If you've been following along, you know we're more than halfway through this series on having a joyful Lenten season.
The days leading up to Easter can cause us to pump the breaks on what we enjoy. This often hits on several pain-points in our life, be it, our late night cravings for sweet snacks, or the lack of prayer in our every day. This can help us recognize how human and broken we are.
Recognizing our brokenness as a person is a positive thing, because when we recognize the things that are broken we can ask God to heal us.
The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalms 34:17-18 NLT
Jesus loved our brokenness so much He sacrificed himself so we may be healed. Thankfully He is ever-present and always there waiting for us to receive him.
Sometimes we have a hard time loving ourselves, which causes us to feel unworthy of God's love. This misalignment can negatively impact how we love in every aspect of our lives. Know that God always loves you completely! Jesus teaches us that to love someone, as described in the Bible, means loving the whole person. When we don’t love our whole self our joy can be diminished. When our joy is diminished, we can have a hard time loving our neighbor as Jesus calls us to do. We'll touch on this more next week, but for now, let's focus on working on healing our broken parts by asking God to show His grace to us.
It can be helpful to take some time to practice self-care during lent. Don’t book the spa trip just yet, what we really mean here is some true and honest “soul-care”. There is no one way to care for your soul, but it can certainly begin with an examination of your conscience and asking God to forgive you for your shortcomings.
God wants you to live a whole and abundant life full of His love. When we recognize our sins and ask God to forgive us and help us do better, we receive His grace. The more we sin, the further away from His grace we feel. As we repent and spend time with God, we move closer to Him, and our soul is healed. We must remember God loves us despite how unworthy of the love we may be. His love is what makes us better.
Other ways you can practice soul-care and work toward loving yourself more include:
- Setting and keeping time each day to spend with God.
- Read scripture about people who were also broken and see ways you can learn from their choices.
- Reach out to those close to you and express your gratitude for them
- Journal out the ways that God has used you to do great things
- Journal out the talents God has blessed you with and how those could be used to serve others
When we anchor ourselves to God and love God as He wants us to, we can better love ourselves.
We can love ourselves better and have a more joyful lent when we recognize we are loved despite our sins. Seeing how we are loved even though we are broken helps us to see how God could love everyone. Helping God serve His other children is another key way we can access Joy. More on that next week!