Thursday, May 31, 2012

Loving others and self

I was reading something about the verse that says Love thy neighbor as thyself. This not only says to love others ,but we are supposed to love ourselves also equally.
I have never looked at that verse like that before. Do I love myself well? In someways yes, in someways no. I can be my own worse enemy, my own worse critic.
I repeat negative messages that I learned long ago about myself.
I tend to be fairly horrible to myself, whereas I try to be better to others.
That's seems to be the way my thinking is wired. To debase myself and put others on a pedestal.
With this verse the the word as would mean the same, equally.
Do I love myself equally as well as I love others? Is it selfish, and egotistical to love myself equally? That is a though one.
The truth-- God created me. I am his. Should I love myself? Shouldn't I love all God's creations?
The bible says I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe. I am debasing God's handiwork when I put myself down. When I look in the mirror and criticise my looks, what am I saying about God's creation? When I call myself stupid after making a mistake, or feeling like a looser. I am saying God created a stupid, looser.
Challenging thought, and it hits hard. Where does one go from here?
First and foremost, accepting God's love for me. Yes I am a sinner, but that does not mean I am worthless or unlovable.
Accepting I am God's wonderful creation. I am made to be this unique individual.
Accepting the love from other people that God sends my way. I often don't accept love easily out of fear, and out of a feeling of unworthiness. Feeling like if they really know me they will reject me.

Acceptance is not easy. Its an elusive state of mind, especially if it's something unpleasant. In this case however,it would be a positive thing.
Accepting something good is hard when you have lived life expecting the worse case scenario with every circumstance. Always on guard for the other shoe to drop. Expecting criticism and gossip,judgement, abuse. That has been my life experience. How do I jump from what I expect, to acceptance of love and loving self?
 I let Jesus get me so far and then I slip back to backward thinking.

I am just thinking out loud here. I know all these things are a process and I need to keep abiding in Jesus and letting him help me with the renewing of the mind. I just get weary of the fight and cave into the temptation to give up.
Perseverance is one of the other difficult words that eludes. Persevering would mean going on and through no matter the circumstance and not allowing myself to sit back in the lazy boy chair of the mind. Yes it's comfortable. I can kick back and feel miserable in comfort. Sounds like an oxymoron,but that is just what I do. I am so used to the negative, it's like an old familiar friend. I forget to put on the new man and slip back into that old familiar. It's a daily choice and a daily task to do it. It takes effort to renew the mind.

Accepting love, means letting it flow through. It means absorbing it into my innermost being. God offers it freely without taking it back when I mess up. 
I don't know how many times I go to church and feel his loving presence meet me there. It's like going home. I am amazed by it every time. Really God, you still love me ever after the way this week went? --YES!

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