The Grace to Love Ourselves
“13For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13 – 14
We have been looking at Grace. We have seen how grace is for all of humanity and that we as Christians have a responsibility to live into that grace. Most importantly we have seen how freeing grace is and how when we walk with Jesus our lives become beacons of hope for all people. So, why is it that we live like we will lose grace?
Why do we see ourselves as failures? We sing “Amazing grace… that saved a wretch like me….” And then live as if we are still wretched people. When God in his abundance has called us to so much more, why do we see ourselves as less? We have become more in God’s sight.
“7So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you
also an heir.”
Growing up in the church we sang of J.O.Y – Jesus, Others and Yourself. Somehow that song became twisted and tangled so that the “yourself” was viewed as “wretched”, evil and wrong. For some of us it became so twisted that even loving ourselves became hard. That is not the intent at all. The song was meant to put Jesus first in all things and then to work for others, as servants, then to work and gather things for ourselves. Loving ourselves was never a part of its intention.
To often we have let theology beat us up to the point where we cannot love ourselves because all we see are wretched creatures. But the power of grace is that we are made new. Through God’s gift of grace, we are forgiven and are counted worthy so that we can do what we have been called to do.
“12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive
one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:12 – 14
We are dearly loved, and we must learn to love ourselves so that we can forgive and love others. Repeatedly it has been said, ‘if the pitcher is empty, how can it pour out on others.’ So, it is with love. If we cannot love ourselves, we have nothing to love others with. Not even Jesus.
We must learn to see ourselves through God’s eyes. We must open our hearts to accept the grace to love ourselves and when we do, we will see that love spread far and wide. It becomes easier to share grace and forgiveness when we come from a solid place of love. Own the words of the Psalmist, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Begin to see yourself as something other than wretched and watch the grace with which you treat others grow. See how, when you forgive yourself, as God has, how much easier it is to forgive others. Experience true JOY by owning your place in God’s world, not as losers, but as the victors who Christ has raised up.
It is through grace that we learn to love ourselves. Because of grace we love others. And the power of grace is how our love for Jesus becomes manifested in the world.
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We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.