinking and worry. It was present with negative thoughts and self-pity. It was there when I felt like I disappointed someone. And anxiety is still present.

However, now that I know it is anxiety and what fuels it and what triggers it, I can have those informed conversations with myself and a professional. But more importantly now, I realize I don’t want to just feel and look free. I realize I can come to God and ask Him to help me to realize that I can be truly free.

Sometimes miracles and healing can happen overnight. Sometimes it takes time. I didn’t get this way overnight and there are a lot of components to address when someone struggles with anxiety or depression. So, I know this is going to take some time. But at the end of the tunnel, I pray that I am truly free. And that I heal from every stronghold and trauma and circumstance that is holding up the anxiety fear. I have to understand that deliverance sometimes is continual and I have to learn to trust God through the process/journey. As well as surrender every area and layer of my life to God.

So if the Son sets you free,(B) you will be free indeed( John 8:36). Our Savior granted us freedom, grace, mercy, and an unfailing love. It is time we walk fully in such.

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Photo from my first book promo, I Am Free Photoshoot