I like this quote by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, because it challenges the notion that to be humble is to see ourselves as "less than" or unworthy. As a Christian and a psychotherapist, I believe a self-debasing kind of humility leads to feelings of shame and worthlessness that contribute to a whole host of mental health problems and leave the soul deeply wounded.
In our consumer-driven culture that says if only we had this body, that car or those clothes, we would be enough, it’s hard to see ourselves as sacred. But that’s exactly what God calls us to in His greatest commandment. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind … You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39) Appropriately, we focus on God and neighbor. But we often forget about the last part of the verse; that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
This implies that we love ourselves. Not in a selfish, narcissistic, ego-driven kind of way; but in a caring, compassionate, forgiving way, knowing that we are made in the image and likeness of God and we are precious in his sight. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
What if we looked at ourselves the way God looks at us? What if we treated ourselves with kindness instead of criticism? With compassion instead of judgement? With a recognition that we are human and sinful but loved anyway?
In fact, if we are able to love and care for ourselves, we will be better able to love and care for others. If we practice care and compassion for ourselves, we will not need others to take care of our emotional needs and will have the capacity – even the desire – to serve others freely without condition. When our emotional love tank is full, we can overflow with blessing toward others.
If we truly value the dignity of every human life, we need to start valuing our own.
Learn more about the many benefits of practicing Self–Compassion and contact me today for a free consultation about how you can come to know and love more fully unique and wonderful you!
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A wife, mother, therapist and parent educator, I believe in the dignity of every person and resilience of the human spirit. I am compassion focused and God centered with a deep appreciation for the connectedness of all living things.