Love you all, praying for you, This is a little longer, but important, I hope you’ll listen…
I just love God’s Word. It gives truth. Have you noticed that truth is uncommon, not common. Many things common, aren’t truth. Commonly accepted, isn’t what determines truth, in science or morality. People used to think the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, pretty much unanimously. A recent secular teaching seems to be gaining popularity in church circles. The whole concept of self-love. Where did that come from? “You have to love yourself, before you can love others.” “God wants you to love yourself.” Really? Sounds right, but is it? Remember your new information filter… What verse is that, exactly? God’s Word says, love the LORD your God, love your wife, love one another, love your neighbor, love your enemies, but it never says love yourself. If that’s foundational, or a pre-requisite, or a pressing need of people, then why doesn’t the Bible teach it? Jesus said, A new command I give you, love one another. Not love yourself – “But how could you love one another if you don’t love yourself?” I get it, I hear you… but Jesus never said that. The Bible never says that. Jesus said the new command was love one another – as I have loved you. That’s all you need. Jesus loves you, not you love you. Jesus said, “The greatest commandment: Love the LORD your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and the Second is “Love your Neighbor as yourself. Ahh, that’s where some say “See, that means you should love yourself. Does it really? Is that what it’s saying? If it were, wouldn’t He say Love God, be sure to love yourself, and then you’ll be able to love your neighbor as yourself. But it doesn’t say that, it doesn’t put ‘love yourself’ between love God, and love others. He focused the command on love others. God, then others - the self part was just talking about human nature – selfishness, self-preservation, self-preference. That’s like teaching a child to disobey, you don’t have to - their sinful nature already has taught them, that’s why God said, don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought. He knew that was the problem, not love yourself… He never said teach your children to disobey so I can forgive them someday. He didn’t have to, kids just know how to disobey by nature. So what about people with low self-esteem? Your view of yourself if that is your pursuit is not a pursuit taught by Jesus. Psychologists might tell you that, but if loving yourself was God’s focus for you, then why does He warn against it. If He taught it, He wouldn’t warn against it. Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given me, (I love that, Paul is saying – God gave me grace to say this to you so listen…) I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. That is so interesting. This would be the perfect verse for God to teach that theology about self-love – if he wanted to… if that was truth, or a need or a problem, or a priority for Him. Because if you see yourself by faith… you would see yourself better in the future than you are right now – which would be the perfect way to learn to love yourself. Because you suck right now, but if you see yourself by faith, you’ll be more self-love-able, more self-love-worthy – that’s how you can love yourself now. But God never mentioned that, He never said that, never taught that. God totally passed on that perfect opportunity to promote that theology, He didn’t teach it. Clearly that was not what God was saying. Why? Because the true secret of self-esteem is not in loving yourself. Look at that verse again, don’t think of yourself more highly, but soberly (rationally) in accordance with your faith – that God has given you. God didn’t explain it further saying… Use your faith – remember, you can do all things through Christ, – you can be rich, successful, whatever you dream you can fulfill, so love yourself by faith… Faith that you can be better, richer, more successful would be a good little trick to learn – to get better at self love – if that’s what God wanted you to do, if God thought that was needed or required to love God or love others. But it’s not. God never said that… God never said self love helps you love others. He never said use your faith to think of yourself more highly, to love yourself more. No, He said don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought, use your faith for something else, not self love… So then what did he say that measure of faith is for? He says it in the very next verse: Rom 12:4 – Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Here it comes - wait for it… Verse 6 – We have different gifts, according to the grace given us, If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. OK, now I get it. That’s what the faith is for, not for self love, but for serving others in a greater way with your gift! What’s the key to FAITH helping you view yourself with sober judgment? Wouldn’t faith increase your opinion of yourself because you see by faith what you could become? No, it’s clear that’s not the purpose for faith. Faith isn’t to view yourself better, it’s to serve others better with your gift to the body! Use your gift on behalf of – in the service of - the body of Christ. The more faith you have the more you’ll use your gift – on behalf of others, to love them, not yourself. If your faith compels you to activate your gift for the benefit of others, it’s not about loving yourself, (that’s not the point, that’s a red herring – a false flag, something that distracts you from the real issue). God said use your faith to distribute your gift, to serve others – loving them in action. Love God, Love Others. Sober judgment faith pertains to your responsibility as the gift holder to use it for the benefit of the body of Christ – the other people God says everyone belongs to… Faith is for using your gift, it grounds you, so you don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought. Because if you’re using your gift to serve others – you’re thinking more highly of them, you’re not worried about loving yourself. You’re fully fulfilled in using your gifts to serve others. Love God, Love others, and your self esteem will be wrapped up in God’s esteem for you. He loves you enough to die for you, He gave you awesome gifts. Most people who hate themselves. 1) Haven’t discovered their gift or how to use their faith to use that gift to better serve others with it. 2) They believe the devil that their sins and failures make them worthless, you’ll probably do it again. The devil’s a liar, that’s not true in the least. When you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you, He loves you with an everlasting love, and will forgive you as long as you live - every time you ask him and turn from it. and His grace is there for your victory next time 3) They feel inferior because other people have controlled and manipulated them into feeling inferior. “You never do things right, you never say things right,” and here it comes the typical one… ‘you think you’re better than everyone.’ All of these are a lie, as old the hills, but some people start believing these false accusations, and are held in the bondage of the false accusation of others – doing the devil’s work. Jesus died to set you free from false beliefs and 4) people think they need to learn self-love because they haven’t seen the victory in their life or the accomplishments in their life that God wants for them, because they are between harvests. They don’t know their spiritual gifts, and they’re not using their faith to distribute their gift in serving others. They haven’t sown good seed long enough to see the harvest. You must stop sowing bad seed (words and actions) in your life, and start sowing new seed – truth and diligence, in words and actions) and give God some time, to bring a new harvest from your new seed. It’s not about lacking self-love. God said don’t think of yourself more highly, He didn’t say you gotta love yourself. He loves you more than you ever could anyway, and more than you ever know. The secret of self love is realizing it’s a red herring, a distraction, not a real need. Love God, love others, use your faith to use your gift to serve them, know God’s Plan for you and walk in it, Know God’s Word and speak it. Walking in obedience, to the LORD in words and actions until God can bring a harvest in your life from the obedience seed you’re now sowing. And even when your harvest becomes victory and the old has fully gone, you won’t even think about loving yourself, you’ll just think about loving God, and others – And God will give you a peace, and joy, and a contentment that He is fulfilling His purpose in you. You can trust Him. He will do it. You just do what He tells you, and He will do the rest. Take joy in the journey – Love God, love others, love one another, grow your faith, use your gifts to serve, and God will establish you with a sound mind, and a sound life. He loves you, so you can love Him and others!
So how should you think of yourself? It God said, do not think of yourself more highly that you ought, that means you should at least think of yourself as highly as you should. Is that self love? Probably not… Self-confidence isn’t self love. It’s just an understanding of who you are. The Bible said Jesus, though He was equal with God didn’t insist on his position, which he could have rightfully done, but humbled himself, and put on the human suit, and came to earth as a baby. That means he took the lower position that humility does. He chose the lower place, but He didn’t think of himself lower, He knew who He was, He didn’t have a self-love problem, He just was humble. But am I just trash? Of course not. God said you were fearfully and wonderfully made! God don’t make no junk. He said He formed you in your Mother’s womb – you are a masterpiece designed by the Creator of the Universe. But that truth, doesn’t make you love yourself, you didn’t do anything to make you that wonderful… That truth makes you love God, and wonder… what is it that He created me for? I want to do that! Those truths about you should make you grateful, should make you love God and be thankful. The Bible says the potter makes some vessels of noble use, and some of normal use. I’d rather be a decorative pot on a fireplace mantle in a palace, than just a water pot, but that’s not the decision of the pot, that’s a decision of the potter. God made you for a purpose, and He will fulfill his purpose for you. And actually, I’d rather be a water pot that helps people, than just a palace decoration. Your greatest fulfillment will be to be used as designed. God didn’t make me like Warren Buffet, or Elon Musk. I’m just not at that level… But God designed you for what He needs, and what will make you the most fulfilled if you do it! God said as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. So even though God has made you wonderfully, if you think otherwise, the devil can steal the joy of what God made you to do. But the remedy isn’t self love, it’s humility, discovering and using your gift by faith to help others – its learning to be diligent to know and do what God called you to do today. If I love God and love others, growing your faith to grow the using of your gift – that is where the joy comes from. Self-love won’t bring you joy. Only knowing God, the Holy Spirit, and doing what He planned for you will bring joy. You’ve been faithful with a little, I’ll now put you in charge over much, enter into the joy of your Master… The joy is in the obedience, not the self-love. God never made that your focus. Love God, Love others, Do what God tells you – and joy will overflow in your life. You’ll think of yourself as you ought. Wonderfully made for His purpose – He’ll complete it!
Love you all,
Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!