As a Christian is loving yourself selfish?
We hear that we are supposed to love God and love others, but are we allowed to love ourselves?
What does the bible say about this?
Is there a difference in self indulgence and treating yourself with love and respect? Are we supposed to neglect ourselves for the sake of the greater good?
Let’s put the kettle on and have a little chat about it!
I think for some lovely ones, fear that loving yourself as a christian might mean that you slip into becoming selfish, self seeking, introspective, and having so many boundaries with people that we end up not sacrificing for others and helping a brother out in their time of need, but that is not what it means to love yourself in the way I believe God intends. We are to love others as we love ourselves. I believe they both hold hands!
When I look at who God says I am in scripture, loving myself, respecting, believing in and being kind to myself is simply the fruit of knowing who I am in Christ :).
Our identity in Christ is that we are sons and daughters of God, He delights over us, He sings over us, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are His kid, He has fantastic life plans for us, we are His masterpiece, we are forgiven, Christ died for me, and he died for you.
Loving yourself doesn’t mean you lose humility either, humility means not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less!
Knowing who you are in God and being able to receive love doesn’t make you arrogant, it just means you are living in the love that God pours over you. Also, receiving love is key for others to fulfil their command to loving others. It’s cheesy, but it’s a forever harmonious dance of love. As Christians, God commands one thing, love.
If this is who I am then naturally the narrative in my mind will be one of love. Not a narrative of guilt, shame and self hatred. And we all know how horrible it is to struggle with those things, and we also know how those things can also effect our relationships and our connection with God, others and ourselves.
If you feel tormented by thoughts at the moment, I know how it feels. Keep going and trusting, God knows what you are doing through. Sometimes on a bad day and negative thoughts fill my mind it’s good to write out the negative thought, and then write God’s truth next to it.
However, God cares for us to live with a sound mind.
He wants our minds to be at peace.
Now I don’t know about you, but knowing God is the perfect Father I don’t think he wants to crush our little souls. We are His kids. He really really really cares about us, you are worthy my darling of being treated with love and care by God, others and yourself.
Are you striving by doing a billion things to get acceptance from God and others?
Are you feeling kinda burned out by life?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
It is time to stop viewing heroic exhaustion
as something that impresses God.
Let me explain a little more..
A little while ago I was reading a book named ‘God’s Generals’, this book is about the life stories of many men and woman of God who were the forerunners of incredible revivals. The stories in the book of their lives and ministries have your hairs standing up on the back of your neck. The kind of miracle stories that we read in the book of acts, life changing encounters with a real living God.
There was a theme I couldn’t help but notice..
a theme where these revivalists lives were cut short due to burn out, ill health and exhaustion resulting in some of them dying young. It’s also close to my heart due to seeing loved ones burn out from ministry and their life hasn’t been quite the same ever since.
So I have come to a conclusion. God gave us our bodies to steward and look after, He also gave us wisdom and the ability to think for ourselves and make desicions. Therefore, I must steward rest and work (whatever your occupation) on a daily basis.
“I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said “Arise and eat” And he looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water.
1 Kings 19:5
God knows our capacity and He knows our humanity, and He cares for our physical needs.
‘No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.‘
So love, lets take ownership.
It’s time to thrive and accept the love and care!
It’s time to be wise, guilt free and fully alive mind, body and spirit.
This thing was always about God, you and me.
Lets start to cultivate
Rhythms of Prayer
Rhythms of Fun
Rhythms of Family & Friendships
Rhythms of Emotional Health
Rhythms of Work
Rhythms of Study
Rhythms of Rest
Rhythms of Mission
If you feel stuck, take one step at a time.
The Lord is so gentle with us, and He takes us through processes (John 15) He gets rid of the sharper bits in our lives that don’t produce goodness but I think we need to give things to God and abide in Him for this to happen. Keep it simple loves, it’s relationship. With God, Yourself and Humanity.
Here’s my challenge to you,
After reading this blog go ahead and write a list of 10 ways to love yourself and give yourself permission and patience to cultivate a new life style of living your life. I’m rooting for you!
As a Christian, you have permission to love yourself.