// Lynette Hagin
THERE IS AN epidemic of people being unhappy with themselves! We concentrate on loving God and others, but what about ourselves? Jesus was once asked which of the Law's commandments was the most important. He replied:
MATTHEW 22:37–39 (NLT)
37 " 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
In the Wuest translation, verse 39 says, "You shall love your neighbor in the same manner as you do yourself." This is where it all begins. TO LOVE OTHERS, WE HAVE TO LOVE OURSELVES.
Everyone deals with self-esteem. What we feel about ourselves is how we view ourselves. If it's not a healthy view, the consequences can include anxiety, stress, loneliness, depression, and relationship problems.
Sometimes a thin person perceives him or herself as overweight. What we think about ourselves is often not how we really are! Our opinions are often based on things that have happened in our childhood with parents, peers, and those we look up to.
I was teased on the playground as a child. I couldn't catch a baseball, and I struck out when I went up to bat. My classmates laughed at me, so I wouldn't get involved in sports. Years later when Kenneth and I took up golf, it took a long time to get over the "failure" I felt as a child.
Because of the unrealistic and perfectionistic standards we place on ourselves, it's easy to go through life thinking that we don't measure up. BY WHOSE STANDARDS ARE WE JUDGING OURSELVES? We need to see ourselves the way God does!
PSALM 139:13–17 (NLT)
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
Verse 14 in The Message says, "Body and soul, I am marvelously made!" Loving yourself means THAT YOU LOVE WHO YOU ARE—JUST AS YOU ARE. God made you. Be proud of who you are! Don't be ashamed of God's creation.
My grandson, Wesley, had cowlicks from the time he was born. Years ago, Denise was getting him ready for school. His hair was sticking out all over the place and Denise was trying to comb it. Wesley said, "Mommy, I don't want those cowlicks combed down. That's who I am!"
If you have straight or curly hair, enjoy it! If you're short or tall, be proud and hold back your shoulders. If you have an outgoing personality, don't squash it. Don't try to be someone else. Be the person God made. That's who you are!
FAITH IN ACTION
Say What God Says
God wants you free from insecurity. He wants you whole. How
1) Be honest with yourself and God about past hurts. Pour out your heart to Him. Let Him heal your scars so you can love yourself exactly as you are.
2) Self-talk reinforces how you view yourself. Say this out loud: "I am marvelously made!" God said you were (Psa. 139:14). If you don't believe it, keep saying it every day until you do.