January 12, 2020

Love Yourself

Brent Hardy

We live in a society where the majority of people are in a constant cycle to prove themselves. People want to prove in all areas such as job, relationships, possessions, abilities, and knowledge. When we try to prove ourselves, our aim becomes satisfying ourselves alone. This is a silent killer to our souls. When we try to prove ourselves we usually do it out of fear and rejection. In doing this, it stunts our joy. Joy that should be spread to others!

Then the more we try to prove the more we being to compare. Comparison robs us of gratitude and makes us seek what we don’t have. This ultimately leads all of us to be hard on ourselves and be our own worst critics. We slander ourselves daily by saying “I’m an idiot” and “I’m just so angry with myself. The flip side can work as well. People who compare and stare will eventually want to prove for love. It becomes a vicious cycle that results into discouragement and dissatisfaction. Luckily, there is another way and a better way to realize your true potential and become the best version of yourself.

Love yourself instead of comparing and proving yourself. We have built a habit of comparing ourselves instead of loving ourselves. We constantly try to prove what we do to others. This makes us lose sight of what is truly important. Once we being to love ourselves the way God loves us, then we can love others the way God needs us too.

You can ask anybody, and a majority will say they don’t like themselves. They will look in the mirror and instantly pick out the bad they see and compare what we don't have. There are also other people who idolize themselves more than love, which is a form of proving yourself. They worship their body or their achievements. All of this distracts and disconnects us from being the best version of ourselves.

As an example, fitness on social media is more about physical idolization that physical motivation. It may appear that someone is motivating but their picture is of themselves.

That isn’t real love. Real love looks to the best within yourself. Finding the best qualities and living it out daily. I work out all the time and I believe everyone has the potential to have the body image they desire without body shaming. When we strive to be the best version of ourselves. Our bodies transform into warrior bodies naturally. A warrior body is the ability to be fit to take on pressure and force from anything. A warrior never backs down and never worries. They train, sharpen, and rest properly. When we look to both God and Christ, we know exactly what real love is. It is recognizing your greatest value, you. What is real love? The amplified version of 1 Corinthians 13:7 explains:

Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult time], enduring all things [without weakening].

In short, loving yourself is looking to the best in yourself. Love also looks for the best in others. We should strive to bring the best out of one another as we bring out our best. God does this. He believes in us and when someone believes in you. It makes you want to be the best you can be.

We have to let love in first, Gods love. After that experience we can love ourselves because we see the way God sees us. Love literally moves us forward even when it gets hard. Real love is explained in 1 John 4. We also know real love never gives up and never loses hope in Corinthians. Once you truly love yourself, which is finding the best in you. You will have better stride, endurance, and strength. Love is the door to becoming who we are meant to be. Without it we are chasing the wind and trying to please the world.

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 NLT

Experience Real Love

Most people haven’t truly experienced real love. Real love softens the heart and inspires us to be a better version of ourselves towards others. Real love allows us to set aside personal agenda and be selflessly looking out for others. God is love and we know His love because of Jesus. Though, many people refuse to believe or hear it because they feel it can’t be that simple. I know it’s not that simple, but as humans we tend to make simple things complex. Sin is sticky and splinters our hearts (read more in Deny Yourself). People need to actually experience real love from God. Once that happens, in time. Then get ready to see a shift in your personal lives.

Once you truly impact His love it will shake you to your very bones and literally ignite your heart. (Envision the Grinch seen when his heart grows). How can people experience real love? This is where Christians have an obligation to be the light and reflect the very love, they experience daily. It will overflow to others like a waterfall. It’s endless because that who Jesus is. Learn to give Real, authentic, genuine love a shot. Let love in and see your life shift completely. So, let’s L.O.V.E:

Letting Others know their Value and Encourage

Action Step:

Look for and ask close friends what your best character qualities are. Then focus on those. Mine is encouragement. Also, find what you value and then live them. Mine are perseverance, courage, and loyalty.

Lord, help me truly love myself so I can be the best I can for people. When I am the best I can see the best in others.

Believe in Yourself (read if you struggle with Loving Yourself)

As kids we had such a vivid imagination. Each of us had instill hope that would just gleam from our eyes. As we grew up that childlike wonder dissipated with learning facts about the world. It is hard to believe in anything it seems these days. People seem to lie most the time. It is easy to lose trust when we are lied too. The more lies we hear the more walls we put up around trust, but here is truth and hope. We do have a call to believe in something great and powerful. That is God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. All which are true and exist. They have existed since the beginning of creation. Their aim is to love you, rescue you, believe in you, and encourage you.

Lack of belief is a major source of all insecurities, uncertainties, and hopelessness. This is not just a lack of belief in God, but also in our daily lives. We don’t believe we can be physically fit, a musician, a writer, or adequate significant other. When we don’t believe we become discouraged and build resentment. When we don’t believe there is lack of trust and feelings of rejection. Faith is belief and trust, which is the very foundation to our walk with God. Faith is what we all need but it can be hard to believe. Faith is believing God for who He is and that He has our very best interest in mind. God is the one who can help us discover the best version of ourselves.

How can you learn to love yourself? By learning to believe in yourself. As a Christian you have the Holy Spirit that dwells within you, so when you believe in yourself. You are believing in the Spirit of God. See, God believes in you as He also lives in you through Christ. This will help you see the best in yourself because of the best is in you.

Faith is knowing without seeing what is right in front of you. It is believing before doing. Faith is seeing beyond the horizon and knowing what’s coming is good, but we still need to tread the terrain ahead. It’s the driver seat to all action and the driver within all of us. Look at any entrepreneur, they had to have faith in their product/proposal. There were willing to take risks, because they believed in the vision and knew the return of investment would be great. When you chose Jesus, His spirit immediately rests upon you. Then He dwells without you. When it is you who no longer lives but Christ in you, they you can believe in you. By believing the Holy Spirit that’s in you. When you believe in the Holy Spirit you are also believing in yourself. The Holy Spirit guides each of us. It is our most important resource for life outside of the bible and prayer. Without the Spirit we can do nothing, so it is time to believe in yourself. Learn to be led by the Holy Spirit daily. Declare your dependence and let your insecurities and uncertainties be known.

The Holy Spirit is also known as the comforter, strengthener, and advocate that please for you before God. He will lead you into all truth especially the truth about salvation and lift itself. In time this will help you believe in yourself. Love yourself the way God loves you. Realize what has have personally done for you and start to believe in yourself because He believes in you.

“HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF ” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:19‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” ‭Galatians‬ ‭6:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 NLT

“A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:39‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.” ‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“We love each other because he loved us first.” 1 John 4:9 NLT



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People can get into a cycle of proving and comparing themselves often. This leads us to be critical and hard on ourselves. Learn to love yourself the way God loves you. Real love looks to the best in others. Loving yourself will recognize the best in you. (Also added content to Believe in Yourself if you really struggle with loving yourself).

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