Taking Care of You
Most of us are dedicated to taking care of others before taking care of ourselves. This flows out of a well-meaning, but jaded way of looking at how we are to live the Christian life.
I learned in my teens that JOY means Jesus first, Others second, then Yourself. The message I heard from every pulpit was that focusing on myself would be selfish and only get me in trouble.
I understand clearly where this message comes from and it is true. We are humans and such we are self-centered and want what we want. The JOY acronym, though, is misleading.
Focusing on Jesus first is always right. However I like what my pastor said recently. God doesn’t want to be first on your list. He wants to be the list.
Jesus answering a Jewish leader about what commandment is greatest told us the answer: “Jesus answered him, ‘The most important of all the commandments is this: ‘The Lord Yahweh, our God, is one!’ You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment. And the second is this: You must love your neighbor] in the same way you love yourself.’ You will never find a greater commandment than these,” (Mark 12: 29-31 TPT).
What Jesus is saying is God has to be everything to us. If we don’t take care of every part of us, we have nothing left with which to love Him. We have to take care of and guard every part of our life to make sure we can follow Him completely.
Jesus also clearly tells us that we cannot love others if we have no love for ourselves.
What God Says About Me
To love ourselves we must understand what God says about me, I searched the Scriptures and wrote down 77 positive affirmations with references. These are things I repeat over myself when I need encouragement.
The big truth is for us to love ourselves unselfishly by seeing ourselves as God sees us. Then, we can really love Him with every part of us and love others in that same way.
77 Affirmations Link: https://teresashieldsparker.com/teresas-77-affirmations/.