Before you can begin to love another human being with a true and Godly love, you must first love yourself. So many people today believe they love themselves because they take care of how they look and buy themselves so many material things. This is taking care of you. Loving yourself requires sacrifice and pain, just like it does in loving others. The first step in truly loving yourself is to first acknowledge your sins. Even though you are saved through the blood of Christ, you still sin, and there are so many times you forget to acknowledge those sins and ask for forgiveness. If you are a liar, acknowledge that. If you are a thief or a cheater, acknowledge that. The pain comes when you begin to acknowledge our sins and find that there are so many, and how ugly and disgusting you now seem to yourself. It becomes almost too much to bare. It’s like looking into a mirror that beams deep into your inner thoughts and past actions. But, this is good news! It is now time to move on to the second step.
After you have been truly revealed to yourself, this is when you need God to come in and heal you through forgiveness. Once you have that forgiveness, there is no need to hide the ugliness, and you can truly begin to enjoy life more abundantly. You have no fear of someone finding out about your past. You are not quick to portray yourself as someone you are not, because you now know who you are. The sins of your past do not define you, but the ability to rise from them in newness does. Now you can look good, not by the clothes you wear or sharp hair-do, but by the glow of God that comes from within you, shining outward. That is what’s attractive. Now, you take care of your body by what you eat and exercising, not to look good for others, but to have the energy to share yourself with others and to bear the infirmities they are not strong enough to handle.
When you take yourself out to Ruth’s Chris to treat yourself to an awesome steak dinner, you no longer feel ashamed about being by yourself, but look forward to meeting new people there. You can go see a play at the Burning Coal Theatre and thoroughly enjoy the fact that it is for your own enjoyment and entertainment. You can take yourself for a stroll through Lake Johnson Park on a nice sunny day just to admire the natural creations of God and listen to him speak in the subtle wind. Before, you were just taking care of yourself because you lacked the cleansing and the ability to love all of you from the inside out. Now, you are loving yourself and taking care of yourself for the purpose of God being seen in you by others, for his Glory. Matthew 5:16 says, “Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” So, remember to allow God to cleanse you regularly so that your light will continue to shine and the love you feel from within can be shared with others.