“You just need to learn to love yourself”

This is something that we probably hear a lot but I reckon it’s mostly in the context of how we look: “Love yourself” and eat nicer food; “love yourself” and exercise a little bit more. Love yourself into losing weight and being a better person.

Hmmm…Is that really what it means to love ourselves?

I’m sure that looking ourselves in the eye and acknowledging our physical attributes and flaws is a part of it but this is definitely not where it starts – it is vastly deeper than the skin.

I actually reckon that learning to “love yourself” starts by looking inward and working on the crap that’s inside of us. The outward stuff will follow as this happens.

Do you see the gifts that you have? Do you see your kindness and grace and talents? Do you see your incredible strengths?

And do you know your insecurities? Do you know the self-adulation that you come out with? Do you find yourself telling the stories that make you look good, or dropping the “names” that matter? Do you put yourself down a lot?

All of us have both the incredible and terrible within us? We are each unique and amazing.

But there is one greater thing that unites us, that both ties our value and worth together and gives us even more value…

God.

Loves.

Us.

Do you really know just how much God loves you? Do you KNOW it? Well he really, really does. And he sings a song of love over you every day.

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Our security, significance and self-worth are not defined by what we do, either well or badly; they are not defined by our failures or successes; they are not defined by our intelligence or lack thereof; they are not set by what other people think of us.

We find our security, significance and self-worth in the fact that God sees us and knows us and loves us.

God sees everything you’ve ever done; the incredible things that you’ve given for other people; the way you love your family and friends; your generosity and kindnesses. But he also see all of the secret, embarrassing, damaging things that you’ve thought and acted out – God knows them. And He loves you.

The things is, you see, “…nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Paul in Romans 8)

Whatever you’ve done or had done to you can never take away the fact that you are precious and valuable and unique. You are individually looked upon; you are seen and known by God and He loves you.

Whatever anyone has ever told you about your worth, whatever pain has happened in your life, God tells a different story about you – you have infinite worth in His eyes. In fact, he loves you SO MUCH that God gave His son as a sacrifice to win you back, to clear out the mess and mistakes that we all make and to restore you to wholeness.

And, so, out of knowing this incredible Love, we must, in turn, love others. Not because we need to earn the love of God, but out of a response to the love of God.

Because loving and being loved by God teaches us to love ourselves and leads us to love others.

Simple.

So, as you finish reading this, take a moment and ask God to reveal His love to you. Ask Him to meet you, to break past any barriers and to open you up to experience His love for you.

Ask Him to show you this love that gently and slowly and powerfully changes, heals and transforms all of us to become more of who we are meant to be.

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