The greatest example of self love that ever existed was when the Creator of all things placed His Spirit into a tiny little baby named Jesus. Without a compassionate love for Himself, God could never have made such a sacrifice. He had a tremendous desire to share with us the happiness He experienced, such as self fulfillment of His hopes and dreams that each of His children would be able to experience a life free from sin. It is confidence in one’s own well-being and happiness that allows us to love others freely. Before we can ever hope to have any kind of a relationship with someone else, we have to learn how to love ourselves.
The Bible says, “For if you forgive others, then your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Mathew 6:14 NKJV We need to take a step back and learn to forgive ourselves. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior any sins you may have committed against yourself or others are forgiven. The slate is wiped clean. There is no reason to re-live the past. If God resides in your heart, He presides over the present, the here and now. Now is the time for salvation. The present is what we focus on today. Indeed, the present is God’s gift to us daily. Changing the way we perceive ourselves begins today. Dear heavenly Father, I understand there is nothing for me to gain by not forgiving myself of the past. I want to move forward in a personal relationship with You so that, together, there will be a positive in my life. I have made this personal move toward You because Jesus Christ died for my sins, and if You are willing to forgive me, it should be easy for me to forgive myself. With holy help Father, I am going to let go of the pain of the past, and not relive it. Please heal me of this self-destructive practice, and in Jesus Christ name I am moving forward today. Amen.
Individuals with proper self-esteem simply like themselves. Genuine esteem is not based on success, because there are always failures to deal with in life. Neither is it the result of comparing ourselves with others, because there is always someone better. We simply like ourselves because of who we are, and not because of what we can or cannot do. William Boetcker said “That you may retain self respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.”
The ability to distinguish between yourself and each of the identities you have created is important. Peer pressure and the desire to be recognized causes us to create identity traits that help separate us as individuals. These identities or traits we create to fit in with others, can go against our faith and lead us into trouble. People play roles and others accept them, not for who they are, but by the role they play. This is extremely dangerous for our emotional well being. You will wake up one day wondering, “ Who am I?” Be yourself. Accept yourself for who you are. The character traits I try to follow are the same traits that Jesus portrayed while He was here on this earth. The appearance and speech of Jesus Christ was so common that when the Roman soldiers came to arrest Him they had to have Judas kiss Him on the cheek so they would know who He was. Don’t let the worldly things of this life define your character. Tattoos, piercings, cars and clothes are all the non essentials of true self-esteem. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness are the character traits of God. I am an individual created by God. Popularity and the latest fashions do not make us who we are. What truly matters are the character traits God instilled within us when He created us.
There’s a recent article in Science magazine that states, “Emotions Control the Brain.” All our decisions are controlled by the emotional state we are in at the time the decision is made. Emotions are strong forces, they represent the core of our beings. We can control them and direct them into constructive channels. Feelings are a primary source of energy and motivation. You can use this energy in a positive way. Self control requires will power. In turn will power requires you to use energy and strength to overcome a temptation. Will-power is an inner strength that overcomes emotional and mental resistance in taking action. It is one of the cornerstones of success. Will power and self discipline help us to choose our behavior and reactions, instead of being their slaves.
One way to develop and improve this ability is to organize our life. What property we possess is really not ours. It was placed in our care by God to make our life more comfortable while we are here. It is valuable to our well being to organize our room, our home, and our life. What we don’t use we should give to the poor, or sell and tithe to church. It helps us organize our thoughts, and our life. It helps us put our focus on the present. A weekly exercise routine is great for stress relief and awareness. Stay focused on the events at hand. Don’t let your mind wonder. We go to the gym to exercise our mind in self discipline, and our body benefits too. Schedule your life. Set hourly, daily, weekly, yearly and life time goals. Create a morning and afternoon routine. Early to bed, early to rise; makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise. Stay focused on you daily goals and your long term goals will take care of themselves. Paul the Apostle says “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NKJV
Success for most people is nothing more than a dream. They dream they win the lottery. They dream they inherit a lot of money. Success is not a dream. It is a lot of hard work and overcoming the circumstances your were given. Success is knowing what particular thing in life God gave you to do, and doing it with all your heart and with all your soul. One of the major deterrents to our success is accepting and applying constructive criticism. God shapes us and transforms us from a self centered, selfish individual to a servant of others. You have to adjust your mind to the will of God and choose His thoughts and His design of your life over yours if you want a guarantee for success. Examine your life. Who is in control? Are you living according to the will of God, or are you controlled by the desires of the world?
I see so many people refusing to take a chance on life because they have a fear of failure. Long hours plus determination equals success. Never, I mean never, give up because a failure is just a setback, but when you quit you have failed completely. Look at Michael Jordon who was cut on his high school basketball team. The average person works maybe 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That is not Biblical. God says we work 6 days a week and rest on the seventh. I can’t remember when I worked less that 12 hours a day. Success is not something that is handed to you. It is earned one day, one step at a time. The basics for success start when you are first given an opportunity for responsibility. Always, no matter what, finish what you start. Giving up on projects early in life leads to bad habits later on. God’s true followers are fighters who will not compromise with laziness. Those who persevere until the end will overcome. The Bible says, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelations 3:5 NKJV Life begins when you look inside your heart and decide that you are not going to let the past, or people’s opinion of you, deter you from success.
I am in a contest with God. I try my hardest to out give Him. It is a contest that is impossible for me to win, for the more I give to others, the more He gives to me. It is an amazing concept that few people ever experience. They seldom let go of their own needs to open their eyes to the needs of others. Prosperity is the law of giving. God created this world where it is impossible to gain without giving and there is no way on this earth for you to receive God’s abundance until you surrender your entire Life to Jesus Christ. “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV God wants to bless you with gifts that are beyond your imagination. The more difficult the gift is to give the greater the blessing you will receive. So give generously of your time, your money and your heart because there is no greater joy on this earth. Need I remind you that God has given us the greatest gift of all, His Son Jesus.
Now you have a step by step procedure for learning to yourself, and others. It all starts with prayer. Fall down on your knees and cry out to God. Confess your darkest secrets. Get all the emotional pain from your heart and lay it on the floor before you. Start a prayer journal so you can write down your thoughts as you go through the day. Cry out to God regarding your addictions, and He will cure them. Cry out to God your heart felt desires. It is time to go to war against Satan. Not just today, but from now on, we have to fight for the freedom that God so lovingly wants to give us. It’s difficult at first, but every day with Jesus is better than the day before.