Clothed in righteousness
We know we’re supposed to love others, but we might struggle to love ourselves, especially if there are mistakes and things in our past that we’re not proud of. But we should try to love ourselves, because we can only give love to others from the source of our own self-esteem. When God saves us, He positions us ‘in Christ’. From that moment on, He views us as being righteous. Not because of our ‘own righteousness…but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God’ (Philippians 3:9 NKJV). For some of us, when we were growing up, our parents might have given the impression that if we were good enough, they would love and accept us. As a result, we might think God feels the same way. But He doesn’t. We could never be good enough to earn God’s love, so instead He clothes us in Christ’s righteousness and says, ‘I love you unconditionally in spite of all your faults.’ Now we have a true basis for loving ourselves. If God loves us, then we are worthy of loving. That means we can love ourselves. If we wrestle with insecurity, guilt, self-doubt, and self-loathing, eventually it will manifest itself in our relationships. But God’s love gives us a mental image of ourselves that enables and empowers us to give and receive love from others. The truth is, if you had been the only sinner who ever lived, Christ would have died for you. And when we accept and cling on to that truth, we’ll start to love ourselves and reach out towards our God-given potential.
Draw or find an image of something that you associate with love, like a heart. Write on it: ‘If I had been the only sinner, Christ would have died for me.’ Put in a place where you’ll see it often, or make it the screensaver on your phone, so you have a regular reminder of God’s love.
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