If you follow any of the current self-help influencers these days, you’ve likely come across the concept of self-love. And, if you’re anything like me, at least part of you has recoiled at the idea. It seems rather unChristian, for lack of a better term. After all, my godly parents and the many Sunday School lessons I had as a child taught me to love others and to be unselfish. Self-love sounds like just the opposite of either of those and not like something the Bible would teach. Its connotation smacks of narcissism, certainly not something I aspire to!
Spiritual and personal growth is essential to becoming the individuals God created us to be so we can pursue the purpose He’s given us.
No one escapes criticism. All of us have experienced the hurt — ranging from slightly offensive to soul-crushing — when someone says something negative about us.
Sadly, we often take that criticism and allow it to define us. We let someone else’s judgment intimidate us and hold us back, becoming enslaved to a version of ourselves that we are not.
The truth is, we don’t have to give others the power to define us. We can turn criticism into affirmation by using it to identify our positive God-given characteristics.
I’ve recently become acutely aware of the resistance we encounter when we try to change something in our lives. After all, change is always necessary when we learn our purpose and attempt to live it. The important thing to remember is that resistance doesn’t always mean we’re on the wrong track. In fact, the more we’re on the right track, the more resistance to change we’ll encounter.
Written by a Christian neuroscientist, Switch On Your Brain is a fascinating read that shows how science has caught up with Scripture such as “as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV) and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 NIV).
Everyone fails. That reality should free us, but it doesn’t. We believe too many lies that keep us from moving past failure to freedom: We believe our failure is unredeemable. We believe failure defines us. We believe it is unforgivable. We believe others caused it. We believe we have to live in the defeat of our failure. And we believe that only bad results from failing.
As you read those statements, you probably recognize the fallacy in each one. Still, how do we shake off those lies and move forward?
During the last six months or so the phrase “let go” kept cropping up everywhere in my life — in songs on the radio, in sermons, in inspirational writings, on social media — everywhere. It became so frequent and so obvious, I finally realized God was trying to tell me something about letting go.
What that something was, wasn’t so obvious. Over time, it gradually became quite clear.