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God Love for Self and Others

Feb 05, 2024

I’m grateful I have others to love.

There was a time in my teenage years I wanted nothing to do with anyone else, except me. I was very selfish, self-driven, rude, and cold-hearted. Those ugly ways in me took many years for God to help straighten out. It didn’t come easy.

Loving myself was one thing, BUT loving others was an entirely different level because of my dark past and abuse from others. But over the years of learning how God can change people from the inside out things began to improve. I was taught it is perfectly fine and okay to pray for myself, so I prayed from a loving heart.

God answered my prayers as He took my once ‘hard heart’ and softened it by showing me how much He loves me. And He loves you!

A saying I was taught at the beginning of this loving myself journey was this, “God loves me like I’m the only one.” And He loves you this same way.

Once we can believe how much God loves us the junk of the past ways, we treated others begins to change. It just starts happening because we’ve been open to letting God do in us what we could not do for ourselves…. God Love! Then the miracle, the extremely outstanding accomplishment, happens and we begin to love ourselves and others.

It is a miracle to be able to have a once hard heart now softened to be able to allow room to love others. Now, it’s now about me, me, me, it’s about showing others love like God has shown us.

Loving yourself is an insurmountable task that God needs to be fully involved with. When God is our Director and Leader, He will determine what defects of character need the most attention first. As the process begins it feels overwhelming because we see ourselves in a different way, one that is at times over critical. During this time, it is a must to stay firmly connected with God, so He is the anchor of our day. Keeping His will and not ours in the forefront of all we do so we stay on the path He is taking us.

In the process of working on our personal flaws we know it will be never-ending and its hard work. Some of our behaviors improve on certain days and the next day they falter. Yet I can personally testify that it is worth all the hard work and effort because we become a different person, all because God loves us so we can love others.

Loving others can become easier than loving ourselves, isn’t that interesting? It may be because the focus is off us and on others. Once God saturates our hearts with His never-ending love and forgiveness this is when we see others in a different light. The practice of loving others is one of intrigue also as some people don’t want to be loved, they want to push you away, just like some of us used to do. Through my experience God usually lets us love others that were like us. Yep!

I have found I can only love people as much as they will let me love them. Some respond in the ‘expected’ way that we think they will while others will respond like a cold stone. This is the way it will be. It lets us keep practicing loving others no matter how they respond, not getting caught up in the ‘why’ of the situation and ‘just love’ them. 

The ‘love’ scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG reminds us to keep working on in this ‘love’ lesson. When I read these verses, I do it twice, once while I think of myself and how God loves me and then a second time on how I need to love others. Try it.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

As we approach Valentine’s Day, a day of love, we need to remember this needs to be activated every day, not just on one day designated in the month of a year. However, it is a good time to pour out love in ways that you express yourself to others. It may be in a simple act or an extravagant means to fit the people you love so much, but always remember who sets the love feeling in your heart from the beginning of time – God.

Whatever way you express your love for others and yourself on Valentine’s Day I want to encourage you to evaluate this love walk with yourself and others. Does it need improvement? If so, take it as a time to focus on how much God loves us so we can love others and ourselves.

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