Here we are half-way through our week.
The journey to a life of peace, joy and purpose is found in the life of Christ that dwells inside of us when we put our faith in Him.
We lose sight of the fact that we are the dwelling place of God! We are the clay pots that hold the priceless treasure of divinity. We fail to grasp our value and even beat up on ourselves. It is a horrible hindrance to the life Jesus came to give us.
The Scriptures tell us that our life is now hidden in Christ. We identify with His death–placing our natural self on the Cross and joining Him in resurrection life. All throughout the book of Romans, Paul seeks to help us understand what side of the Cross we now live on. We live inside of the very life of Christ. Our failures are hidden in Him. Grace is the air around us.
Today, the focus will be on your relationship with yourself. It is more important than you know. Self can get in the way by demanding its own way–or by limiting your confidence in the life of Christ within us. Learning to love ourselves is imperative for a very important reason: it is no longer I who lives.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
The Scriptures give us two standards for loving. An Old Testament premise was quoted by Jesus: “Love others as you love yourself.” For years, I saw this is a ‘divine loophole’ of sorts. Clearly many people do not care about themselves very much–and their treatment of others is in kind with their treatment of themselves. However, the life of Jesus presented a high standard in every behavior: Love others as I have loved you.
THAT is not a standard we can reach on our own. The love we have is inadequate. We must receive that love for ourselves…and then allow it to overflow. One of the easiest ways to test where you are in this is to place yourself in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Read the passage below twice. The first time, put the name of Jesus in the blank. The next time put your name there.
________ is patient and kind. ________ is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. ________ does not demand its own way. ________ is not irritable, and ________ keeps no record of being wronged. ________ does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. ________ never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Reading it with Jesus’ name feels fairly easy, but putting our own name in challenges us! Consider, though: the life we live IS His. This passage is how God, the Father, sees you and me. Do you fail that standard? Yes. Is God mistaken in seeing you that way? Is it your destiny? Yes.
Emerson (among others) once wrote “Treat a man as he could be and he will become it.” That is a vital principle in growing into the likeness of Christ. How we love our self impacts how we live our life.
So, how do you love yourself?
How much of the love of Christ do you allow yourself to enjoy?
Do you put conditions on His love for you?
Can you see Jesus looking at you in love or do you feel judged or condemned when He looks your way?
On a scale of 1-10, how do you rate your relationship with yourself?
Until tomorrow…joining you in prayer for God to direct your faith future,