Pop Quiz. Did Jesus tell us to tolerate others as we tolerate ourselves? He must have. In fact, for years, this is what we have been practicing as Christians.
Here’s our reality.
This is what we have been doing, if we are truly honest with ourselves. We have been tolerating ourselves. We have somehow twisted scripture, so that we find ourselves feeling guilty when we take care of ourselves. We not only care for our needs practically, like resting when we should be working according to our practice of theology, but if we say something positive about ourselves, we have created a Christian guilt like we are being self centered or arrogant.
Let me be clear, this is wrong.
Let me be clear again, this will limit how we love others.
How can we actually love others if we do not love ourselves? How come, even typing the words love yourself, can bring guilt to the typical Christian?
So then let me ask the question again, do you love yourself or simply tolerate yourself?
Jesus literally said, love others as you love yourself. It’s a command. We are commanded to love ourselves. But how many of us really find that this is how we feel. We put up with our needs or desires, not because we truly love ourselves, but because we need to tolerate ourselves in order to feel like we are of value to the world. This is flat-out wrong. But perhaps one of the bigger problems is, the way we practice our theology seems to support that we deny ourselves to love others. This is twisted theology.
Jesus loves us, so why can’t we seem to love ourselves?
Here are 3 things you can do daily to actively pursue loving yourself more.
1. Sleep and love it.
Sleeping can change your perspective on everything. When we are well rested, we have a better perspective on things. I have learned of this one fact, I actually sin more when I’m tired. It’s not that being tired is a sin, but when you are rested, temptation seems to be less effective. So when I’m well rested, I feel more comfortable being who I am. Practically, remember when you are on an airplane, how they encourage you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others. This must be a practice for life as well. If you simply put the mask on everyone else you see, you will only endanger them and yourself.
2. Focus on one of your strengths each day.
This simply means, recognize something you’re good at and encourage yourself with it. If you like cooking, admit that you are good cook. If you like singing, confess that you are a good singer. Simply encouraging yourself can change your perspective. However we too often cut ourselves down throughout the day. We must put a stop to that. Just remember, when you are alone, you are the best looking one around. 😃
3. Give your weaknesses to God.
When you think of something that you are not good at, joyfully give it to God. It can give you such encouragement. Remember, God has created you strategically. He has literally made you to do the things that He loves and He wants you to love them too. God is a good father, not a mean one. Don’t ever forget that. Give your weaknesses to God, and He will be your strength.
Here’s the deal.
If you don’t love yourself, you are stealing love from others. Don’t do that.