“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”–Mark 12:30-31
I gave up myself.
For the benefit of others.
And sometimes for the sake of pleasing others, I would sacrifice all I had to help them.
I would be so dried up.
Literally. Physically, mentally, emotionally.
My body began to suffer from anxiety and because I was so willing to be affirmed and loved, I took all forms of maltreatment, negativity, and abuse from those I loved and cared for.
I did not understand why I was so depressed.
I could not understand why I was being mistreated. Why I was being bullied, and why people who I thought had my best interest at heart were constantly reminding me of my mistakes, constantly reminding me of my failures, of who I used to be, and how stupid I looked.
I didn’t understand why I would give so much love, support, and affirmation to people but I would not get anything in return.
The truth is…
I did not love myself.
That is why I allowed people to walk all over me.
At first, it was due to feelings of inadequacy, and the desire to be affirmed, belong, or accepted in my family.
Then, when I got older, I deceived myself into believing that it was God’s Will to allow others to mistreat me over and over again.
I learned I was wrong.
As believers, I think we tend to take on that mentality. That we are to constantly put ourselves in positions where we will be used.
I know, that we all have reasons for why we do what we do.
Some of us have an unhealthy desire to be needed.
Some of us want approval from people.
And then, there are our hearts. Special, branded with God’s Word.
Sensitive to the spirit of truth, and plentiful with mercy.
For me, not only am I a lover of God but my personality, my heart, is filled with a gift of a mercy and compassion.
Tenderheart’s. Gullible and naive some call us–but God has placed His own heart in ours.
Even with a pure heart of good intentions, I would still find myself being misunderstood, belittled, used or even laughed at. I was at a loss. and I found myself angry, bitter, resentful, distant, and untrustworthy of people. My heart became stale. I did not extend God’s love and actually restrained being kind, generous, or open with people.
It’s a dangerous place to be in the offense.
It was not until God spoke to me through His scriptures of my hard heart, and offense toward people. These things were hindering my growth and my relationship with Him.
It is God’s desire for us to forgive, repent, to love and do good to those who hate us and despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44).
But God does not call us to be fools.
You can love someone from a distance.
You can respect their wishes to not support you.
You can allow them to sit in self-pity, ad their own self -hatred.
And move on.
You do not need to beg for love, beg for affection, beg for their approval or their help.
If you find that they are not helping you enter God’s best for your life, then respectfully part ways with them.
You are hindering your growth in the Lord when you stay in negative, or toxic relationships.
Even if your desire is to bless people–which is our calling as Christians–you still must remember a fundamental law, which is three in one.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” –Mark 12:29-31
And then– OTHERS.
In this order alone!
Because if you don’t love God, you will never learn or know how to love.
True love was given to us when God, the Father sent His Son to shed His Blood for you and I.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”–Romans 5:8
You are that valuable to God.
And if you do not value, treasure, or esteem the worth God has on you–
How can you appreciate the value of another?
How can you love your neighbor, if you do not love yourself?
How can I love my neighbor,
My family, my boss, my friends, my landlord, my church,
if I do not love myself?
This is something God hit me with recently. I learned how to push myself to the back burner.
Even in the name of The Lord.
I thought I was serving Him–when in reality, I was serving man.
And even when I served people with good intentions, their heart was unable to receive the goodness God had placed within me. Nor was I in a position to do that emotionally.
Even then, I had to learn how to appropriate the blessings God gives me. I do not need to give everything away–especially to the wrong person. Now, I must use wisdom when it comes to interacting with people, especially if I giving up time, money, or love for them.
I have a choice to who I let in.
I have a choice of who can speak into my life.
Before I did not think I had a choice.
Or deserved a choice.
I know better now.
I don’t need to be trampled all over. I do not have to be used up and broken.
I do not have to be talked down to. I do not have to be mistreated any longer.
I deserve love. Appreciation. And honor.
So do you.
And The Lord will place people in your life or already have placed people around you to affirm what the Lord is doing in you. People who will speak life, love and pour gentle affection and honor into you. You don’t have time anymore to let people speak into your life that do not have your best interest in mind. You don’t need to settle for a relationship that is dragging you down. You have a right to claim your peace and move away from situations, people, even loved ones, who do not give respect for the gift inside of you.
The Lord has set a time for everything. I do believe that during this time, we will learn how to take care of what God has entrusted to us. And I believe that includes all of us: body, soul, and spirit.
This is the time God will reveal how to love. If we learn how to love, and His love for us, we can then learn how to love ourselves.
As He reveals the depths of His Love to you and me, then I can give endlessly to those around me.
As you spend time with Him, learning more about Who He is–He enlightens our eyes to see His Glory, Power, Might, Light and Overwhelming, Overflowing, supernatural love.
So you and I will not settle for anything.
We are worthy of love.
And the good this I don’t have to prove it.
Jesus revealed my worth by dying on the cross for me.
Again, it’s time for you and me to take the time to know how much God loves us. When we understand the God has a love for us, you can love yourself–and have more than enough love, to reach out to others in love.
I’ll be learning with Him what it means to love in my life–and how to love myself as His child.
I pray you take this message because this is for you too. Love God. Love yourself. For you are the only you in the world. God made you special and needs you to know that as well so you can conquer, and achieve all He has dreamed for you and me.
May He be with you, in this season and every season.
Have a wonderful week!
Loving Who He made,
I’ll be reading John 15 today to help me understand how much God loves us and wants you and me to be dear friends with Him.
What scriptures are you holding on, thinking, or reading today?
If nothing at all–I encourage you to download Our Daily Bread App. I love it! This ministry helped me grow by leaps and bounds. It’s a nonprofit organization with an app, a digital bible, built in bible studies, and resources to help take the gospel all over the world and teach The Bible in simple, practical ways for the world to hear, and the believer to understand.
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