#LoveWalk: True love starts from within

Hello people! How is the #LoveWalk going? Mine has been quite interesting. I will talk more about it in my review on Saturday. Today, I want to talk about loving yourself just as I promised in the last post.

Since I embarked on this love walk, I have been doing a Bible study on love and the more I meditate on certain Scriptures, the more my eyes have been open to certain truths about God’s love. One thing I have realised is that if you don’t love yourself, it is impossible for you to love others and I don’t believe you can love God either.

I’m going to bring out some Scriptures to highlight my points so please follow me as I go. I’ll start with a very popular Scripture that we all know; John 3:16. It says:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)

The love that God had for the world caused Him to sacrifice His only son. The sacrifice was inspired from a heart of love. If God did not have love within, He would not have had the capacity to even contemplate that kind of sacrifice. We know from Scripture that God is love.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

So God is love personified. Love is in Him and it is Him. That means as His children, we have the love of God within us. The God of love can only have offsprings of love.

How do I know that we have love within us? Again, the Bible tells me so.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit…” Romans 5:5 (NIV)

So if we have love within us, we have the capacity to share this love with others just as our Father shared this love with us. But this love has to start with us. It’s in us but if it has no effect in our lives, it cannot have any effect in the lives of others. That is why the Bible says that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)

The benchmark for loving others is the love with which you love yourself. It means you cannot love others if you do not love yourself.

Are you still with me?

The love in you has to first transform your life before it transforms others. If love is in us, then why is it so difficult to love ourselves? That’s the question I have been pondering on for a while. I remember a time that I didn’t love myself. I was a ‘fat’ teenager and I didn’t look as pretty as the other girls. People made fun of me in school. I remember on particular comment, ‘flat face’. That name haunted me in my Junior year. To top it off, my dad left and no amount of pleading could bring him back. I really felt that there was something wrong with me.

I battled with self-esteem issues and even though things were going well in other areas of my life, I just wasn’t happy with myself. Today, the story is different. I know there are people out there who hate themselves. Yes…hate. That hatred could have been caused by many things. Perhaps you’ve been listening to people who call you all sorts of names or maybe you are that black sheep in the family of beautiful and successful people. Or maybe you committed one grave sin that you believe is unforgivable or you are just holding yourself to really high standards.

You know what? You need to give yourself a break!

You have to accept yourself the way God created you because really…there is no perfect person in this world. You need to develop confidence in who you are and what you bring to the table. What really boosted my confidence in those years when I suffered from low esteem is the word of God. Reading through the Bible and looking at how God talked about me gave me a new perspective of myself. You know that Scripture that says we are wonderfully and fearfully made? (Psalm 139:14) It seems so simple yet it is so profound. God took His time to create you. You are special. You are precious.

Wake up every morning, look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am God’s precious child. I am the light of the world. I am destined for greatness.” Say these words to yourself even if you don’t believe them. I want you to start looking at yourself through a new lens; the lens of Christ. You are precious. I can’t emphasise that enough.

So love yourself. Hug yourself. Pat yourself and pick yourself up when you fall. Treat yourself when you succeed at anything no matter how small. Speak highly of yourself. The love revolution has to start with you!

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