Some days are harder than others. For each of us, we go through seasons that often bring change, and the change doesn’t always feel great. There are times when we have been pushed into a new unknown, but all we want to do is head back to what is comfortable. The hard part is, without moving forward, there is no growth. I know for me, I get so caught up in the future and wanting to be in the place where I feel like I’ll have “made it,” that I forget the immediate and the opportunities to love other where I am. Last week I talked about having the reaction of love with others, but today I want to talk about loving yourself.
I love food, and when there are holidays and celebrations with a bunch of it, it’s hard to control the amount I consume, because I love it. That typically means having a full and often upset stomach later, meaning that I have to get some Tums and drink a bunch of water (yes, I’m old, ugh). The same thing happens to us emotionally. We feed ourselves with the stuff that really doesn’t make us feel better and in turn, we aren’t our best selves. With depression and seasons of change, it means we enter those seasons with the deck stacked against us. I know for me, I want to love others well, but that also means loving myself as well.
There is a passage of scripture that you may have heard at a wedding once before. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This verse is a good reminder of the action that love is, not simply a feeling. This scripture is also used as a way to show love to others, but I believe it also shows us how to love ourselves. Be patient in your season of growth, be kind to yourself in the way you think about who you are. Don’t compare your lives to others and want their story or treat others’ stories as less than your own. Be honoring with the way you look at yourself in the mirror, be humble and understand God’s plan is above your own desires. Don’t hate yourself or others, don’t hold on to the memories of pain, choose forgiveness. Choose truth over the lies of Satan. Protect your relationship with Christ, trust His ways, find comfort in Him, and know that He has already won.
You have been intentionally created by God with purpose, so press on and do so loving him, loving yourself, and loving others.
This year I wanted my word to be faithful, being able to trust God in all ways. I think being faithful ushers in so much love. No matter what mistakes you have made or what anyone has done to you, you are worthy of the Father’s love.
Last night I had one of those, stuff-yourself-until-you-feel-sick moments, and it made me think about what I can do to help myself in difficult seasons. I want to be filling my mind with the truths about who I am in Christ. Which means I have to cut some things out. A few examples that I have had to do, unfollow people on Instagram that remind me of past hurt, press into my morning time with Jesus (having a plan instead of guessing at the scripture for the day), and live into who I am now and not who I was when I was younger.
Fill your mind with truth. Don’t become complacent, move forward into the plan God has ahead of you. Move in love, loving your creator, yourself, and others. You can only pour out into others what you pour into yourself. No matter how hard it may feel, you can do this.
Rest in the power of an all-mighty creator. Keep moving forward and do it with love.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__