Today’s Bible Journaling comes from Luke 10:27, “And he answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” So, as I was studying this Scripture, I got to thinking that loving God in the manner this Scripture is telling me, didn’t seem to be a problem for me. I love Him so much and am so grateful for all He has done for me. My problem comes with the last part of that verse, loving myself.
All my growing up years, my Father taught us that we are not to think of ourselves as being better than anyone else, and what he said is true. He based this teaching on Romans 12:3, “For the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think so as to have good judgement, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” My Dad focused heavily on the “not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think” part of that verse. As a result, he had a very low self-esteem, and I guess because of his constant focusing on that part of the verse, I also have problems with self-esteem and the whole idea that I am to love myself.
I finally went to my husband and asked him to help me understand exactly what Romans 12:3 really was saying. He explained that the verse was meant to warn people not to be as the Pharisees and Sadducees, who thought they had all the answers, they were better than everyone else, not having compassion, being prideful, making laws that were meant for the people to keep, yet they didn’t think those same laws applied to them. My husband said that there was a difference between self-esteem and loving oneself. In my case, however, I think that self-esteem and loving myself seem to be tied together.
There are some times in my life I can point to where I was reprimanded by my Father for what he thought was being conceited, and it was not the case. I can remember hearing my Dad’s self-talk, where he would degrade himself because he made a mistake on something he was doing. I have come to be the same way. I will call myself “stupid” when I mess something up. My husband has pointed that out a few times, trying to help me see, that just because I made a mistake doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Today he was telling me how to deal with the low self-esteem to the point where I can actually say that I love myself, and not feel guilt about saying that I have worth.
It is often said that you cannot love others if you do not love yourself first. For me, I find it easier to show love to others than to show love to myself. I am more willing to do something for someone else that I wouldn’t think of doing for myself, forgive them for a wrong they committed when I wouldn’t forgive myself if I did the same thing, or treat them more loving than I would treat myself.
God has been so gracious to bring my husband into my life to help me deal with issues that have been buried, and to help me understand why I do and say the things I do. We had a good long talk, and I think I am able to at least start to understand how to see myself like God sees me. The hard part is being able to believe that it’s ok to love myself and to have a certain amount of self-esteem, still being careful to keep all things in perspective. This is where I need to take this whole issue to the Throne of Grace, lay it at my Heavenly Father’s feet, and ask Him to help me. Bible Journaling has really helped me face some of these issues. It gives me time in God’s Word, and time to connect with my Abba Daddy, and to learn from Him. I find that I’m able to focus more on how God wants me to live and learning how to put it into practice.
If you are facing issues with loving yourself, remember that Jesus died on the Cross for you because He loves you and He thinks that you are worth the sacrifice. Let Him help you with this area of your life. Allow Him to show you His love and ask Him to teach you how to love yourself. He will help you if only you will let Him.