Monday, March 11, 2019

Hate Yourself or Love Yourself?

Should you hate yourself or love yourself? Author Leanne Payne has said, "If we are busy hating the soul that God loves and is in the process of straightening out, we cannot help others. Our minds will be riveted on ourselves—not on Christ who is our wholeness.”

When Jesus said to hate your own life (Luke 14:26), He meant for us to hate selfishness. He did not mean to hate yourself as a person that God created. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39) because you can’t honestly tell someone God loves them if you don’t believe it about yourself.

A prison chaplain told me, “Do you know why prisoners commit crimes? It’s because they hate themselves. And if they hate themselves, how can they love others? If they don’t have respect for themselves, why would they respect anyone else and their property? That’s why it doesn’t bother them to steal or kill. They don’t love others because they don’t love themselves.”

This chaplain knows how prisoners think because he too was once incarcerated. He killed someone when he was younger and was sent to prison. During his time in jail a chaplain told him about God’s love and led him to the Lord. After serving his sentence and released, he went back into prison as a chaplain. He now teaches prisoners they need to receive God’s love and accept themselves as His creation. Only then can they respect others.

God demonstrated His love for you by dying for you (Rom 5:8). “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit (5:5). When you allow God’s love to enter your heart, you will love yourself as He loves you—and then you can extend that love to your neighbor. Have you learned to love yourself? It’s not selfish. It’s what God wants.
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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett