I have a question for you.  It’s not going to be overly comfortable.  Or at least, it might not.  I’m not trying to ask you something hard for the sake of hurting you, but it’s kind of like asking you what hurts when you go to the doctor.

You know, when you go to the doctor and you tell them what hurts.  It seems like they take your information as a list of all potential targets for them to push on.  Like if you say your arm hurts, what do they do?  They push your arm.  Ouch!  That hurts.  Then they keep pushing it to see how much hurts.  Did they get into medicine to hurt people?  It could feel that way if this was the end of the check up.  No, they don’t want to hurt you.  They want to help you.  But to find the pain is the first step into bringing healing.

So here is my question for you… what do you think about yourself?  Ouch.  That can hurt.  I know that this question used to hurt me.  But now, it doesn’t.  Does it hurt you still?

I remember from when I was a little boy, the idea of the golden rule.  You remember it?  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  This was actually taken from the words of Jesus after He told us to love God with all of our being.  Jesus said, “Love others as you love yourself.”

Here’s my next tough question.  Do you love yourself?  Really?  Again with the painful questions.

I have found in my life that this question can be painful.  But to be honest, it hurts most when I don’t have a good grasp of who God has made me to be.  I mean, it’s easy to be nice to people without loving yourself, but when you love yourself, you understand better how to love others.  Do you understand what I’m getting at?

If I feel loved when someone does something specific, it doesn’t mean that everyone loves that.  For example, if you give me a verbal encouragement to show me love, it will make me feel worth while.  But if you give it to someone that speaks the love language of “Acts of Service”, the words won’t make the same impact, if any at all.

When we understand how we need to be loved, then we start to take the step towards understanding how others need to be loved, and perhaps different then us.

So we go back to the beginning… What do you think about yourself?  Do you think you are worthy of love?  Do you think you have to earn love?  Do you think you are loved by God, but it’s too hard to feel? Do you truly love yourself, or just tolerate yourself for the good of others?

This is not simply a blog.  It has been designed with community in place.  So I ask you, would you journey with me in these questions?  Would you take the risks you feel you can to dig a little deeper in your identity in Christ… in practical terms?

Tell me…do you love yourself?