Usually I just scroll by or hit the delete tab, but this time I didn’t. Maybe the picture of an international city on my bucket list to visit or the tag line appealing to my growth mindset were the draws. Regardless, I clicked on the embedded video link in this email from the advertiser that I’d still not yet ‘unsubscribed.’
You know you are loved, she says, this beautiful woman gowned in a dress that flows gracefully to the top of her knees, and wearing such high-heeled shoes that I wonder if she practices walking on stage prior to addressing the few hundred woman that attend her conferences.
The camera spans across the women at white-clothed tables, women eager to better themselves and their businesses, of different nationalities and faith.
Her bracelets dangle as she sweeps her arms up and around as if to embrace someone. You are absolutely loved and it is from knowing that love, that you can give your best to the world, she continues.
And I’m first convicted as I’d judged this woman, thinking she might be too secular for me to engage. Yet, she’s got it. Instead of telling these women that they need to love themselves first, a popular view point to achieve dreams, she declares they are loved.
Something I so needed reminding.
As it is first in the knowing that we are loved before we can love ourselves and serve others.
We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.1 John 4:19
When we know that God is love, accept that we are made in His image, and that He loves us we naturally then fall into loving ourselves.
And with this understanding of how much we are loved, we can follow His second commandment of loving others as ourselves.
The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these. Mark 12:31
And it is then, with this knowledge of knowing we are loved beyond measure that we can forgive our trespasses and those that trespass against us.
Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34
“You are not to seek vengeance or hold a grudge against the descendants of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 9:18
Simply put, the scriptures teach us that if we do not know God’s love for us, we cannot love ourselves as God loves us and thus, cannot love others and forgive others as God calls us to love and forgive.
If we do disobey, He calls us not condemnation as that will only lead us to not love ourselves and to not love others as He shows us.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2
Thankfully, He’s lovingly given us the Holy Spirit to convict us so we are aware of our sin but are never to condemn. Instead correction is His way to turn us back to the knowing of His love for us.
So my beloveds,
1.Know you are loved first
2.then you naturally love yourself (and not be in condemnation)
3. and love (and serve and forgive) others as yourself.
Without number 1 and 2, 3 cannot be. Being your best for yourself and others always starts with the knowing of how much He loves you.
You are loved…