By Gail Armatys, HeartSong Life Purpose Coach
I have come to learn the most profound and simple thing. There are two questions you must know how to answer. They are key to unlocking the door that opens the way to a fulfilling life.
These questions are:
Who do I say that I am?
Do I love myself?
Question 1. Who Do I Say That I Am?
Getting God’s input is always a good place to begin. So, let’s look at what he has to say.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
You may have read these verses before, but go back now and really read them again – aloud.
Let them soak in.
You are God’s idea. His creation. His child. His.
You are loved by the King of Kings. You are a princess. An heir to the throne of Grace.
Yes, yes. You’ve heard it before and in fact, believe it. Ah, but do you live it? Knowing the truth and living it are two different things.(Ouch!)
You say it’s difficult to live loved. You’ve been through so much. Made so many mistakes. Been hurt too many times. The world and its troubles may have called you down the path of confusion, fear, poor choices, helplessness, self-condemnation or self-loathing…and you went. So you may need a reminder – a hand, a hug, a lift out of the muck in order to see beyond your circumstances and accept who you are – because of Whose you are.
We must consider that it is not our goodness or good-lookingness or any other ‘ness’ that makes us royalty. We are God’s choice and desire. It is through his deep, sacrificial love (“For God so loved the world that he gave…” See John 3:16) that we have not only been made but have been made worthy to live a fulfilling life.
So, who do you say that you are? I hope that you say you are a unique, chosen, and much-loved child of God… a princess…and that you know it full well!
Question 2. Do I Love Myself?
Yes! I love me! What? How arrogant!
How can we possibly justify such an answer? As noted previously: you are God’s idea, his creation. You and I are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. As a result, we can truly, in all humility, and with pure motives say, “I love me!” That’s not to say we are perfect or better than others. It is to say we are made with our own unique fingerprints, personality, and mission. God loves you! He created you just this way and he loves how he made you. Let go, open your heart, love you, too!
When Jesus was asked, “which is the greatest commandment”, he answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself”, he revealed that loving ourselves is significant enough to give it second command status. Second, mind you, only to loving God.
Remember, this command is to love our neighbor as ourselves. The motive for loving ourselves here is pure and points to benefiting, giving, and sharing God’s love with others, not as a foundation for bragging rights.
To help clarify, I looked up the word ‘as’. (Don’t laugh.) Dictionary.reference.com defines ‘as’ like this: to the same degree, amount, or extent; similarly; equally. And then they use it in a sentence to make their point. “I don’t think it’s as hot and humid today as it was yesterday. (Ha! A perfect example for those of us living in East Texas!)
Taking this definition into consideration, if we are commanded to love our neighbor in a way that is equal to the way we love ourselves then we must first love ourselves. (Confusing? You might want to read that again…slowly.)
The sad and very real alternative is not accepting God’s love, not loving ourselves, and therefore not loving those around us. We can’t give to others something we don’t have.
Love Is Like A Waterfall
If you think about it, love is much more like a waterfall than a heart. Not that I have anything against hearts. I’ll explain.
The way we know love, are filled with love, and can share love is through its pouring into us first by God. Second, by those around us (think neighbors). Then, because we have been loved, we can love ourselves and give love away.
“We love because he first loved us. 1John 4: 19
The good news is, those who have not yet accepted God’s love can. For those of us who have accepted his love, let’s face it, at times we fail to pass it along. But God doesn’t. Not ever. He never, no matter what, stops loving us. Acknowledging and accepting this allows us to love ourselves because “he first loved us”. And, it allows us to love others ‘as’.
You may say, “Okay, I love myself because God first loved me – and still does. But, what exactly does that mean? What does loving myself look like?”
Well, it looks something like this:
Now you, much loved child of the King, Let go. Love God. Love yourself!
- Ask yourself the questions: Who do I say that I am? Do I love myself with a pure, humble love?
- Today, note how your life is transformed as you love God, love yourself, and love your neighbor.
- Time for a big, loving HUG!
Father, thank you for making me just the way I am. Your love, grace, and mercy flow to me and through me. I pray to love myself as your daughter, a princess, and to extend this love to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Listen to Your HeartSong here!
Live the song written on your heart.