“I KNOW I’m supposed to love others like I love myself,” Sydney says with a pained look on her face, “but I have a hard time seeing anything about me worth loving. If I have an inferiority complex, it’s only because I really am inferior.”
The straightest route to good self-love is seeing yourself through the eyes of the God who loves you. Saturate yourself with scriptural truth about your identity in Christ. For example:
- God loves you and gave his Son for you (1 John 4:10).
- You are a child of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-15).
- Christ calls you his friend (John 15:15).
- God’s Spirit lives in you (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19).
- You are brand-new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- God has made you righteous in Christ (Ephesians 4:24).
- You are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
“But I don’t get it,” Sydney argues, sounding defeated. “How can I love myself when I keep sinning? It makes me hate myself.”
Pretending you’re perfect isn’t what healthy self-love is about. You don’t have to give up on yourself and say, ”I’m never going to get it together spiritually.” You aren’t called to sin-but when you do, Christ represents you before the Father to help you make things right and go on (1 John 2:1). You can continue working to build your faith and fix patterns that lead to sin. As you press on toward maturity, you are in the process of becoming what God wants you to be.
So when you sin-and no, God isn’t shocked when you do-don’t make things worse by giving up on yourself. Confess your sin, receive God’s forgiveness, and keep growing. Perfection is your ultimate goal, but you won’t get there until you get to heaven. Don’t get down on yourself every time your imperfections smack you upside the head. Your goal for now is maturity, not perfection-and you can succeed at that in some way every day.
REFLECT: How can knowing your identity in Christ affect the way you think about yourself?
PRAY: Bring your failures and sins to God today in prayer and receive his forgiveness.