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.

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!

Introverted Christian

I came across an interesting video along my YouTube feed about four types of introverts. They were the Social Introvert, Restrained Introvert, Anxious Introvert and Thinking Introvert. The Thinking Introvert and perhaps Restrained Introvert sounds like me, however, I think I am mix of all four. Here is a link to the video: https://youtu.be/dNKQYjsxgPU .

I have come to understand (basically accept) that I am shy and introverted. And that is okay. I am uncomfortable speaking in front of others. I have foregone food until after a speaking engagement, avoided mics (I don’t want anyone to see my hand shake), and gotten physically sick prior to having to speak. I get through speaking in front of others by the grace of God, practice and much preparation (and building confidence). There are times I get nervous presenting a workshop to students that I have even worked with multiple times. I used to know how to dance, pick up a dance, or at least manage my two feet when I was younger and around my cousins or by myself. Now, I feel like sometimes I have two left feet, and I won’t dare dance around anyone unless I have a bolt of joy or am around family or in a crowd, or don’t mind feeling awkward.

I also tend to be in my head a lot. I love spending time thinking. On the flip side, I tend to also worry over if I said something right or did something enough. And I too need ample of amount of time to just be alone or just recoup from being overwhelmed or expending much energy. If I could Thanos snap people away when I felt like it or just press pause… 😆.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love people. I love encouraging others and showing up for others. And I do genuinely interact with people, am family-oriented, and have been described as bubbly. In fact, I loved to help plan get-togethers with my friends, family vacation trips, and family nights. But the next day or a day or two out of vacation, I just want to do nothing and relax. I still love planning such things but haven’t planned much as of now, except family nights and maybe an outing or two with my best friend. I also like staying home most times, but I do love nature and love getting out doors to enjoy such.

I don’t like talking on the phone much and prefer to text. I also love reading or just watching movies. I enjoy my own company much of the time.

As an introvert and a shy person, how does this affect me as a Christian? I don’t know as I am just asking myself this. I do know that God can still get the glory from a shy, introvert like me. And it makes sense how He has given me the gifts of encouragement and mercy. I thank God that although I need time alone and love my own company, I have care and concern for others. I am not treading through life selfishly. However, on the flip side, I am learning to set boundaries. It is not good to be all about just yourself, but you do have to pour into yourself, invest in yourself, take care of yourself, create moments and space for self. Then only can you adequately and without resentment pour into someone else’s cup. God did say to love others as you love yourself. Some of us need to learn to love ourselves.

God has helped me to encourage others through my writing. God has helped me to be able to create memories and moments for others. God has blessed and will bless me continually with purposeful relationships. Just because I am an introvert and am shy, doesn’t mean God can’t still use me. Sometimes, I have to press out of my comfort zone. Sometimes (well maybe most of the time), I have to rest after. But God can and will still use me.

We are to share God’s Word and love through speech and action. Whether you are shy and introverted or not, you can still impact others with the heart and Word of God.

You may be an introvert and Christian also. But know that although these things describe your personality and are some facets to who you are, it is God that truly defines who you are. Your identity lies within Him. And with that, just don’t let these characteristics or traits, whatever they are called, keep you shut off from the world. He sent us to go into the world to spread His Word and love, to finish up where Jesus left off. And yes, do remember to take time to replenish yourself and set boundaries as you challenge your fears as well as develop good relationships and support systems. Nothing wrong with taking care of your self and mind.