I have found there are two things imperative to my spiritual life I cannot fulfill God’s purpose without them, self-love and good habits. It is important to love others as we love Christ. It is more important to love ourselves as we love Christ. For if we do not love ourselves we are incapable of loving others. “The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:31) After years of hard love, heartbreaking loss and emotional abuse it can be very difficult to love yourself. Your enemies will use your hardships against you to beat you down and make you feel you are not worthy. Those people do not know your soul or your self-worth. You must first find peace within before you can create peace throughout. You are your own worst enemy. You spend every waking minute with yourself, there is no escape. Find a way to love who you are in spite of your past. You are who you are because of your hardships so embrace that beautifully raw individual. Remember the way we see ourselves is the way others will see us. Show them the best and greatest part of you by falling in love with who you are. After all, God made us in His glory, what are we saying to Him when we don’t love the person He created? “I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous and my soul is fully aware of this.” Psalm 139:14
Second and no less important is to practice good habits. There is a story of a little boy who fell out of bed, when his mother asked him what happened he replied, “I don’t know I must have slept too close to where I got in.” So much truth in such a small statement. Have you ever tried balancing yourself on a fence? It is quite difficult. Life is the same way. When you balance on the fence of anything whether it be work, relationships or spirituality you are teetering on the edge of destruction. It is important to constantly grow and work towards being a better version of you. Practicing good habits in daily life and always challenging yourself to be better will help in your continual growth. “So let us go on to grown-up teaching. Let us not go back over the beginning lessons we learned about Christ.” (Hebrews 6:1) Keep yourself in check: How have you grown in the past year or two? How is your bible study? How is your loyalty to your church, family, friends, job? How is your level of joy? Are you happy? Are you learning to learn? How is your giving and caring? Can you see growth in your life? By asking yourself questions like these you will be able to see if your faith and dedication is keeping you far from the edge that will swallow you whole.
Daily life can be difficult for all of us in different ways. All we have is today and with what strength you can muster today, try loving yourself as Christ loves you and practicing good habits.