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Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Book of Ruth: Finding #Love The Biblical Way {The importance of loving yourself part II: A look at Jesus’ self-love}

Previous Post: ”The importance of loving yourself part I”

I am a romantic at heart. No, I am not a romance novelist. However, every book that I have written has a romantic element. I am a fan of love. I love seeing happy couples together and cringe when I see unhappy couples tolerating one another—I see that a lot. When I read the book of Ruth, I was fascinated. They actually dated in biblical times. Who knew? Seriously, I read it and I want to share what I learned. I don’t know how long this series will last, but I will keep going until it is done.

Jesus is a pure example of humbleness. He was the Word. He was there when it all started. Yet he allowed himself to be born into the world of lowly humans. He was ridiculed by them. Scorned. Lied on. Talked about. Scandalized. Treated as if he was less than a human being. He could have snapped his fingers and cracked the world in half, yet he walked a humble life while on earth. He was obedient to his parents, respected others and obeyed his father in heaven. He had a true love for others.
So why am I using him as an example of how to love yourself?

Jesus was a complete man. He was a perfect man.  Why not learn about self-love from a person who can put I M P3rf3ct on his car tag and be right?
Jesus was a model of self-sacrifice, there is no denying that. However, let us look in Luke 22:42, we have one of Jesus’ prayer. And in this prayer, Jesus stated to his Father in heaven that if it were His will to take this cup from him, he would accept it. He prayed that above all things that God’s will be done. Nevertheless, Jesus spoke to his father, knowing what was coming and basically said that he didn't look forward to what was coming. Why? Because he loved himself with the right amount of love and that is important…. He believed in self-sacrifice but he would not sacrifice himself needlessly.

The problem is that those of us who are good people tend to sacrifice ourselves needlessly. It is always painful to see that in a person. They don’t realize what they are doing to themselves—almost to the point of committing suicide. Quickly or slowly, they are killing themselves.
I understand if you are sitting there, reading this, thinking aloud. “He ain’t talkin' to me!” Maybe not. But do you love yourself enough to put down that chocolate cake after you found out that you were pre-diabetic? Do you love yourself enough to put down that cigarette or bag of weed? Do you love yourself enough to turn down the smooth advances of a well-known player that has slept with all of your co-workers—just so you can feel wanted? Do you truly love yourself?

Finding the proper amount of love for yourself is tricky. If you love yourself too much, you are falling in the dangerous trap that Satan fell into when he was an angel named Lucifer. He thought very highly of himself.  And while I am asking you to think high enough of yourself, do not let if overtake who you are.
And on the other end of the spectrum, if your self-esteem is so low that you are easily manipulated you will only be the puppet of other people….

So how do we find the proper level of self-love? There is a balance in the world that leans toward an equal exchange. You give love and you will receive love. Often those of us who know this law of balance turn it outward, but what if we turn it inward? What if we give ourselves love? What will happen then?
Something near magical.

Try this: Forget your faults, forget your weaknesses, forget that part of your anatomy that you wish was bigger or smaller and just love yourself. It isn’t enough to state, “I love me.”  That is a powerful thing to do, but why not actually go through the motions of doing something for yourself to show that you love yourself. Words are powerful, but never ever underestimate the power of actions.
I love myself enough to go for a three-mile jog this morning. I was reluctant. My body wanted to go back to bed. And most people my size probably wouldn’t feel comfortable running anyway. But I did it and I love myself for it. Did I look great doing it? No. Did I jog exceptionally fast? No, seriously I was turtle slow. Laws of physics, larger bodies require more energy to move. But you know what? When I finished, I felt good. And I think that the people who saw me respected that I was doing it for me. In fact, a woman who was a much more capable runner than I was gave me a high-five and words of encouragement as our paths crossed.

My point is do things for yourself to show yourself that you love yourself. In addition, my other point is to choose positive ways to show your love for yourself. Don’t use this post as an excuse to go to the club and get drunk.
Next Post:= The importance of loving yourself part III: Walking in Love.