Love your neighbor as yourself – part 2

healing-from-fear-and-shame-1I fell off the Write31Days challenge yesterday … got an infection in my eye and was weary and discouraged by day’s end. The temptation was to stay down. I had to make that choice of believing my Heavenly Father and not all the other lies in my head. And so here goes day 19 …    

The Bible says that before the foundations of the world, God had you in mind. And before you were even born, He knew all the days of your life and His plans for us were good.

So starting with the book of Genesis and throughout all the Bible, we can see the indescribable love our Heavenly Father has us. It’s written all over the pages of His Word and over all His creation.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jer.31:3

 “You are precious and honored in my sight … because I love you.” Is. 43:4

“He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.” Deut. 32:10

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 Jh. 4:10

The rest of this post could you just be a list of Scripture about God’s amazing love and that would not be a bad thing. But the point I’m trying to make is that unless we can really believe in the depths of our hearts of what our Heavenly Father says about us and how much He loves us, I don’t believe we can fully love ourselves.

Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In the early days of my faith journey, it was easy to agree with the enemy (as I wrote on day 17) to think that I was “the scum of the earth.”  

I knew my heart – no one had to tell me that I was a sinner. And somehow I embraced the idea that it was godly to think of myself as a no good sinner.

It seemed wrong to think of myself as someone good, precious much less – the apple of God’s eye.

I confused sin and sinner. Sin, as manifested in my life and in the larger world around me, is evil, awful, no good — the scum of the earth. It is the fruit of people listening and obeying the lies of the serpent.

But the sinner – that includes me – why we are precious to God – the apple of His eye. Why? Not because we’ve earned it but because of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. He paid the great price and made the way back to Eden – to eternal life.

As I grew in my faith over the years and in the knowledge of God’s Word, it became easier to believe His truth – that is for everyone else around except for me.

The way I lived my life showed that I really did not believe in my heart that I could be precious to God. Somehow, I’d let the enemy of my soul dupe me – because at the heart of it, it’s spiritual pride.

God loves me and calls me his beloved daughter and yet I won’t believe it?

He accepts me just as I am with all my short-comings and failures. And yet I won’t?

The failure to love and accept  myself has probably been the biggest and thickest wall that I’ve built around my heart. It’s why rejection from others hurts so much because I have rejected myself first.

It helps to explain my inability to fully connect with others especially with those who are the closest to me.  Instead, I’ve learned to live in my invisible cage by painting a really good façade.

On the surface it may seem easier to live in your own little world, your bubble, your invisible cage but ultimately the pain of living alone in that cage will be so unbearable that you will either break-down or seek a way out.

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