Love The Skin You're In!
"The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself."
Galatians 5:14 (NIV)
Life is best lived full of love. The bible tells us over and over to love others, to serve others, and it even tells us our ability to love is what we will be judged on in heaven. Love is the center of your life. It's what everything flows from. Without it we are nothing. Love is what makes us human. It's God's power within us and it's the river of life flowing out of us onto others. I could write all day about love but I would just be repeating everything the Bible has already laid out for us. Love is a fruit of his spirit and if he is in you then love should be apart of your identity as well. If this is new to you, and it might be, go read 1 Corinthians 13 and then come back and read the rest of this post.
Love is an action. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. In plain English this means we give ourselves to others and we meet needs.
But I wonder if we aren't missing a very crucial part of this piece. The last two words in Galatians 5:15 say "as yourself."
Gut check time as I have some questions for you today:
Do you love yourself? And if the answer is yes, how so?
Does that question make you cringe a little? If so, why?
Do you really love the skin you're in and how God specifically made you?
I think as women we are missing this. We fear being viewed as selfish, prideful, conceited and vain. It's a foul and wicked religious spirit that says we should not value ourselves and that we are not being humble unless we constantly walk around degrading how we look and who we are so we can appear holy.
The truth of the matter is this: God made you in his image and he made you for his pleasure. IT'S OK TO LOVE HOW GOD MADE YOU! It's ok to take care of yourself and make time for yourself because you are a highly valued and greatly honored treasure in his kingdom. It's stewardship and worship of his power of creation. This is not prideful or arrogant. Who you are in him is a fact and a universal truth.
Pride and arrogance comes when you think this happened all on your own and God had nothing to do with it. We step over the line into pride when we move from appreciation and love for our bodies into worship and idolatry. You can love yourself without being vain. One is in awe and thanksgiving the other is rooted in insecurity and ego. Loving the skin you're in starts with valuing a created being of God and loving that creation enough to steward the proper care and cultivating of it.
This is so important in the kingdom of God because you can't fully love others until you love yourself. I'm sure you've seen this in others before. There is no love and value for themselves so they spew that lack of love out onto others. Whatever is in your heart is going to come out eventually. So if you constantly walk around hating who you are and degrading how he made you, that's what you will eventually start doing to others. This is no way to live.
Embrace who you are and love who you are. Love how he made you SO THAT you can love others as you love yourself.
Think about it. How we can love others when we show no love for ourselves? Your self worth and value as a daughter of God must be full if you want to follow this command for your life. Grace will empower you to see yourself accurately and it should bring you closer to God because you know there is nothing you did to deserve it yet he still poured out his blessing on you and equipped you in all things. That love that he showed you and filled up in you is to be given to others. It's hard to pour out when you're bucket is empty. Love the skin you're in for HE made you this way and he does NOT make mistakes. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Fill your bucket up and start loving you. How? The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them. Love means giving up-yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.
What if that someone else needs to be you?
So spend some time with you today. Let go of the lies and the false humility. Learn how to say thank you and let how much he really loves you overcome your life.
Speaking The Truth In Love,Lindsey Nadler