We are privileged. We are set apart. We are each uniquely made as a child of God. Sharing intimate conversation with God, as we take all the parts of our life to Him, should be evidence to the fact that we are His children. Through His son we are able to have incredibly close relationships. We do not need to talk to Him through anybody. There are no rules to follow to receive His love and to love Him in return. We are meant to receive His inheritance. An inheritance of love and freedom. We receive this inheritance when we invite the Spirit into our hearts and allow Him to dwell in us. He will guide all the days of our lives when we recognize Him in our hearts. We will be set free from being a slave to this world, because we will know and feel His immense love for us. When we know His love we learn how to love ourselves and in turn are able to love others the way we love ourselves, because He has taught us what love is.
Galatians 4:6-7 NIV
We receive freedom in life when we learn to love each other as we love ourselves. However, we must ask the question. How do we love ourselves? We should love ourselves as He loves us. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for most of us. The world has taught us to self loathe, feel guilt and shame. These things are anything but love. When these are the things that consume our lives it is no wonder we are unable to love others. We are not able to love ourselves. We cannot give what we do not first have. Thus, our freedom is snatched from us by simply living in a trapped mindset. A mindset led by the world. We must turn to God to learn how to be loved. He will lavish us in His love and teach us how to love ourselves. When we know how to love we will live in freedom, because we cannot help but give it out freely.
Galatians 5:13-15 NIV
Considerations for your planner:
- How do you love yourself? Write down all the ways in which you love yourself.
- Is this how you love others? Write down the parallels you see between how you love yourself and how you show love to others.
A Story of Freedom:
I was riddled with guilt and shame for most of my life. My dad left my mom and I when I was really young. Then I was sexually assaulted when I was a teenager. These experiences made me feel unwanted. They also made me think I had done something wrong. I was ruled by so much guilt and shame for so many years.
The only way I knew how to fill the void was to seek out attention in all the wrong ways. I certainly did not think I was loved. I felt forgotten by everyone in my life. It was very isolating. Knowing how to love myself didn’t seem possible. I convinced myself this was just my life and if I could survive that would be enough. Needless to say, I had nothing to give to others. I was pouring from an empty vessel.
God has been in my life since I was a young child. Although, I had not learned how to grow my relationship with Him. Once I started seeking Him out and truly devoting my days to having Him be a part of my life the love for myself began to grow. I feel His overwhelming love for me all the time now. Being filled up with His love has taught me to love myself. Loving others comes so much more easily now.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.