Good morning, Five Minute Families! Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
How often do we as parents cite these verses and the others like these to our kids or ourselves?
Nope, this five-minute family devotional is not about pride, vanity, and arrogance. It is about the misinterpretation of those verses by some folks who are too hard on themselves and thus don’t live the abundant life that God intends for His people, despite our living in a sinful and fallen world.
What are the greatest commandments?
Matthew 22:37-40 answers this question: “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
If all the law and the prophets depend on these two commands, we better get them right. And, that second command contains two words we often forget, especially in light of those pride, haughtiness, be humble verses… “As yourself”
Often, upon the first formal reading the “as yourself” is included. Yet, as it gets repeated during a lesson or discussion, we often stop with just “love your neighbor.” We make pallet signs, put it on billboards, tell others when they wrong us “hey, aren’t you supposed to love your neighbor” … Love your neighbor.
Reality is… you ARE supposed to love yourself.
If we properly follow the first great commandment: “love the lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” then you cannot despise his creation… you.
I have walked through much of my life despising myself… I talk too much, I don’t know how to end a conversation, I procrastinate, I am impatient, I could go on, but I won’t.
While I don’t have such self-doubt and other self-criticism issues like Kim, I have had times of being disheartened.
Let’s talk about how God sees us…. God says that when he created humans, it was VERY GOOD INDEED (Genesis 1:31). God says, we are each uniquely and WONDEFULLY made (Psalm 139:14). God says I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). God says I am alive in Him (Ephesians 2:4–5). God says I am a saint (Romans 1:7).
If you struggle with seeing yourself as God sees you, or someone in your family struggles with that, the world has lots of self-help ideas out there. Here is one such list:
- Do away with the self-criticism.
- Take care of your body.
- Counter your fear.
- Forgive yourself.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Indulge in activities that spark joy.
- Stand up for yourself.
Notice that each of those seven items have elements of God’s truth but when you read them in full, they have been twisted just enough to remove God from the center. In fact, YOU and you alone have to muster enough motivation and discipline WITHIN yourself to achieve self-love from a worldly view.
But, God! When we love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, He makes it possible for us to love ourselves as He loves us.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. That includes self-talk.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Now, if all the law and prophets depend on these two commandments, I suggest we begin as God suggests… with loving Him and learning reverently all we can about Him from His word, which will in turn help us realize the love He has for us and the love we should have for ourselves SO THAT we can love our neighbors, deeply, abidingly, and as God would call us to.
Thank you for joining us today. Love God, love others, and love yourself. Be blessed!