Loving Others as Our Self

Jesus made a point of telling us to love others as we love our self. Most of us despise our self, have grudges and disappointments and unforgiveness toward our self. We do not love our self at all (Mark 12:30-31).

Therefore, how can we truly love anyone else? We compare our self to worldly standards and find our self lacking. We listen to significant others in our life and adopt their opinion of us, even if it is negative.

We try all of our life to earn the unconditional love, respect, worth and affirmation we so desperately need. We sell our self short and give up on our self. We feel useless, hopeless, helpless and unlovable.

We are not powerful enough, rich enough, adorable enough, smart enough, talented enough, or attractive enough; we are not enough. We see our self through the eyes of others and we feel disappointed and ashamed.

However, God wants us to see our self through His eyes – as a person He cares about so much that He gave His life for us. He wants us to love our self as He loves us, and then to love others as we love our self.

We can start by accepting our self as He accepts us, just the way we are. We can make better, healthier, wiser and more nurturing choices. We can speak only kind, loving words to and about our self and others.

We can take care of our body, soul and spirit. We can accept our feelings and seek God to find resolutions for our negative feelings and unresolved conflicts. We can judge our self only through the eyes of God, not the eyes of the world.

We can stop using addictions, people, vocation and talents to make us feel better about our self. We can stop abandoning our self and taking our self and others for granted. We can stay in touch with who we are, what we need and how God is leading us all throughout our day.

Prayer:
Father God, enlighten the eyes of our understanding to see our self as You see us: as Your adopted children, co-heirs with Christ of Your entire Kingdom. Remind us to pay attention to our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs and to seek You on how to fulfill them.

Help us to accept our feelings and circumstances, even the negative ones, as Your tool in our life to bring us closer to total surrender to Your will and to keep us from depending on our human resources and understanding. Give us Your peace and joy as our strength. Remind us that without You we are nothing; but with You, all things are possible if we simply believe (John 15:5; Mark 9:23).

Thought for the Day:
Take the time throughout the day for a personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual inventory; meet your needs or ask God to meet them; and then give yourself time to renew Your strength in the Lord and to rise up on wings like eagles. – Isaiah 40:31

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Nothing is Impossible in Christ

As a new Christian, our character is still flawed with sin. However, as we allow God to sanctify our carnal nature, we grow into a more mature Christian, exhibiting the fruit of God’s Spirit and having the nature of God (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4). We accept His holiness in exchange for our sin.

The Holy Spirit is not limited by time and space. Even though our perfection is not evident in this earthly realm in which we live, it is already complete in the heavenly realm.

Sometimes, fear attempts to cripple our soul and causes us to relinquish our power and hope to Satan. In our new life in Christ, God gives us power over Satan and his debilitating negative emotions (1 John 4:4).

God also provides us with His unconditional love to give us confidence to live in His peace and joy. As we base our hope in God, no threatening storm will intimidate our stability in Christ.

Christ alone is our chief corner stone in God’s house made without hands (Ephesians 2:19-22; 2 Corinthians 5:1). We live, move and have our entire existence in Him (Acts 17:28). Christ is not ashamed to call us family (Hebrews 2:11).

We no longer live for our selfish pleasures, because Christ lives within us. The life that we now live in our mortal body is lived through our confidence in and the faith of the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, at times we find it difficult to muster the faith necessary to live through life’s circumstances (Hebrew 11: 6). Remind us that in these trying times, we can pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). In doubt we accomplish nothing. In faith we have no limits to what is possible for those who trust in You.

In prayerful, peaceful confidence, Christ is our strength and our whole life (Isaiah 30:15; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to make our own plans for the day, but to walk in Your perfect will for every moment of our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We victoriously withstand any storm or trial, because our faith is built on the Rock of Christ.