I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY: DOES GOD LOVE HIMSELF? Or does God only love others?
You see, this is a crucial question for us. Because as "nice" people, many times we have trouble loving ourselves... it seems selfish, egocentric. It might not be the christian thing to do. So... God, being perfect, does He love himself?
Let's look at the Bible for the answer:
2 Kings 19:34:
I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.
My sake: My cause, My own interest, My own benefit, MYSELF.
Let's look at another verse:
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25)
God even forgives our sins, out of love for himself! How can this be, you might ask? It's easy: if you love yourself,you'll want to keep your heart clean and not full of bitterness and hatred that will pollute your life.
That's why Jesus said that we should forgive 70 times 7. It's because it doesn't matter how many times I've been hurt, it is IN MY OWN INTEREST to keep my heart clean and pure. Which doesn't mean that I necessarily need to allow this to happen.... but that will be the subject of another blog!
WHAT ELSE DOES GOD DO FOR HIMSELF?
For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
HE DELAYS HIS WRATH FOR LOVE OF HIMSELF. You see? He doesn't want to do something that he'll regret later on, or that will cause His name to be dishonored.
HE DOESN'T WANT TO BE DEFAMED, DISHONORED. He doesn't want to have a bad opinion of himself. He respects himself. He honors himself. And He cares about His reputation.
What about you? Are you dishonoring yourself?
Are you doing things that are lessening the self-respect you have?
Are you afraid other people find out about certain things that you are doing?
Or are you getting angry and sinning? Are you insulting your husband because he has insulted you? Are you throwing a temper tantrum because you're not getting your way?
You must remain in peace and in self-control out of love for yourself. Not for someone else. For yourself.
Because if you sin, the one who will feel bad is you. The one who will have to live with the consequences is you. The one who will have to apologize is you.
I'm sure you've read John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
It clearly says that God loved us so much that He saved us. But did you know that God also did it out of love for himself?
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known.
Just like the first verse we read, where God had saved the city out of love for himself and David, we read that God saves us out of love for us and himself.
We need to do the same: If we do something out of love for someone else, this can never be against us. We have to be loving them and us. Then it's true love. Because true love benefits everyone involved in the equation. Which is not to say that you cannot sacrifice yourself for someone else, but ultimately it is for your own good. It's like when we sacrifice ourselves for our children when they are little. Sure, we are doing it for them, but also for us, because they are an extension of ourselves. If they do well in life, we feel great. If they do poorly, we feel lously.
In fact, you cannot love anyone unless you love yourself. If you love someone more than yourself, you are not really loving them, you are being dependent on them.
Jesus said it: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Let me ask you: Do you compliment yourself as much as you compliment others?
Do you take care of yourself as much as you take care of others?
Do you have mercy on yourself as much as you have on others?
WHAT IMAGE DO YOU HAVE OF YOURSELF?
Do you see yourself as guilty, ugly, unworthy, unlovable? Many times we think that such thoughts demonstrate humility.
Let's check if that is true. God is humble, right? Let's see How He sees himself:
"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God the Almighty".
He called himself THE ALMIGHTY. Although there's no one more humble than Him.
How do you call yourself? How do you see yourself?
ACCORDING TO HOW YOU SEE YOURSELF, YOU WILL LOVE YOURSELF.
If you see yourself as a bad wife, or lousy mother, or lazy person... you will not love yourself. Even if your friends shower you with compliments, even if your family tell you they love you over and over again, even if God loves you with all his heart.
You have to fall in love with yourself! You have to see yourself and think: "I'm great", "I'm awesome", "I'm super good at what I do", "I'm an example for others to follow"!
ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF?
Or are you waiting for someone else: a man, a friend, your mother, your father, the neighbor, your boss, to fall in love with you?
Because if you don't love yourself, that's exactly what you are doing: you are hoping, waiting, begging, for someone else to fall in love with you... because then, maybe, that means that you are lovable....
The problem is two fold: if you don't find that person, you will be convinced that you are unloveable. And if you do find that person, you will become dependent on him... And dependency is a terrible thing... that will lead you to act against yourself.
The only mature thing to do, the only way to happiness, is to follow God's example: He loves himself. And would never do anything against himself. Everything he does is out of love for us and himself. He's never out of the equation.
Furthermore, He doesn't depend on our love either. That's how He can continue to feel good about Himself although there are so many people in the world that hate Him!
Decide to do the same today. Decide to love yourself exactly how you are... even if you could improve.
God calls you the APPLE OF HIS EYE
THE CROWN OF HIS CREATION
HIS SPECIAL POSSESSION
DETERMINE TO LOVE YOURSELF A BIT MORE EACH DAY
DON'T JUDGE YOURSELF
DON'T BE HARSH WITH YOURSELF
DON'T INSULT YOURSELF
DON'T DISAPPOINT YOURSELF
DON'T DISRESPECT YOURSELF
DON'T ALLOW DISRESPECT
DON'T ALLOW MEDIOCRITY
DON'T ALLOW MALTREATMENT
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
SPEAK WELL OF YOURSELF
LAUGH AT YOUR MISTAKES
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
EXPECT GOOD THINGS FROM YOURSELF
LOVE YOURSELF WITH ALL YOUR HEART... EVEN IF YOU MAKE MISTAKES EVERY SINGLE DAY. GOD DOES THE SAME!!!